The sales manager is arguably one of the most important people in any office. Often when you are a smaller business, the entrepreneur or CEO doubles as a sales manager, and this can get a company so far, but not all the way.
6 Traits of an exceptional sales manager

Breeding a sales mentality amongst your team is imperative to ensuring that you company leverages it's position and people to aquire more sales, more often.

In businesses such as ours, we have to constantly rethink our sales strategy and what role our inside sales team plays in the business as it is the nursery for future marketing executives as well as being our first port of call for sales.

Marketing Eye has an inbound sales platform, and as such, we have not ever had a sales manager. But times are changing and we are wanting to be more aggressive in our growth strategy. To remain an industry leader, we need scale. It allows for us to create a platform where clients do business with each other - and unfortunately, that's a numbers game. While other parts of our office focus on quality control, it's our sales performance that will ultimately give us the freedom to employ more people and constantly improve our service delivery.

When looking at sales managers and what traits they need to have to create a high performance division, there were 6 traits that stood out:

  1. Recruitment: Sales managers need to know how to recruit the right, high performing people for their team. They need to understand what it takes to  be good at sales and what psychological profiling of team members needs to be done.
  2. Process orientated: Sales is a process. There are few old school sales teams that have remained relevant. Relying on personal relationships is not something that is sustainable and often companies that have not evolved their sales model have found that smaller competitors have taken market share away from them. From first point of contact through to on-boarding a client, the process for sales needs automation - in a plug and play platform scenario.
  3. Professional development: Good sales managers know how to develop their sales team and get the most out of their people. They nurture, grow and develop people in a way that sees them flourish and achieve results that may have first been thought of as being unachievable. Nothing feels better than getting a sale.
  4. Forecasting: Forecasting, setting budgets and benchmarking achievements is all part of the sales managers role. Their ability to push the limits, yet make them achievable is paramount to keeping their sales team motivated.
  5. Creating a culture of discipline: It's hard to keep a disciplined approach to sales as most sales people don't have this skill. Instead the hunt for sales and then when they achieve it, they either get back on the bike and hunt for more or they have a cooling off period. What is important is that any good sales manager is able to motivate their team to focus on the discipline around the sales process so that they can sell more.
  6. Integrity: Staying true to the company's values is imperative. If you have dodgy sales people, then that becomes part of your brand. Never sell something to someone who doesn't see the value or doesn't need your product or service. 



Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

4 comments

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  • Robin Disuza
    13/07/15

    Marketing is a good field for a career, making it provides the various opportunities by the different ways. You are saying about the traits of sales managers I agree with you. A person can make a good sales manager with these traits in own life. Presently I am working with a consulting firm and it is providing the Best Business Consulting Services in India so this information is more useful for me Thanks for providing important information.

  • Jesse
    Jesse
    13/07/15

    This is a good piece of insights for sale professionals. I really like the point of creating a culture of discipline. From my personal experience, when a sales person just focuses on getting as many prospects as they can without working on the process, the outcome may end up not getting deals closed. Focusing around the sale process means making good leap to bond with customers by understanding closely to their needs, their budget, roles of decision making or even if they (customers) have tried other similar options. Therefore, a sale person will be in much better position to provide products or services that best suit customers needs and increase their credibility.

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