A great salesperson would typically mean that they are able to work independently; they’re a go-getter who can achieve and succeed without direction from others.
A good sales manager is a good coach, someone who can motivate people to sell, someone who listens and puts their needs secondary to the needs of the sales staff. Good sales managers also need to work well with people.
The sales manager must also be able to deal with individual personalities, egos and skill levels. They have to do this in a high pressure environment, because the success of the sales staff and whether they meet monthly or annual targets is often placed on their shoulders.
Good salespeople come from all walks of life. Some have Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees; though regardless of what degree or educational background they come from, sales managers essentially require an additional skill set to succeed in their position:
- Be an effective listener than a good talker.
- Be a coach first and a salesperson second. That includes creating performance reviews that can lead to future success and generating ideas on how to better sell the product or service or work with certain clients.
- Have superior people, conflict-resolution and analysis skills.
- Know the individual strengths and weaknesses of every salesperson.
- Know how to match your people with your customers. Different strategies and tactics work for different customers.