While many organizations focus on training and developing sales rep skills, sales leaders and managers are often overlooked. Sales manager skills include everything from coaching and overseeing their sales reps to building relationships with their clients.
Managers must figure out their sales leadership styles because they need to lead their sales reps while coaching them. Sales manager skills and competencies require a specific skill set. It can be hard to build relationships with your reps and clients, but sales managers need to achieve that.
Sales manager responsibilities
There are a number of responsibilities that fall under a sales manager’s role. These responsibilities require a specific set of skills and knowledge in order for them to be successful in the role. Let’s take a look at just a few common items:
Sales manager responsibilities include coaching reps because they will hit their productivity goals 20% more often with good coaching. High-quality coaching also allows reps to be more engaged with their jobs. Coaching and other sales leader responsibilities lead to increased revenue. As a sales manager, you can foster a stronger sales team.
Great sales managers also create training opportunities for your sales team. And according to a number of sales leaders, one of the best ways to train your sales team is to lean into each person’s strength. Shoehorning your sales reps into one method won’t work because each person excels in their own areas.
Targeted training allows you to create and assign different lesson plans, offering on-demand training to individuals and specific teams. The sales team relies on their managers for training, so it’s essential to create a plan for your employees. The most critical qualities and responsibilities of sales managers involve how well they handle their team.
Overseeing sales teams
Another part of the sales manager job description is overseeing their sales team. This means that sales managers may hold daily check-ins, set objectives for the day, and monitor progress. Regularly meeting with your sales team enables you to meet company quotas and standards. Make sure your team practices what you’ve trained, and use methods like talking with customers to hone those skills in the workplace.
Good sales managers set realistic goals for their sales team, and doing this requires a firm grasp of historical sales metrics. Generating reports also help your team stay on track. Recognizing each sales rep’s strength can help you figure out how to meet goals faster. Accessing each sales rep’s skills lets you determine who should handle what and who needs more help in specific areas. A sales team that knows its strengths will meet goals quicker and bring in more revenue.
Building relationships with customers
Another aspect highlighting the importance of sales manager jobs is the relationships they build with clients. When you have a rapport with your clients, they’re more likely to become return customers. Clients may even recommend your business because of how well you’ve treated them. By learning their needs, you can create enduring customer relationships. As a sales manager, it’s part of your job to make sure your clients are happy.
Now that we’ve covered sales manager responsibilities, let’s talk about their ideal skill sets.
10 essential sales leadership skills
1. Active listening
As a sales manager, you know you have to interact with your sales reps. Focusing intently on what your sales rep is saying fosters a stronger relationship with them and also alerts you to any problems they’re having. Interacting with your sales reps leads to building trust within your team and is an integral aspect of being an effective sales manager.
When you oversee people on a team, your employees might vary in experience. Sales managers need to work with industry veterans and people just getting started. A good sales manager uses sales leadership skills differently to fit who they’re training. Being a team leader means knowing your sales reps enough to understand how to work together and reach your goals.
3. Communication skills
Being a good communicator goes a long way. It’s an asset when you coach and train your sales team to build relationships with your clients. All the responsibilities sales managers have, like overseeing sales teams and going over goals, require good communication skills. Sharpening this ability will help you become a better leader.
Sales manager leadership skills are probably the most critical abilities to obtain. Sales managers head the sales team, and they set the objectives for their sales reps. When you’re a strong leader, your team finds it easier to follow your lead and learn from your training. Being able to inspire your sales team is an integral part of leadership. Having a solid vision and the ability to guide your sales team toward it results in higher revenue and better job satisfaction.
5. Performance management
It’s essential to track your sales reps’ progress and take care of developing issues. If performance problems go unchecked, it can affect your whole sales team. Therefore, a good sales manager must create a plan of action to solve these problems and increase each sales rep’s performance.
Sales manager strengths and weaknesses may depend on empathy because managers work with people all day. Knowing how to deal with each team member and what they’re going through is critical to good relations with your team. Other skills like active listening and communication are rooted in empathy, and honing this skill will create a positive work environment that boosts productivity.
7. A passion for mentoring
Just telling your sales reps they need to “close higher sales” isn’t very effective. When you know your team, and you’re passionate about teaching them, everyone achieves better productivity. Of course, you have to work with your team to accomplish goals, so mentoring and building your team is essential.
8. Time management
Sales managers have to juggle many different jobs, from managing sales teams to handling clients to working with technology. The skills of modern sales managers include a lot of work, but advanced time management can help. Being good at all the other responsibilities requires good time management skills. If you’re going to balance working with your sales reps, communicating with clients, and being the leader of a team, you need to know how to use your time effectively.
9. Emotional intelligence
While it’s vital to use emotional intelligence when talking with clients, it’s also essential to use it while training and interacting with your sales reps. Knowing what your employees are experiencing and where their weaknesses lie can help you work with them to create a positive environment. Motivating your team will increase productivity and, in turn, your revenue.
10. Hiring skills
While managers don’t often hire people, when they do, they must know how to choose the right person for the job. Hiring mistakes can be very costly and hard to fix, so honing this skill helps avoid that pitfall. Sales managers who choose the right person foster a more productive work environment.
How to develop sales manager skills
Now that you know some essential sales manager skills, why not perfect them? Lessonly by Seismic offers powerful and effective training tools to help teams learn, practice, and perform like never before. Never wonder how to hone the skills of an effective sales manager again. With our practice feature you can sharpen different job skills. We also make it easy to create streamlined and personalized coaching plans for your sales reps. Learn more here.