8 years ago
April 13, 2016

7 Qualities That Define the Best Sales Leaders

The competition to join the ranks of sales leadership is high, and the skills aspiring sales leaders must master require dedication and time.

Rhys Metler

Becoming one of the best sales leaders is no easy task, and although not all sales leaders choose to work in management, the majority of sales managers are drawn from the best sales leaders. The competition to join the ranks of sales leadership is high, and the sales activities that aspiring sales leaders must master require dedication and time. For the effort involved, though, the best sales leaders are rewarded well, in compensation and in increased career opportunities. These seven qualities are among those that the best sales leaders have developed to reach this level.

Quality #1: Enjoyment of Coaching and Mentorship

Coaching and mentoring sales staff is often cited as one of the most important daily tasks that the best sales leaders undertake. Since a sales leader is not leading if the sales team is not contributing equally to the department’s success, it makes sense that the best sales leaders enjoy and are skilled in coaching and mentoring others.

Quality #2: Willingness to Set High Expectations

Low expectations promote low quality in sales; if all that needs to be done to achieve quota and qualify for bonus compensation is the minimum, the minimum quickly becomes the average. The best sales leaders set high expectations for all sales people, and take the additional steps involved in helping others meet those expectations.

Quality #3: Focus on Objective Measurements to Support Progress

All sales people in an organization want to see results. The best sales leaders know that results are achieved through progress, and consistently put the focus on realistic sales processes and measurements in order to mark and measure progress. In this way, competition and performance evaluations become fair to all sales people in the department, and each individual knows what he or she must do to meet progress benchmarks and reach success.

Quality #4: Courage to Take Risks

It takes courage to take risks in a leadership position, yet the greatest achievements usually involve some risk. By being willing to undertake reasonable risks for specific results, the best sales leaders are able to navigate difficult situations while promoting returns for the sales department. Sales people will support the best sales leaders in these situations knowing that the risks would not have been undertaken if there was not the chance of significant rewards.

Quality #5: Ability to Delegate

The best sales leaders know that no single person can do everything, which is why they are willing to delegate. Successfully delegating is more than assigning tasks; it means delegating the right tasks to the right people. The best sales leaders delegate strategically with this in mind, which allows other sales people development opportunities and a hand in the department’s contributions without creating burdens.

Quality #6: Understanding of Strategy

Sales strategies can be applied to one prospect or an entire industry. The best sales leaders develop and execute strategies at all levels to accomplish sales where others could not. This quality is important as it allows sales people to map what must be done to succeed, an integral skill for career advancement.

Quality #7: Commitment with Consistency

“Committed” could be a one-word description for the best sales leaders. The commitment of sales leaders shows in everything that they undertake, from pursuing a sale to following a strategy to promoting the best interests of the organizations for which they work. In this way, their commitment is consistent, an important aspect to leadership in an environment where most sales people want to feel at least a small measure of security.

All successful sales people have what it takes to be among the best sales leaders if they are willing to make the commitment to develop the skills and qualities that support sales leadership. The qualities that the best sales leaders share are in demand with employers, and by developing these qualities in your own sales career you too can become a sales leader.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.