What is Commercial Management?

“The identification and development of business opportunities and the profitable management of projects and contracts, from inception to completion.”

The Institute of Commercial Management (ICM)

The role of a Commercial Manager is highly varied. Those working within the commercial departments of large, multinational corporations may take individual responsibility for sales, marketing, contracting, negotiations, finance, contract law or property management to name but a few.

In some smaller companies ( and in the case of entrepreneurs ) commercial managers would be expected to deal with all these various roles themselves, rather than oversee a department containing expert teams in each field. In either business environment, a commercial manager must be adept at understanding and engaging in all aspects of the strategic function, which is where a specialist qualification in commercial management comes to the fore.

Chameleon qualities

Commercial ManagersSo, do you have the potential to be a commercial manager? One of the aspects that sets senior managers apart is their superior level of commercial acumen. Can you ensure that a project runs smoothly from inception to completion? Do you understand and appreciate how a company’s profits are reflected in all its operations – in the client/company relationship and risk management, not just in the price of its goods?

A focus on profit and loss is a pre-requisite for anyone concerned with an organisation’s activities. Sound business acumen, an aptitude with figures, an ability to view projects long-term, along with impeccable people management skills are just some of the skills needed to bring the job to life. One day you could be outlining the beginnings of a new project, the next negotiating contracts and analysing sales figures – every day requires new skills and creates the need for a hands-on, practical approach to this talent-filled role.

The Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) recognises the variety of skills needed by both commercial managers and anyone involved in business, and offers professional accredited courses covering all industry sectors and skills bases.

It has also published The Commercial Manager which outlines the multifarious activities demanded of a commercial manager and how such responsibilities should be approached. The book provides detailed overviews and step-by-step guides covering the following topics: Commercial awareness; Contracts; Contract performance; Commercial relationships; Negotiation; Risk management; Post-delivery risk; Project planning; Team building; and Project progression.