7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Typical Traits of Successful Sales Managers

When interviewing candidates for a new sales leader, make sure to assess them for these traits of successful sales managers. Keep reading.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Sales managers drive success in sales organizations. The sales manager is the foundational piece to ensuring that your sales team performs effectively and efficiently. Without a great leader, your sales team will crumble. Your reps will lack motivation. Your team will never develop and grow. And your revenue will suffer.

Not all sales managers are alike. When seeking out a new sales manager, it’s critical that you know what to look for in order to ensure that you hire the right person for the job.

Look for these traits of successful sales managers while assessing candidates.

1. The Ability to Coach

Knowing how to coach sales people is an absolute must for any sales manager. It’s the number one sales management activity that can drive sales performance. Great sales managers know how to help reps improve their skills, work on their weaknesses, and reach their true potential.

Sales coaching will not only improve individual and overall performance within your sales team, though. It will also lead to better morale, better sales rep engagement, improved job satisfaction, and better retention. That’s why it’s one of the top traits of successful sales managers that you must look out for.

2. Business Acumen

The sales manager is in a management position, and this is why they must have some business acumen. Be careful when promoting a sales person to manager—though they might be a top seller, they might not have the business savvy needed to understand and overcome complex business issues or view your organization strategically.

Sales managers with great business acumen can help their sales reps make better decisions, plan better, improve resource allocation based on potential for growth and customer needs, and generally become more strategic in their selling practices.

3. Hiring Skills

If the sales manager at your organization will be in charge of hiring new sales people, then hiring is definitely one of the top traits of successful sales managers that your new manager will need to have.

The success or failure of your sales team can all come down to this trait. Hiring sales reps is surprisingly difficult. Your sales manager must know how to write effective sales job descriptions, ask the right interview questions, screen candidates, assess cultural fit, and find the hidden gems in a sea of mediocrity. Otherwise, your company will continue to bring on underperforming reps who hurt your bottom line.

4. The Ability to Build Enthusiasm

The greatest sales managers know that an engaged and happy sales team is a productive sales team. And they know that building enthusiasm and motivation is up to them. This is one of the most important traits of successful sales managers to look for when seeking a new leader for your sales team.

Your new manager must know how to motivate sales people, how to get reps out of a sales slump, how to get them to overcome their fears of rejection, and how to keep them engaged in their work. They use creative sales contests, incentives, and celebrations to keep enthusiasm high in order to keep productivity high at all times.

5. Communication Skills

Effective communication skills should be in every sales manager job description—that’s just how important it is. No sales manager can effectively coach sales professionals, build enthusiasm, motivate, or lead without being able to communicate effectively with their team members.

Sales managers must know how to offer constructive feedback. They must know how to clearly convey important messages, ideas, goals, and visions in a way that sales people understand. They must learn how to overcome the main obstacles of effective communication and avoid poor communication techniques in order to lead effectively, gain respect, and get things done.

These five traits of successful sales managers are must-haves. Keep them in mind when interviewing potential new sales managers for your organization.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.