Top 10 Must Have Sales Manager Quality for Sales Growth in 2023
Only with a well-functioning sales organization can companies survive today in the face of increasing market requirements and ever-increasing competitive pressure. An outstanding sales manager is a driving force and can also guarantee business success. Therefore, its role in a company's management structure is crucial.
The sales manager must be included in the strategic planning and implementation of the economic objectives. The sales process is part of the overall corporate strategy and should not be viewed as a separate task. For the sales manager, this means gaining insight into many company areas. Cooperation with marketing is particularly important.
How to become a great sales manager depends on many factors. Success in sales is a mixture of technical knowledge and practice. The 10 most important characteristics of a sales manager are described in more detail in the following article. If you follow these tips, you will be successful in sales.
1. Strategic skills for concept development and control of sales processes
The development of a sales strategy is a basic requirement for sales success. The ability to formulate sales goals based on data and analysis and integrate them into a strategy is one of the most important characteristics of a sales manager. For long-term success, developing sales measures and campaigns whose platform forms functioning customer relationships is necessary. The sales manager has to deal with questions about the specific needs of potential customers, what benefits their products or services can bring to the customer, and how the product is positioned on the market. Answering such questions requires an up-to-date and well-maintained database. Modern Customer relationship management systems (CRM) allow for analyzing all important sales campaigns, communicating with customers, and managing leads. Based on such data, the sales processes can be controlled so that target groups can be identified and classified. A balanced relationship between supply and demand is created.
At the same time, the analysis provides the opportunity to adapt and continuously develop the sales strategy.
2. Develop acquisition skills for the entire sales team.
For most salespeople, customer acquisition is the most difficult part of the sales process. A company's success often differs in how effectively the acquisition process is designed. A sales manager's most important characteristic is the ability to acquire customers. There is a whole range of options for acquisition, which in combination are promising.
Contacting potential prospects should include all options, from traditional telephone marketing, e-mail marketing, and your website, to customer acquisition via recommendations. Customer acquisition requires the development of certain routines to achieve a relevant success rate. All contacts are to be documented with the most important information in a CRM. Leads can be won and qualified with the right tools. Once leads have been generated, strategic action is required when making contact. One of the characteristics of a sales manager is that he or his employees transmit positive energy when talking to customers. This requires self-confidence in appearance, specialist knowledge, flexibility, and a good reason for making contact.
3. Create marketing expertise combined with market knowledge and competitive analysis.
One of the important characteristics of a sales manager is the acquisition of the necessary specialist knowledge. To plan sales activities, sales managers must acquire extensive marketing knowledge to analyze the competition. Market research is the basis for developing the sales strategy. Through this, potential sales markets are found, risks - such as a possibly existing major competitive situation - are recognized, possibilities for innovation for developing one's products or services are found, and risks are minimized.
Market research data is used to gain important information for a successful marketing mix and the sales success of one's products. Marketings well developed, he will orientate the sales goals to a structured marketing mix that covers all areas of marketing. This mix is based on four important pillars, named after the American Jerome McCarthy as "4P" for product, price, place, and promotion, and are referred to in German as product policy, price policy, distribution policy, and communication policy.
4. Communication is one of the essential qualities of a sales manager.
Communication is one of the elementary prerequisites for successful teamwork in every management position. Communication is particularly important in flexible work environments and the complex organizational structures of sales. Successful sales managers, therefore, use the diverse possibilities of modern technology. With the right collaboration tools, One-on-one and group meetings can be conducted without gathering the entire sales team in one place.
Coordination between the sales manager and employees is possible practically at any time through video chats or video conferences. When it comes to communication, however, it is about more than just using the available technical possibilities. Such meetings must include feedback on the work and the services provided. The sales manager's job is to motivate the team and talk about the visions for success. It is just as important to research the causes of missed goals. The ability to make an objective judgment about the sales work of the team and each employee,
5. Objectively measure sales team performance
There are key figures for the success of sales. By evaluating the performance of their employees, sales managers can conclude the effectiveness of sales activities and the sales team's efficiency. One of the basic characteristics of a sales manager is to acquire the ability to evaluate such key performance indicators (KPIs) correctly and to use them in a targeted manner.
One of those KPIs is time to sell. This measures the time it takes a sales rep to go from establishing a customer relationship to closing the sale. Using the right software tools can significantly reduce this period. Another objective measure of sales success is lead generation. By prioritizing qualified leads, which are gained through a suitable CRM, more qualified customer discussions can be held with higher chances of success.
To evaluate the performance of their own sales team, sales managers need sufficient mathematical and analytical skills to understand the company's financial reports. You need to understand the relationship between sales and profit and be able to conclude future sales strategies from the available data.
