A sales manager is an employee that has the responsibility of guiding and leading a sales team in an organization. Their responsibilities include setting goals and quotas related to sales, preparing the sales plan, analysing sales data, training and motivating members of their sales team, and participating in the hiring and firing of members of their sales team.
B2B sales managers often have an added responsibility of having to make decisions regarding the sales strategies used in their companies. Shortfalls or any other blame related to sales rests will often rest on the shoulders of the sales manager.
For a sales manager to successfully lead their sales team toward achieving the goals set by their organization, the sale manager needs to possess specific business skills. These skills may vary based on the organization and the line of products and services involved, but here is a list of the top business skills that every sales manager should possess.
Confidence is attained when you understand your strengths as well as weaknesses. A confident sales manager will have a clear understanding of how to relate well with the people they manage on their sales team while still being able to successfully motivate them to achieve the goals and objectives set by the organization.
A sales manager receives a lot of information and data concerning the company’s products and services. A sales manager with strong analytical skills will be able to analyse this data and make smart business decisions and recommendations based on that data.
A sales manager must be a strong communicator. She should communicate effectively with her sales team, other company managers and executives, and business clients. Positive and effective communication between the sales manager and their sales team allows for a smooth flow of information, which in turn creates a conducive working environment that motivates the sales team to work towards achieving the organization's business goals and objectives.
With all of the amazing technology available for business communication and management, a sales manager needs to have strong computer and technology skills, and be very comfortable using different devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Strong technology skills will help the sales manager manage their sales team, communicate with company managers and executives and with clients, and proactively manage the entire sales lifecycle using software tools such as CRM systems and marketing automation.
A sales manager is the leader of their sales team. The sales manager should therefore possess strong leadership skills which include motivation, coaching, delegation, trustworthiness, and positivity. These skills help the sales manager create goals and share them with the sales team. These leadership skills also help the sales manager innovate and implement effective sales strategies which the sales team adopts and uses to achieve the set goals. A good leader acts as a positive role model to her team.
A sales manager who possesses the above skills in addition to others such as time consciousness, loyalty, emotional maturity and intellectual capacity tends to be exceptional in her work. Such a sales manager achieves the organization's business goals, providing exemplary results.
If you dream of taking this career path of becoming a sales manager, you need to make sure that you have or develop the skills discussed in this article and that our are always striving to improve your skills by educating yourself through books, classes, and other training programs.
For more information on becoming a sales manager, read our article on sales manager responsibilities.
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