3 years ago
January 5, 2015

3 Traits Of Successful Sales Managers‏

Successful sales managers have three major traits in common that allow them to support a sales team in reaching its goals.

Rhys Metler

traits of successful sales managersThe most successful sales managers will admit managing a sales team is not easy. Strong sales teams incorporate an admixture of personalities, skill levels, and experiences, and a sales manager must not only manage but train, coach, and motivate these different individuals in order to obtain results. This requires flexibility, involvement, and perhaps above all, patience, but these characteristics are just the baseline for success. Successful sales managers have three major traits in common that allow them to support a sales team in reaching its goals. 

Successful Sales Managers Demonstrate the Highest Integrity

Despite common misconceptions, integrity in sales is critically important, and this integrity flows down from the top. Knowing this, successful sales managers incorporate integrity in all that they do, and in leading by example ensure that their sales team knows that nothing less than absolute integrity will be accepted.

To this end, integrity is also a sales strategy for successful sales managers. Customers that are given the best possible deal are repeat customers who build relationships on trust and business organizations can rely on for steady revenues. Integrity also makes for a more positive working environment – an objective that all successful sales managers strive towards. 

Successful Sales Managers Have an Unfailingly Positive Attitude

Positive attitude is another aspect of the leadership by example that successful sales managers must exhibit. Although the need for a positive attitude is at least given discussion in all areas of an organization, in sales it is absolutely integral to success. A sales team with low morale and negative attitudes cannot possibly compete in the marketplace, since such mindsets impact all aspects of the sales cycle:

  • Prospects can sense poor dispositions from first contact, negating any chances of a deal
  • Long-term clients may be turned away from sales people exhibiting negative or even neutral demeanors
  • Sales teams suffering from negative attitudes are not as productive as they could be, resulting in a negative feedback loop and dramatic sales declines

Successful sales managers know this and are not only unfailingly positive, but expect the same of their team. These sales managers act quickly to address any negative behaviors they see in sales staff. By swiftly and discreetly addressing potential issues in a constructive manner, successful sales managers ensure that their sales teams will continue to be successful.

Successful Sales Managers Are Great Coaches

Successful sales managers have the knowledge and experience sales people need to learn from to succeed on their own, and the best way for sales people to absorb a sales manager’s messages is through coaching. However, it is not just enough to adopt a coaching attitude in sales meetings. Successful sales managers devote most of their time to coaching, and delegate coaching time to the areas where it will make the most positive impact on generating and converting leads. 

This is an area where many new sales managers stumble. Most sales managers are former top sales reps who may tend to spend more effort developing the top performers on a sales team, since these relationships can feel more comfortable. However, this is a mistake. Top performers need support, but they do not need as much development as others on the sales team. Successful sales managers recognize this, and divert the majority of their energy towards the core performers, those who are doing acceptably but could be great with adequate coaching. These sales managers also spend appropriate time with those who are not performing, and know how to determine when coaching will result in improvement or when separation is the best option.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.