7 years ago
December 23, 2016

The 5 Qualities of Top Sales Managers

Managing a sales team is a tough job. The top sales managers have these five critically important qualities that make them great at what they do.

Rhys Metler

You may have some top sales people at your organization, but without a great manager leading them, the team will crumble. Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy to find a superstar sales manager, though. Managing a sales team isn’t easy, and not everyone is cut out to be a sales leader.

So, how can you make sure that the next sales manager you hire has what it takes to succeed in this important role in your company? Look for these five tell-tale signs of success in sales management.

1. The DNA of a Sales Person

Not all sales people can successfully move up to a sales leadership role, and you should think carefully before transitioning a rep to a manager. However, most great sales managers tend to have the DNA of a sales person. They understand what their team members do on a daily basis. They know how to help them come up with solutions and how to help them close clients when they’re needed. They know how to help them overcome common obstacles and deal with complex sales situations because they’ve done it all before.

A sales manager with zero selling experience won’t be able to offer the help, guidance, and coaching that your reps will need.

2. Values and Integrity

For a sales manager to be able to successfully lead a team, he or she must be trusted, liked, and respected. The best sales managers have integrity, great work ethic, and great collaboration and teamwork skills. They’re honest and genuine; they stand true to their words; and they show respect to their teams.

In return, their sales people trust them and have faith in them, which means they’ll listen to them and do as they say.

3. Communication Skills

All successful leaders have effective communication skills. They know how to communicate their goals, objectives, and concerns. They know how to have open and honest exchanges that build trusting partnerships with their team members. They know how to give constructive feedback as well as praise and congratulations. They know how to motivate their sales people.

A sales manager that cannot communicate effectively won’t be able to build strong relationships with their reps, coach them, motivate them, or lead them.

4. The Desire to Teach

Top sales managers understand that their job isn’t just to manage a department, but to build a great team. They have enthusiasm to help their team members succeed. They set aside time for onboarding, sales training, and sales coaching. They’re never too busy to help their sales people with tough selling situations or difficult clients. They actually enjoy investing their time in their teams, and their sales people improve because of their extra efforts.

5. Ability to Change

Many sales managers are, unfortunately, rigid in their ways. They don’t like change. They don’t pursue it. And as a result, their departments suffer. Sales is an ever-changing field. Sales methods and strategies quickly become out of date as buyer behaviours change. Shifts in the economy often call for new methodologies. Changes in technology require sales people to innovate and adapt.

Top sales managers aren’t afraid of change. They understand how important it is to adapt in order to stay relevant and profitable.

No two managers will be alike. They’ll all have subtle differences in management styles, coaching methods, training strategies, and leadership tactics that make them distinct. However, the best managers do have these five qualities in common: experience in sales, the right values, excellent communication skills, the desire to teach, and the ability to change. So the next time you’re on the lookout for a budding sales manager, make sure to determine whether or not your candidate has these critically important qualities.

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.