Essential Sales Manager Skills

Published on Sep 27, 2019

Sales managers are responsible for your team and its productivity. They’re required to motivate reps on an individual and team level, manage sales reporting, recruit, train, and more. A good sales manager needs to be more than just an excellent closer. Here are some essential sales manager skills to look for in the best candidates.

Do you need help finding the right sales talent? With HireDNA’s science-based system, we have achieved an 80% placement success rate. For further information contact our sales recruiting experts today.

Top Qualities Of An Effective Sales Manager

The three hallmarks of a good leader are their ability to inspire innovation, incentivize results, and build strong communication channels within the team. Simply put, a good sales manager is often judged through the performance of their team, rather than through their personal capacity to produce individual results.

Good sales managers achieve team objectives by streamlining sales cycles and setting motivating, yet realistic goals. They should be able to create a sense of purpose in their salespeople, encouraging them to see sales as alleviating a customer’s pain points rather than just reaching their targets.

Leadership requires keeping an eye out for improvement opportunities to help other sales reps meet requirements and quotas more efficiently. These can include providing administrative support, upgrading the CRM for more actionable data, re-assigning or mixing up tasks to promote competition, and more.

Training, Coaching & Mentoring

According to a study by Ohio University, 65% of sales reps under the best 25% sales managers were hitting their individual quotas. And, according to 74% of industry leaders, sales training and mentoring is the most important roles managers play.

This indicates the importance of having a skilled, knowledgeable manager in place who can pass on their know-how through training, coaching, and mentoring. With the acumen to identify struggling reps and recognize challenging situations, managers should be ready to step in and help wherever needed.

These questions are a good starting point when evaluating a sales team:

  • Are there any situations that team members find challenging?
  • Are there any new hires that might require assistance adjusting to the company’s sales cycle?
  • Are there any pre-existing employees that are having a bad quarter?
  • Can my personal experience in certain situations be used to train such individuals?

At HireDNA, we can help you evaluate your team and provide the training to help you be more productive than ever. Our innovative sales training strategies can help you shorten your training time by 50% for faster and more effective coaching!

Performance Evaluation & Management

According to Salesforce, the majority of a sales manager’s time—around 32%—is spent managing people. But what exactly is performance management?

While the implementation of the task may vary, performance management is the process of analyzing quarterly sales targets, identifying low-performing reps, and strategizing ways to deal with challenges. It is, at times, confused with performance evaluation—but while the latter involves productivity appraisals, managing involves a more holistic approach that includes evaluations plus:

  • Sales data analysis
  • Identifying key performance issues
  • Reporting to upper management

Great sales managers understand that unchecked issues can lead to a low morale and missed targets, thereby decreasing the efficiency of the entire team. They also have the skill and the drive to take action to resolve these issues.

Ability To Identify & Build A Talented Sales Team

While most sales managers usually work with an already existing team, they may be tasked with recruiting new sales reps from time to time. But even good managers can find the recruiting process daunting.

An inability to scout the right talent for your team could potentially damage your sales capabilities and make it difficult to meet targets. Therefore, it’s important for sales managers to systemically identify the correct candidates, recognize hiring mistakes and build a strong sales team—or they should know when it’s best to seek help from a professional recruiter.

Are you looking to hire a sales manager? Join us for a live webinar on October 17th at 11 AM to learn the science behind the OMG Sales Candidate assessment and how it accurately evaluates sales management skills and predicts success. Join us!

Build A Productive Sales Team

HireDNA helps managers build high-performing sales teams, cutting down on hiring mistakes that can be costly in the long run. For the last decade, our data-driven, results-oriented insights, combined with our science-based methods, have ensured that our clients find the right salespeople for the job. Let us help you grow your team for success.

Why Choose Us?

  • We help our clients ramp up new hires with 50% faster training
  • Our training and onboarding strategies increase candidate retention by 79%
  • We help you eliminate hiring mistakes by 96%
  • We have an 80% job placement success rate

Whether you’re a sales manager looking for strong reps to join your team or you need to hire a top sales manager, we can help you find and land the best candidates.


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