<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/BMrLoP7RP9iWFy47ETpn" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
great-sales-manager

What It Takes to Be a Great Sales Manager

Authored by Chisom Uche on November 29, 2016

We talk a lot about the metrics and activities that great sales managers focus on but there is more to it than just quota attainment and metrics. The sales blogging world has created a ton of high-value content on what it takes to be a great sales manager and we would like to highlight a few of ourfavorite gems from the SalesHacker blog.


 

Qualities of Great Sales Managers

(From Matthew Bellows, "Top 10 Qualities of Great Sales Managers")

 

Confident

Sales managers don't get to where they are solely on luck. It takes continuously proven results to be granted the privilege of being in charge of a sales team. A great sales manager is confident in their deservingness to be in the position that they're in and to solve the challenges that come with being a manager.

 

Consistent

Consistency is one of the most important traits that a sales manager can be. Being consistent means sticking to agendas during meetings, being on time with starting and ending one-on-one's or sales huddles, and being fair across the board when it comes to dealing with sales reps that consistently don't want to abide by the team's sales strategy. A great sales manager is also consistently loyal to their team when they face sales challenges.

 

Loyal

As the old saying goes, "a good captain never abandons a sinking ship". The same applies to a sales manager and their sales team. When things look grim and results aren't as good as they could be, great sales managers don't throw their team under the bus. A sales manager stands with their team and works with each member to help increase the team's performance as a whole. A great manager must take accountability for the team's performance because, at the end of the day, the way a team performs has a lot to do with how you manage.

 

Activities of a Great Sales Manager

(From Gabriel Luna-Osteseski's "12 Tips for Managing a High-Performing Sales Team")

 

Set the Bar High - Andrew Riesenfeld

Great sales managers don't settle for average performance. They strive to make their team accomplish more than they believe is possible. This gives them a sense of purpose and challenges them to constantly improve their selling skills.

 

Training Matters - David Baga

With great expectations comes the requirement to have a great sales team. Unfortunately, sales superstars usually aren't born that way and most of your sales team will need consistent coaching in order to excel. A great manager knows how important it is to create and abide by a formal sales coaching strategy. They also know how important it is to have coaching be a consistent occurrence and not just when sales reps show signs of struggling.

 

Design a Transparent Organization - David Baga

A great sales manager knows how to make everyone on the team feel like that have a personal stake in the success of the team, that means everything must be transparent. A surprise to you should be a surprise to everyone on your sales team. If you know something about the forecast, quota, or the general sales organization and you're holding that back from the team then you're being a poor leader. Sometimes you may not know what your team doesn't know, at the very least it is important that you, as a sales manager, have enabled your sales team to know where to go in order to get the answers they need.


Being a sales manager can be a tough job, but there are so many things in your control that you can do to make it easier. Sometimes you will miss numbers, sometimes you'll have high-performing sales reps that are poor team players, and sometimes you will just have an all around awesome sales team. No matter what happens, just know that you're there to support the team and help each rep be the best they can be.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

June 29, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Pipeline Monitoring & Closing Deals

This blog provides more details into the final two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Monitor the sales pipeline from different perspectives depending on the users role (sales rep, sales management, sales opperations, sales leadership) Focus on closing the best leads, nurturing the new leads and “close loss” opportunities as soon as possible Monitor the pipeline from different perspectives  The sales pipeline is the beating heart of the sales process and the revenue engine. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

June 17, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Proactive Follow Up & Content Delivery

This blog provides more details into the next two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Proactive follow up on opportunities in the sales pipeline Proactive delivery of the right sales content and insights to members of the buying team and guidance to the sales team It may feel like these two best practices could be consolidated into one called proactive selling. Both could be handled via alerting and prompting solutions or optimized with a process we call “Alerts Requiring Action”.    However, there are subtle differences between the two that make a big impact on sales.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, guide winning behaviors, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

May 15, 2020

Best Practices For B2B Sales-Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement

This blog reviews best practices related to two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the previous blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: The ability to easily update the sales pipeline on a regular basis Sales process review and improvement An accurate sales forecast requires an accurate, timely and always up-to-data sales pipeline.  This data includes up-to-date: sales activity and buyer/seller interactions; buying team members and roles; opportunity descriptors and attributes; and company descriptors and attributes, in the CRM.  It also includes integrated reporting from the CRM to produce the sales pipeline, porting CRM information to Excel is not an option. ...

Pipeline Optimization, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

April 14, 2020

Avoiding A Horrific June Sales Quarter: Sales Pipeline in Crisis

Our current economic climate feels all too similar to the great recession of 2008.  We knew the story back then, “Work harder and sell less.” That is all we could do, we didn’t have the technology to help mitigate the impact of the great recession by better sales pipeline visibility and better cost control by understanding what is “real” in our sales pipeline. This time around we will have to work just as hard, but if we work smarter with the help of technology we could even the playing field and even sell a bit more. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Sales Pipeline Visibility

March 28, 2020

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team!

Jim Eberlin is founder of TopOPPS.  Jim posted this blog on Linkedin.  It was just a few weeks ago that I was preaching that in order to stay on top of things to give my team and customers what they needed, solve problems and make sure things don't fall through the cracks - I had to be in person.  Obviously that has changed - like it or not. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

March 23, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales-Company Attributes

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about accounts [companies] where you have sales opportunities or are targeting for a sales opportunity.     This blog is the fifth blog in the series “Best Practices for B2B Sales”.  The first blog organized the best practices along five key areas. The second blog divided up the first area, data access, into four key areas.  This blog focuses on the last area of data access and collection. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

March 9, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices