The top 7 Skills Every Sales Manager Needs

As a sales manager, your role is pivotal in the success of your organization. You are entrusted with the responsibility of leading a team that is not only accountable for generating revenue but also plays a crucial role in driving the growth and sustainability of the business. To excel in this challenging position, you must possess a unique blend of skills that enable you to effectively lead your team and deliver outstanding sales performance.

sales manager skills

In this article, we will discuss the top seven skills that every sales manager should possess. These skills encompass a wide range of abilities, from strategic thinking and leadership to communication and analytical acumen. By mastering these key competencies, you will be equipped to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of sales, build strong relationships with clients, motivate your team, and ultimately achieve remarkable results for your organization.

The top 7 skills every sales manager should have:


Strong leadership

When it comes to being a successful sales manager, strong leadership skills are an absolute must-have. A sales manager is responsible for leading their team to success and achieving the company’s sales goals. They need to be able to motivate and inspire their team, create a positive work environment, and lead by example.

One of the key components of strong leadership in sales management is setting clear expectations. The sales manager needs to clearly communicate what is expected of their team, including specific targets and goals.

This gives the team a clear understanding of what they are working towards and helps them stay motivated throughout the process. Additionally, setting clear expectations allows the sales manager to hold each member accountable for their performance.

By doing so, they can identify areas where individuals may need additional training or coaching to improve their sales performance. Another important aspect of leadership in sales management is providing support and guidance for their team members.

Sales can be a challenging field that requires resilience and determination. A good leader recognizes this and provides support for those who may be struggling with their performance or feeling discouraged.

This can come in many forms, such as offering additional training or coaching sessions, providing resources to aid in prospecting or closing deals, or simply offering encouragement through positive feedback and recognition for a job well done. Strong leadership skills are crucial for any successful sales manager.

They must set clear expectations while also providing support and guidance for their team members throughout the ups and downs of the job. With these skills in hand, a great leader can inspire his or her team to achieve greater heights in terms of both individual growth and overall success within the company’s broader goals.

Effective communication

Effective communication is a critical component of success for any sales manager. When managing a team of salespeople, it’s essential to communicate clearly and effectively to ensure everyone understands their goals and responsibilities. Additionally, effective communication can help improve sales performance by ensuring that everyone is aware of the latest trends, strategies, and tactics in the industry.

One aspect of effective communication is active listening. As a sales manager, it’s important to listen carefully to your team’s feedback and concerns so you can understand their perspective and work with them more effectively.

Active listening involves not just hearing what someone says but also trying to understand their meaning and identifying any underlying concerns or issues. By actively listening to your team members, you can build stronger relationships based on trust and mutual respect.

Another vital aspect of effective communication is clear speaking. As a leader, you need to be able to articulate your expectations clearly so that your team knows exactly what they need to do.

This means being concise and using simple language that everyone can understand. Additionally, good communication requires empathy.

You need to be able to put yourself in your team members’ shoes so that you can see things from their perspective and communicate with them in a way that resonates with them. In short, as a sales manager, effective communication skills are essential for building strong relationships with your team members and achieving success together!

Deal strategy

As a sales manager, one of your key responsibilities is to develop effective deal strategies that will help your team close more deals. This requires a deep understanding of your target market, the competitive landscape, and your own product or service offerings. Here are some tips for crafting winning deal strategies:

Firstly, make sure you’re clear on the sales performance metrics that you’re targeting with each deal. Is it revenue?

Profit margin? Number of units sold?

Understanding this will help you prioritize which deals to pursue and how to approach them. Secondly, take the time to research your target customer and understand their pain points and priorities.

What are they looking for in a solution? How does your product or service address those needs?

Use this information to tailor your messaging and positioning for each deal opportunity. Thirdly, be aware of the competitive landscape.

Who else is offering similar solutions in the market? What advantages does your product or service have over theirs?

Be prepared to articulate these differences when talking with potential customers. Work closely with your sales team to ensure they have the training and support they need to execute on the deal strategy effectively.

This may involve coaching them on negotiation skills or providing access to additional resources such as case studies or customer references. As a sales manager, it’s ultimately up to you to set the tone for effective deal strategy development across your organization.

Time management

Effective time management is one of the most essential skills a sales manager can have. Sales managers are often juggling multiple responsibilities, including managing a team of salespeople, forecasting sales, and creating reports to share with upper management.

To be successful in this role, it’s important to prioritize tasks and manage time wisely. One way that sales managers can improve their time management skills is by setting clear goals for themselves and their team.

This involves breaking down larger projects into smaller tasks and setting deadlines for each one. By doing this, the sales manager can keep track of progress and ensure that everyone is on track to meet their goals.

Another key aspect of time management is effectively delegating tasks to other members of the team. This means identifying each person’s strengths and weaknesses and assigning tasks accordingly.

