No two people and no two great sales managers have exactly the same personality or qualities. However, when comparing effective managers in your sales department, you will likely find they share a few critical traits. So, what makes a good sales manager? Is it talent, passion, or brains? If you look closely, you will see a few different factors combine to paint a picture of the best qualities of a sales manager.
What Makes a Good Sales Manager?
Take a look to see how you might describe what makes a good sales manager:
One of the top qualities of a sales manager is a results-driven attitude. They focus on the process and the numbers for good reason. They achieved their position because they have found certain processes tend to yield the best results. When their salespeople do perform well, they believe those results justify a process that they can teach to others.
If salespeople aren't performing, these managers will want to know which part of the process the team member might have skipped, or if the processes needs evaluation in light of current market conditions. Top sales managers want results, but they also want to understand exactly what went wrong when results fall below expectations. This way, they can continue to adapt and learn, and make sure those old mistakes don’t crop up again.
Nobody can own results without truly understanding them, so you can bet that top sales managers will rely upon sales management software to provide them with all sorts of reports. They will have a good idea of the number of calls, emails, or visits it takes to make a sale.
In addition, one of the best qualities of a sales managers is a willingness to correct what needs to be corrected. Because these leaders own their results, they aren't as interested in placing blame as much as they are correcting the problems.
Good sales managers take actions like offering more training and mentorship, shaking up the corporate culture, or meeting with marketing about lead quality. They don’t do this to put blame on others. They do this to take initiative and drive their teams further towards success.
Typically, good sales managers earn their position because they demonstrate an ability to understand what it takes to sell. Effective sales managers also understand that things change over time and different products and services may require different tactics.
These productive salespeople spend time with team members to learn about obstacles that may hinder productivity and how to set reasonable goals. They ensure their team has the resources necessary to succeed. They engage in regular brainstorming, and encourage healthy, fun competition. Constant communication reinforces the idea that the sales staff is in there together. And as much as competitions are fun, when someone else succeeds, they all succeed.
Resourceful and Sensible
The most effective sales managers certainly want to offer each team member the tools that they need to succeed. However, they also want to know if salespeople are spending too much effort conforming to the tool instead of having their software or hardware save time and effort.
Great sales managers aren't afraid of new technology, but they aren't just in love with tech for tech's sake either. When something isn't working, these great bosses will want to know why and where they can find a better solution. They learn when to invest and when to cut losses.