8 years ago
April 13, 2016

5 Traits Salespeople Want in Their Sales Manager

These five sales manager traits are top traits to develop that can help you succeed with your sales team.

Rhys Metler

After completing your organization’s training for sales managers and learning from your peers and mentors, you may be wondering what salespeople expect from you as a sales manager. Sales manager traits vary from manager to manager, as do expectations from sales reps, but a surprising number of salespeople agree on traits they most want to see in their sales leader. These five sales manager traits are top traits to develop that can help you succeed with your sales team.

1. Commitment to the Success of the Sales Team

Salespeople are self-directed and respond best to strong leaders, but that does not mean that the sales manager traits salespeople are looking for include characteristics that could be called self-centered. A sales manager who puts his or her team’s success above his or her own knowing that the success of one is necessary to the success of the other will immediately have the respect and attention of salespeople.

  • Solicit employee’s opinions by regularly providing time for sales people to have the floor.
  • Develop collaborative opportunities between yourself and your salespeople so that salespeople know that their voices are heard.
  • Help salespeople understand how and when you are available to contribute to individual and team success.

2. Dedication to Treating All Salespeople Fairly

One of the most sought after sales manager traits in the eyes of salespeople is fairness. Many sales managers, especially early career sales managers who moved up from sales positions, are tempted to spend more time with like-minded top performers. However, all of the salespeople on your team need your guidance and advice; in fact, average performers and salespeople looking for ways to improve often need more of your time than the top salespeople on your team. Make an effort to treat all salespeople fairly and equally without displaying any signs of favoritism to ensure that this top sales manager trait stands out as one of your attributes.

3. Outstanding Problem Solving Abilities

One of the most important tasks of the sales manager is to solve problems, both for executives and for salespeople. To be confident and sell well, salespeople need to know that their sales manager is available to help solve extraordinary problems and resolve issues that cannot be worked out at the sales person level. Demonstrate the sales manager traits that support problem resolution by:

  • Prioritizing issues so that the most critical problems for your salespeople are addressed promptly.
  • Being willing to embrace creative solutions when previously used or traditional strategies do not fit the bill.
  • Encouraging and coaching your salespeople to help develop paths to resolution, even if those paths differ slightly from what you may have arrived at alone.

4. Talent for Looking Behind the Numbers

Sales may be a numbers game, but that does not mean that the numbers always tell the whole story. Salespeople can be acutely sensitive to this fact, so sales leaders who do not display sales manager traits suggesting knowledge of influences and causes behind sales numbers may not gain the support of the entire sales team. Whenever unexpected numbers are posted, whether positive or negative, be sure to work with your sales people to understand why, as well as what can be done to influence those numbers towards desired outcomes.

5. A True Desire to Be a Mentor

Salespeople who are determined to make sales into a long lasting career are always looking for sales manager traits in the mentorship arena. In your career in sales you have likely had several mentors and now that you are a sales manager, your salespeople will be expecting you to provide mentorship so that they can follow your lead or their own career trajectories to the top. Show your salespeople that you are available to help them succeed in any way possible and cultivate an atmosphere of mentorship so that your entire sales team can thrive.

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.