10 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Sales Manager
by Arnab Dey Job & Career 17 June 2022
Sales managers are indispensable people in every company. Normally, they are responsible for leading sales teams to meet or exceed set sales goals. This often includes employee training, performance evaluation, process development and improvement, and many other aspects.
For any company, sales managers are the key people who largely contribute to profitability growth and company development. No matter what the business does – provides essay help services, sells T-shirts, or organizes tours – sales teams determine the success of the venture.
Obviously, hiring the right salespeople for a company is essential for its financial efficiency and profitability. At the same time, sales positions are one of the most difficult to fill.
Who is a sales manager and why hiring them is a problem?
Sales managers run a company’s sales departments, ensuring the success of their operations and managing the sales staff assigned. In addition, sales managers should be able to work with large amounts of data, analyzing sales goals, planning departmental budgets, and compiling reports for management.
They ensure everything goes smoothly from month to month, achieving sales targets and building strategies for improving sales outcomes. Also, sales managers are highly involved in recruiting, coaching, and monitoring the performance of their junior colleagues. They build relationships with cross-functional specialists to ensure their departmental needs are met.
Sales managers are normally proficient in various software that enables forecasting and analytics. This helps them better understand what can be done to exceed sales goals and drive profitability.
Should a sales manager focus on the development of soft or hard skills more?
There is no answer to this question. A sales manager should develop both soft and hard skills equally. This profession requires them to be unique, innovative, and lead by example. You never know what skills you really need for this.
Still, one can mention several most common skills that most sales managers have. They are a must-have that ensures they are successful in their duties. However, if your goal is to move further in your career or outperform other managers, you need to work on your skillset and develop it day by day.
After all, every profession requires people to grow and advance their skillset. Sales managers are not an exception.
What skills does a sales manager usually have?
Below, we will provide a few recommendations on the skills a great sales manager should have. The list is not comprehensive, but it gives a proper understanding of what is expected from a sales manager. Check it below to have a better idea of what you should do to become a better professional:
Most sales managers require substantial coaching to master the art of selling and start doing their job. That is why it is critical for a person who would want to become a sales manager to be eager to learn.
Coachability, however, is not the ability to consume information. In fact, it’s also the willingness to collect feedback and react to the client’s advice and the ability to learn from the experience. Also, it is about a commitment to continuous development and a desire to learn new things every step of the way.
Ideally, a person who is aiming to land a sales manager position must demonstrate that they are data-driven and tech-savvy. They should be flexible and adaptable if the company actually uses any type of software that they are unaware of.
Sales largely depend on data collection and data processing. Because of that, modern sales managers must know how to work with the most popular sales analytics tools. If not, they must be quick in mastering new technologies and tools.
3. Amiable, engaging personality
Sales largely depend on the charisma of a salesperson. We know how hard it is sometimes to refuse a person who has been trying so hard to engage you into buying. A sales manager, however, must have this engaging personality as well, even if they rarely interact with customers.
A lot depends on a sales manager’s ability to organize work processes, build a team, and also serve as a role model for many team members. That’s why an engaging personality indeed helps in becoming a great sales manager.
Sales managers must have problem-solving in their skillset. They are often involved in various kinds of escalations, and they must act fast. Also, sales managers must be proactive in handling situations with clients that can potentially impede sales.
Problem-solving may also be seen as a way to manage challenges, which are quite common in sales. Sales managers must be able to see the bigger picture to help their colleagues sort out their issues and develop the best way to avoid similar issues in the future.
They must be good at problem-solving and apologizing. Sales managers should be able to find ways to handle every situation, having their company’s best interests at heart.
A professional curiosity, if it’s modest, impacts the way sales managers see the pool of opportunities. Curious people are always passionate. They strive to advance their knowledge, be better, and bring greater value to the team. It already sounds like a description of a great leader.
Curiosity impacts future growth. It means the ability to see the world differently through the lens of continuous learning and experience. This trait should definitely be in the nature of a successful sales manager.
However, curiosity serves not only sales managers but other professionals as well. For example, essay writers also need this quality to engage in productive conversations with clients, collect all their needs and requirements, and also produce a quality paper. Therefore, curiosity really makes your work more creative and insightful while enriching it with new knowledge and skills.
Sales and competition are closely linked. Sales managers must have the internal drive to do more, act boldly, and outperform everyone inside and outside of the company. Sales managers often compete with their colleagues for ratings and prizes. They also analyze competitor behavior to come up with new strategies and ideas to streamline sales.
Competitiveness together with an engaging personality creates a great professional profile for a sales manager. One can hardly think of a better combination for someone enabling and facilitating sales.
Sales managers must be able to listen and liaise between both management and sales reps. They must give their fellow team an opportunity to talk and interfere in the sales process planning to empower them and create new opportunities for improvement.
Active listening defines a great leader, and a sales manager must be one. Naturally good listeners are definitely better in sales. They can assess the needs of their customers and offer products to their preferences. Sales managers usually use active listening to connect the dots between teams and clients and make the sales process smoother for both sides.
8. Leadership by example
Sales managers must be open-minded people who are always ready to lead by example. They must do their best to unite teams, communicate goals, and ensure everything is in order for people to leave their comfort zone and work harder.
Your example matters to others. If you work hard, if you feel inspired, you deserve the admiration of your colleagues. They will try to follow your example, which will definitely reflect on sales outcomes. If you feel discouraged, do not expect your team to perform well.
A sales manager is the one who actually sets the pace for success. If you are slow, do not expect that someone will push you from behind.
Communication is critical in many fields, sales included. Effective communication is the only way to organize productive and effective work within the company. As a sales manager, you should master both verbal and written communication to impact the team and achieve goals.
Communication helps empower people, explain the ultimate goal, and also coach them on the means to attain those goals. A manager should be able to establish rapport with every stakeholder, from a colleague to a client.
A great sales manager must be self-driven and motivated to do and achieve more. This internal drive is what pushes them forward and helps others progress as well. If a sales manager is not ambitious, the outcomes are usually very poor.
On the contrary, if a team sees their manager as a target-oriented, enthusiastic person, they will try to catch up with them. Usually, sales teams under an ambitious leader add greater value and generate extra profits for the company.
For every profession, there is a set of skills recommended to have if a person wants to be successful in their duties. They facilitate teamwork and the attainment of goals and make work a pleasant experience rather than a burden. Sales managers also have their own list of skills specific to their profession.
Since they combine analytical, managerial, and sales duties, the range of those skills is pretty diverse. Communication, active listening, and competitiveness help sales managers stay ambitious and lead teams. Problem-solving, proficiency in technologies, and other skills help them be good at what they are doing.