7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Find a Good Sales Manager

For your sales team to operate at peak efficiency, they need to have a good sales manager.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

For your sales team to operate at peak efficiency, they need to have a good sales manager. The sales manager will guide their efforts, push them to improve their performance, and keep them motivated when times are tough. These qualities make a good sales manager an invaluable investment for your business. Finding a good sales manager isn’t something that can be rushed. You’ll need to invest the proper time and effort to make sure you’re getting a sales manager with the right qualifications who also fits your business culture. Even if you’re not currently in the market for a sales manager, it’s a good idea to already have a plan in place to find one when the need arises.

What Exactly are You Looking For?

“Sales Manager” is an incredibly vague job description. Nearly anyone who has ever worked in sales will fit at least some of the definitions of the job. To find your sales manager, you need to have a detailed, precise job description. This will require some brainstorming on your part. Meet with department heads, managers, and owners to decide what essential abilities a sales manager must have. Then, use the same group to put together a realistic “wish list” that your ideal candidate should have. Remember to include any tangential functions they may have to perform, along with the day-to-day requirements. Once you have a detailed job description put together, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of the role, and who you need to fill it.

Understand the Value of the Position

A sales manager should be one of the most important members of your overall sales team. It’s not the position you want to scrimp on. A bottom-dollar manager is likely to give bottom-dollar results. Research the position at businesses that are similar to yours. Figure out what the going market rate is for a manager with the qualifications you’re seeking. Remember, even in a struggling economy, experienced managers are still in high demand. You will be competing against other companies for their attention. If you can’t afford the upper end of the market rates, look for creative ways to bolster your benefits package. Personalized perks can go a long way toward making up for lower pay.

Targeted Hiring

A simple “help wanted” advertisement will draw applications from hundreds, if not thousands, of unqualified applicants. If you want a sales professional, target your advertisement toward the places they frequent. Tons of websites, Facebook groups, and LinkedIn groups are specifically tailored for sales professionals. Consider paying for sponsored advertisements in those places to cut down on the number of resumes you have to review. Professional trade organizations, and even staffing agencies, can also help you connect directly with the type of managers you’re looking for.

Don’t Hire a Resume

A resume shows only what the person has done before. It’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to replicate past success at your business. During the interview process, you need to evaluate their ability to work within your company culture. All of the skills in the world won’t make them successful if the constantly clash with your sales team and department heads. They need to be able to lead and, to do that, people must be willing to follow them. Hiring a less experienced manager who is a better fit with your company may be preferable to hiring a top-gun who doesn’t play well with others.

Tools for Success

As always, once you make a hire, be sure to give them what they need to succeed. Working with outdated technology and procedures can hamper the efforts of your new sales manager. Top candidates are typically used to working with top businesses. If your company is lagging behind in software and policies, your new manager will have limited options for success. Stay up to date on the latest trends, or risk becoming outdated.

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.