Published on Jun 26, 2020
Sales managers play an integral role in your company’s success. Their level of performance directly impacts your ability to hit your targets, your reps’ ability to reach their quotas, and your overall bottom line.
“The bottom 25% of sales managers were performing at 76% of their target, while the top 25% of sales managers were performing at 115% of their target,” Michelle Vazzana, CSO and Co-Founder at VantagePoint explains. Furthermore, “The bottom 25% of sales managers had 47% of reps achieving quota, while the top 25% of sales managers had 65% of reps achieving quota.”
This data shows first hand the difference of making the right hire. Now, let’s examine sales manager responsibilities and other essential career information, along with specific questions you can ask when hiring a sales manager.
A sales manager is responsible for leading sales reps to consistently reach their targets individually and collectively as a team. They coach, mentor, motivate, hold reps accountable, manage the sales forecast, identify current trends, and run sales reports. They’re usually involved in the sales training and onboarding process and are responsible for equipping reps with the tools for success. And in many cases, they’re also involved with recruiting.
The median pay for a sales manager in 2019 was $60.89 per hour, totaling $126,640 a year, according to the BLS. Here’s how that breaks down by state.
Most sales managers are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in business or a similar field. They must also have direct experience in business and/or management, ideally with five years of experience or more.
Many organizations make the mistake of promoting their top reps to sales manager. While this often seems like a good idea, top-performing sales reps don’t always have the needed skills, desire, and commitment required to be a successful sales manager. It’s important before making any hiring decision to use a science-based assessment to help identify the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses to ensure they have what it takes to be successful.
John Thomas of CRM platform SalesBabu highlights the five most vital skills that a top performing sales manager should possess.
Beyond those five key skills, data from independent research firm ZS Associates identified some additional characteristics that distinguish top sales managers from their average counterparts. This information is based on an occupational personality questionnaire, with the traits on the right being the ones we’re interested in.
Some of the most important traits include being:
Now that we know what a sales manager’s core responsibilities are and the specific skills they should possess, let’s take a look at some interview questions you can use to assess a candidate’s potential.
“Top-performing sales managers achieve 39% more of their target than bottom-performing managers,” making them a critical part of your organization. Understanding sales manager responsibilities and knowing which factors play the biggest role in success should improve your hiring process and help you pinpoint the most qualified candidates.
Looking to hire better sales talent, faster? See how HireDNA can help you attract and recruit more qualified candidates and improve retention by using cutting-edge technology and science-based sales assessments.
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