Qualities of a Great Sales Manager: Sales Manager Skills

Sales managers are professionals responsible for guiding and directing a team of sales professionals or reps. These experts need to be well-versed in the techniques used for successful selling, but they also need excellent leadership and communication skills.

Sales Manager Skills

Sales managers are motivational, inspirational, and experienced leaders in the sales environment. These professionals are involved with everything from hiring and recruitment, to performance management and sales coaching. Some of the most important skills required for a sales manager include:

Hiring, recruitment, and management skills

Sales managers need to know how to identify talented sales representatives during the recruitment process, and onboard them into a successful team. While sales managers might not extend a job offer to a candidate, they will help to identify the correct people for the job. These individuals are also involved in the management tasks required to ensure someone can thrive in a new sales role.
The skills of a sales manager will revolve heavily around performance management, and their ability to guide employees towards their goals, and enable each teach member to succeed.

Coaching and motivation

Professionals learning how to be a good sales manager also often need to learn how to become a good teacher. Sales managers are experts in their field, with extensive experience in a variety of sales techniques. The extensive knowledge of these professionals means they’re often involved in the coaching and training of sales representatives.

As leaders of a team, sales managers need to be able to simultaneously guide their employees and help them develop the right skills required for selling. This will also involve motivating staff members to continue working on their talents and striving to beat their quota.

Communication skills

One of the most important sales manager skills of all is communication. The majority of a sales manager’s job involves meeting with members of the team, connecting with people, and explaining things to others. As a sales manager, you need to know how to communicate not just with your colleagues, but with business leaders and stakeholders too.

A sales manager’s skills in communication will also influence their ability to thrive when it comes to customer relationship management. Sales managers will often play a part in helping to managing the existing relationships the companies have with clients.

Sales analysis and planning

A good sales manager will often be involved in planning the right strategies for improving sales. In order to direct teams properly, sales managers will need to be confident analyzing conversion data and financial reports. Confidence with analytics will make it easier to determine which sales strategies are driving the best results.

Following analysis, sales managers need the vision and confidence to define, implement, and maintain sales plans for their entire team. This will often involve sales forecasting, setting specific goals for team members, and researching potential opportunities.

Delegation and time management

Time is money in the sales landscape. Sales managers are often involved with a wide range of tasks throughout a business, which means they need to know how to manage their time effectively. A good sales manager will be able to prioritize tasks according to their importance and focus on getting specific projects completed before a deadline.

Sometimes, to maintain good time management, sales managers will also need to delegate tasks to other members of their team. This requires a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each salesperson, and an ethical approach to sharing opportunities between staff members.

Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are some of the most important sales manager skills. As a sales manager, you’ll need to be able to assess the potential of a prospect or sale without emotion. Rational, logical thinking involves listening carefully to prospects and asking them questions to determine possible next steps.

Sales managers also need to be able to solve problems creatively when they emerge. Sales strategies won’t always go according to plan, and the best professionals will know how to pivot quickly and respond rapidly to changes.

How Much Does A Sales Manager Make? Sales Manager Salary

The salary of a sales manager will depend on a number of factors, including where they live, and what kind of sales they’re involved in. Notably, a sales manager salary is usually made up of two elements: their base income, and the commissions they can earn each year.

In the United States for 2021, the average sales manager salary is usually around $72,565 per year, with the opportunity to access around $15,000 in cash bonuses per year, and $24,000 in commissions.

How To Improve Sales Manager Skills

For anyone wondering how to be a good sales manager, one of the most important things you can do is commit to consistently improving your skills and bettering your sales techniques. There are various ways to improve sales manager skills, such as:

  • Attending events: Attending industry events and networking with thought leaders is an excellent way to get insights into different sales strategies and how effective they can be. It’s also a chance to keep up with the changing state of the marketplace.
  • Taking courses: There are countless courses and educational experiences available for sales managers who want to become more successful. Learning how to use new sales techniques, or even how to become a better leader can improve the results of your career.
  • Take and give feedback: Good sales managers don’t just give feedback to their sales representatives; they also collect plenty of feedback too. Listening to the insights of others can be an excellent way to learn from your mistakes and decide which skills you may need to improve.

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