How To Hire An Effective Sales Manager

Published on Aug 7, 2019

With the cost of a bad sales manager reaching $3.5 million, it is imperative that businesses find the right candidate who can design effective management strategies and motivate the team to reach their targets. But how does one hire an effective sales manager? In this post, we outline the traits you should look out for during the hiring process and how best to verify the required qualifications in a candidate.

Want to hire the ideal manager for your sales team? Set up a consultation with the sales recruiting experts at HireDNA today. Contact Us

What Are The Qualities Of An Effective Sales Manager?

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the most important qualities to look for in a sales manager:

Expertise & Experience

Managing a team is no easy feat. A typical sales department is usually composed of individuals with different communication styles and professional skills. So, it’s important to hire a sales manager who has experience dealing with different kinds of people. A truly effective sales manager must display adequate management skills and have prior experience in the field to qualify.

Knowledge Of Recruitment & Professional Skill Development

To be truly good at this job, a sales manager must display the right skill set and recruitment knowledge to be able to build and subsequently manage the team.

Ideally, the manager must also be invested in the team’s long-term development. For this, the candidate needs to be aware of positive reinforcementrelationship building exercises, and skill development training.

Good Decision Making Capability

Management requires foresight, and good decision making skills. To say that the success of the entire sales team, and thus the business, depends on the manager’s ability to lead decisively would not be an understatement.

A good sales manager will need to make decisions regarding who to hire, promote, and train further. Other decisions include setting up or optimizing the sales process, and drawing up milestones for the entire team.

Foresight & Optimism

A good candidate for the job is forward looking and hopeful. They must have the skills to plan for the future and be able to anticipate problems and possible failures. A short-sighted sales manager would only be concerned with numbers and current achievements, ignoring crucial aspects like risk management, damage control, business growth, etc.

Coachability & Flexibility

Regardless of how someone looks on paper, if they are not willing or able to learn, they will not make a good manager. In other words, businesses should look for candidates who can demonstrate the ability to learn, grow, and adapt to a changing work environment.

With advancements in technology, it is more important than ever that a manager be adaptable, flexible, and open to learning. A manager with outdated, traditional views will simply not be able to adjust to the demands of the job, such as being able to process changing consumer behavior and market trends. In turn, this will affect the sales and overall growth of a business.

HireDNA partners experience up to 25% top line revenue growth with the right sales manager. Learn More.

How To Verify Qualifications

While a resume may give you a good idea of the candidate, there are some more effective ways that hiring managers can verify a candidate’s qualifications and gauge their credibility.

Sales Candidate Assessments

A predictive assessment is a highly effective way to screen candidates, allowing you to predict success before hiring with proven data and science.

At HireDNA, we use the Objective Management Group (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment to screen candidates, which has a 3rd party validated success rate of 92% of recommended and hired candidates performing at or above expectations!

Contact us to create customized candidate profiles based on your hiring criteria and unique sales environment, assessing 21 core selling competencies.


During the interview, it is imperative that you ask tough questions. For example, ask the candidate the overall percentage of growth that they managed to achieve in their previous job as a manager.

Social Media Profiles

The very nature of the job depends on a sales manager’s ability to ‘market’ themselves and their organization to customers. Networking skills are absolutely essential. For this, sales managers should have a solid presence online. As a hiring manager, you can easily look up candidates on platforms like LinkedIn and even Facebook.

Reviews & References

Finally, double check the references provided on resumes, including endorsements, referrals, and reviews. This helps in identifying if the candidate has the necessary skills to form long lasting relationships with clients, co-workers, and their superiors, and if they are indeed team players.

Build A Successful Sales Team

Sales representatives and managers are the backbone of any successful organization. It is important that you hire the best possible candidates for your company. HireDNA offers extensive sales hiring, assessment and training services. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we can help you build a team that consistently delivers quality results.

Combined with scientific assessment tools and data-driven insights, we have built an advanced predictive hiring process that guarantees results.

Why Choose Us?

  • 80% placement success
  • 50% faster hiring
  • Eliminate 96% of hiring mistakes
  • 33% increase in sales productivity

Are you ready to hire top sales talent?


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