For example, if one team member excels at cold calling prospects but struggles with closing deals, the sales manager may assign them more cold-calling responsibilities while assigning someone else on the team to handle follow-up calls or negotiations. Overall, effective time management requires prioritization, goal-setting, and delegation skills along with the ability to customize workloads based on individual strengths for optimal Sales performance results.

Training and coaching

One of the essential skills a successful sales manager must possess is the ability to train and coach their team effectively. Leadership doesn’t simply mean directing a group of people, but it also means empowering them through proper training.

Training and coaching are critical tools that can help build each salesperson’s skills, confidence, and overall sales performance. Salespeople need ongoing training to stay up-to-date with new products, new selling techniques, and industry trends.

A good sales manager should identify gaps in their team’s knowledge or performance and provide targeted coaching sessions to address those weaknesses. Moreover, a great coach understands different learning styles and adapts their teaching approach accordingly.

Some may learn best through visuals or role-play scenarios, while others need more hands-on experience or written instructions. By offering tailored training programs to different individuals based on their unique learning needs, senior leaders can instill confidence in each team member and drive overall sales results.

Creating sales plans and processes

Creating sales plans and processesis a critical aspect of any successful sales team. It involves putting together a comprehensive plan that outlines the necessary steps for acquiring customers, tracking leads, and closing deals.

A well-designed sales process can help sales managers ensure that their team is working efficiently, effectively, and productively. A significant part of creating a successful sales process involves establishing clear goals and objectives.

Sales managers need to work closely with their team to identify the key metrics that will drive success within their organization. This may involve identifying key performance indicators such as conversion rates or lead generation targets to track progress over time.

By setting clear goals, sales managers can motivate their team and monitor progress towards meeting these objectives regularly. Additionally, it’s essential to have a system in place for tracking progress towards these goals so that adjustments can be made if needed.

By using data-driven insights to inform decision-making, sales managers can optimize their process for maximum efficiency and effectiveness while also creating a culture of accountability among the team members. Another crucial element of creating an effective sales process is providing training and support for your team members.

A well-trained team is more likely to succeed than one left without guidance or direction. Sales managers must take the time to coach new hires on how best to execute the company’s sales process properly; this ensures consistency across all members of the organization while also enabling individuals’ personal growth in their roles.

Furthermore, it’s essential not only to train new hires but also offer ongoing coaching opportunities along with regular feedback sessions as they work through different stages within your company’s selling strategy. Creating an effective sales plan goes beyond having a checklist in place; it requires building an actionable playbook that identifies what needs improvement based on data analysis from past performances of your staff members’ efforts while providing adequate training and coaching opportunities along with regular feedback sessions so everyone knows where they stand regarding reaching company goals/objectives set out by leadership roles together throughout the process.

Forecasting sales and creating reports

Forecasting sales and creating reports are two of the most critical skills that a sales manager should possess. A good sales manager should have the ability to analyze data, identify trends, and use this information to predict future sales.

Forecasting is not only essential for developing a sound strategy but also for providing critical information to upper management for decision-making purposes. By regularly reviewing and updating forecasts, a sales manager can make more informed decisions regarding staffing, inventory levels, and budgeting while also ensuring that their team is aligned with the company goals.

Creating reports is another critical skill that any successful sales manager must possess. Reports are necessary to provide essential information on Sales performance, key markets, new customer acquisition among others.

Leadership can use these reports to evaluate progress against KPIs (key performance indicators) such as revenue growth and customer acquisition rate. Sales managers can use them as a coaching tool by identifying areas where their team needs training or additional support in certain markets or products.

In addition to coaching and strategy development purposes, these reports serve an important role in communicating performance results across the organization and improving transparency at all levels. Both forecasting sales and creating reports are crucial skills for any competent Sales Manager.

The ability to predict future performance based on historical data analysis helps leaders make informed decisions impacting staffing levels or budget allocation while communication of progress through detailed reporting builds trust within organizations towards leaders’ actions taken towards achieving set goals. These skills ultimately enable a Sales Manager’s success in maximizing overall revenue and profits for the business they operate within.


Sales performance is critical to the overall success of any business. As a sales manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team is equipped with the necessary skills and resources needed to excel in their roles. The seven skills outlined above are essential for every sales manager to have in order to lead their team effectively.

Leadership is crucial in creating a strong and successful sales team. It’s important to inspire and motivate your team with clear goals, expectations, and feedback.

Effective communication goes hand in hand with this; being able to communicate clearly and efficiently can help ensure everyone on the team is on board with the vision and direction of the company. Training should be a continuous process for any sales manager.

Encouraging growth within your team through training opportunities will not only benefit their personal development but also boost sales performance overall. Creating effective strategies, managing time wisely, developing strong sales plans and processes, forecasting potential outcomes, and providing coaching are all key components of training that will equip your team for success.

By focusing on these seven skills as a sales manager, you can create a thriving environment where everyone on your team can thrive and achieve their goals together. Remember that while it may take some time to develop these skills fully as an individual leader, consistently working towards them will ultimately lead to better outcomes for yourself as well as those you manage!