6. Empathy and emotional intelligence as indispensable qualities of a sales manager
The best sales managers have a high level of emotional intelligence and thus recognize their employees' and customers' emotions. A sales manager who personally knows and understands every single member of his team will be successful. The knowledge should not only include technical aspects, personal views and insights into private life are also important. When a team member's productivity drops, there should be a high level of trust between the sales manager and his or her rep to get to the root of the problem. Only employees with a high emotional bond will trust their team leader.
Empathy is also a key factor in building customer relationships and retaining them. One of the important characteristics of a salesperson is the ability to empathize with the customer, recognize their needs, and to be able to solve problems. This creates trust and satisfaction, a valuable prerequisite for long-lasting customer relationships.
7. Excellent expectation management to build genuine relationships with prospects
Building a genuine relationship with a prospect is a challenging task. However, one of the characteristics of a sales manager is precisely the ability to master this task. This requires a definition and precise planning of what is expected of the prospect at the next contact. It doesn't matter whether the next conversation takes place by phone, as a business chat, video call, or video conference. The right preparation is important.
The appointment's needs should be confirmed at the beginning of the meeting. If the prospect is convinced that this meeting is useful for him, there is a chance of a successful outcome. After the topic of conversation is fixed, it is about building trust. As a good sales manager, you should only promise what you can deliver because real professionals present the advantages of their products but do not make empty promises. After the meeting, the results will be documented and explained for analysis.
8. Good crisis management distinguishes a great sales manager.
Sales will only sometimes be successful. There will always be setbacks. For example, when a high-revenue customer switches to a competitor and a highly qualified sales representative leaves the company, the goals still need to be met, and the budget is cut.
At times like this, a sales leader needs to be able to take effective action to get the sales team back on track for success. Some characteristics of a sales manager are of great importance for managing crises. He must be able to identify crises and implement an early warning system as early as possible. Crises must not be hidden from the team but must be explained transparently. Sales staff's feedback and suggestions must be considered when designing possible solutions.
The sales team needs to focus on what is influenceable. This includes the regular analysis of customer reviews. An effective form of customer care can positively influence the management of crises.
Prolonged crises in sales require a realignment of projects and goals or the definition of new company values.
9. Develop strong coaching skills.
To become an outstanding sales leader, you must develop your coaching skills. There are two levels to consider. On the one hand, one's learning potential must be constantly questioned, and there must be a willingness to be coached, and on the other hand, the acquired knowledge must be passed on to the sales staff as trainers.
The fact that the sales manager can be coached means that he remains open to productive criticism of his performance. A good sales manager develops and improves his skills through feedback from the sales team or customer discussions.
Sharing one's knowledge and strong coaching skills is essential to building respect within one's sales team and is a key building block for lasting success. Coaching the sales staff is one of the key qualities of a sales manager, with which he can directly influence the qualitative development of his team. The recording of customer conversations and the subsequent evaluation in individual or group coaching can provide information about the individual skills of the salesperson. The inclusion of feedback from these evaluations provides important insights for the coaching.
10. Develop the art of presentation.
Undoubtedly one of the indispensable qualities of a sales manager: is the art of presentation. An attractive product presentation can be the basis for sales success. Especially in a competitive market with many competitors, it is important to present your product's unique selling points cleverly. The first requirement for an excellent presentation is acquiring the necessary product knowledge. Expertise and good preparation prevent the flow of the presentation from getting lost when questions are asked. Reading your tutorials and talking to the support team, which knows the current most common customer requests, is a good preparation. Building an in-house knowledge database, which stores the most important FAQs about your products, can be a great help when preparing presentations.
A good idea for the sales manager is to do the presentation in front of his sales team as a dry run. Here professionals are listeners who can ask specific questions. If you always have an answer ready as a speaker, you can go to the customer presentation with a clear conscience.
What is a sales manager?
A sales manager is responsible for selling the products manufactured or services the company offers. His work has a significant share in the economic success of the company. He is responsible for the team of sales staff, sets the sales targets for his employees, and is responsible for their qualifications.
What are the duties of a sales manager?
One of the most important tasks of a sales manager is the definition of sales goals. To achieve these goals, he is responsible for his sales team's technical guidance and qualification and customer advice. In addition to sales activities, his tasks include motivating the sales team and analytically evaluating the results of their work.
What special qualities characterize a good sales manager?
Good knowledge of the product is one of the special qualities of a sales manager in one's own company, the ability to analyze the market and assess the performance of the competition. With this knowledge and passion for his product range, he develops the right sales philosophy for his team.
What specific problems do B2B sales leaders deal with?
The B2B sales manager deals with special relationships with business customers. Since this area is usually about the largest company sales, the sales manager is responsible for building and maintaining long-term customer relationships. B2B sales leaders are responsible for determining the key sales metrics that determine the effectiveness of the sales process.