6 Skills for a Top Notch Sales Manager

A sales manager leads a group of sales people in a business. He/she serves as a mentor for members of the sales team. To increase sales, develop strategies, set goals and quotas, assure sales people receive proper training, assign territories, analyze data and is involved in the hiring and firing process for members of the sales team. The following six skills will assist a sales manager into becoming a top performer.

  1. Develop Hiring Skills: Hiring and retaining top sales people will improve sales performance. Customers like to see the same sales people. There is a trust formed between sales person and customer over time. Spend time checking references before making a hiring choice. Hiring mistakes may become costly. Overall team performance may be negatively affected by a few non-performing sales people.
  2. Proper Training: The best sales managers provide proper training opportunities for sales people. Sales people require regular updates on product information, skills, ideas, price changes, special offers and sales principles. Lack of training sets a sales person up for failure. Keep expectations clear.
  3. Show Compassion for Team Members: A top performing sales manager will prove to the sales people on the team that he/she cares by actions and words. A sign of a good leader is a caring attitude. Sales people will listen and follow a manager that shows compassion.
  4. Build a Mentor Relationship with Each Team Member: A level of trust has been established by consistently showing compassion for team members. Trust is necessary to form a mentor relationship. Be a directive sales manager, but not a micromanager. Remember to keep it simple. Complex sales strategies confuse team members. Allow the sales person some leeway for clients to see his/her own personality.
  5. Protect the Interest of the Sales Team: A great sales manager will protect the best interest of the sales team to corporate leaders. The bottom line for a prosperous company is sales. Sometimes management does not realize the effect a corporate decision may have on the sales team.
  6. Be the Example: Display proper sales and management skills to members of the sales team. Do not air out company dirty laundry at sales meetings or individually to members of the sales team. Establish an environment that establishes success and confidence.

*Photo courtesy of Business Partners Helping Each Other by Hugh Guill at Flickr’s Creative Common.

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