Sales manager key skills and competencies for assessment and development.
Are you interested in using a model of sales manager key skills and competencies for assessment, selection, or development?
Sales manager competencies provide a framework and benchmark for appraisal and development of existing staff as well as assessment of new hire candidates.
There are many benefits available to those who make competence models a central pillar of their business. Appraisals become more transparent, balanced, and fair. Selection can be based on verifiable knowledge, abilities, and habits. And staff can be expected to take the initiative for their own development.
Better management, lower staff turnover, and more motivated people all contribute to increased sales and profits.
You can use the twenty-one sales manager key skills and competencies summarised below as a base for developing your own sales manager competence model.
Take a shortcut. Have us do the work for you. We have done it before so we can help you get there, faster. Schedule a call with Clive Miller, here, to explore the potential.
Learn More about key sales manager skills and modelling competencies.
Twenty-One Sales Manager Key Skills and Competencies:
1. Answering Common Customer Questions
Setting an example and providing leadership is reflected in a manager's ability to answer important customer questions.
There are six common questions that buyers have in mind when considering new purchases or suppliers.
Managers who use good answers inspire confidence, lead by example, and help their team members communicate with more credibility and confidence.
See the questions here.
Schedule a call to test your answers here.
Have Clive Miller lead a one-hour virtual workshop to optimise your top six answers. Learn more.
2. Market and Industry Understanding
Managers who have expert knowledge of the market and industry that they operate in, find it easier to maintain or improve the same knowledge in their staff.
By being an expert, they inspire those around them to increase their expertise. Expert market and industry understanding, helps salespeople develop important contacts and recognise worthwhile opportunities. It helps them establish credibility, communicate value, and develop trust.
3. Customer and Prospect Understanding
Managers who understand business and in particular, the types of business their staff are selling to can inspire staff to adopt the same diligence in their dealings with specific customers. The ability to persuade depends on understanding. Knowing how a customer’s business works, helps salespeople position the value they offer and acquire trusted advisor status. Those with such knowledge are in a much better position to have candid conversations with salespeople about qualification and forecasting issues.
4. Company Understanding
Managers who know their company's goals, objectives, strategy, needs, strengths, and weaknesses understand the capabilities and resources available to address the market opportunities and are better placed to guide staff.
Test sales knowledge with our free assessment.
Have us prepare onboarding and learning materials for your markets, customers, sales prospects, and company. Learn more.
5. Selecting the Right Salespeople
Those who are able to choose the right salespeople, significantly reduce dependence on most other sales manager competencies.
Takes our Hire Top Performers course, one-to-one. or as a group.
6. Setting the Right Expectations
People who know precisely what is expected of them, in terms of behaviour as well as results, are more likely to achieve the desired outcomes.
Learn how to use a Responsibilities and Tasks template.
7. Affecting Motivation
Rewards and payments aside, people do things for their own reasons. The ability to leverage Intrinsic motivators enables managers to affect motivation without spending money.
Take our free Sales Motivation Assessment.
Explore individual differences and motivations in a one-hour workshop.
8. Inspiring Development
The only lasting source of competitive advantage is to get better faster than competitors. This applies to soft skills and methods just as much to products and services.
Inspire your team through a series of virtual self-development workshops.
Use our free sales exam assessments.
Assess sales management practices.
9. Change Management
Change is inevitable. Creating a work environment where staff embrace change and take advantage of it, is an important aspect of success.
Change Management is a module in our sales management course. Take the course or just the modules that you need.
10. Choosing the Right Management Style
Good communication skills are a foundation stone of management. Yet what constitutes good communication is circumstance and listener-dependent. Management style should take account of circumstances and personalities.
Management style and adapting for personality are modules in our sales management course. Take the course or just the modules that you need.
11. Managing Performance
The real test comes when performance is behind the target. Bullying tactics and threats are almost always counterproductive. Managers need to arrange things so that they get an advanced warning when any aspect of sales performance is weakening. They need to know the factors that impact sales performance and be able to influence them. And when things do get out of control they need to know how to get performance back on track.
How to conduct a sales performance evaluation.
12. Motivating Admonishment
No manager can remain effective for long without needing to admonish behaviour or performance. Poorly done, admonishment makes things worse. Correctly done, it strengthens relationships as well as correcting misalignment.
Motivating admonishment is a module in our sales management course. Take the course or just the modules that you need.
13. Managing Opportunity Qualification
Doing things right is a waste of time if those selling don’t first choose the right things to do. Qualification has a substantial impact on success. Managers who improve sales opportunity qualification, increase results.
There are 15 quantifiable enquiries that score the likelihood of winning any B2B sale. Do you know what they are? Are you using them to eliminate the guesswork?
Try our free Sales Win Predictor.
14. Managing Forecast Accuracy
Apart from an accurate forecast being essential for good business management, it also helps a manager marshal resources to maximise results.
There are four distinct pillars that underpin an accurate sales forecast. They are the sales stage, the sales stage conversion rate, quantified qualification, and the salesperson's confidence.
Learn how to use the four pillars in a one-hour one-to-one call or group workshop.
15. Managing the Sales Process
Using a system or method that has proved effective elsewhere provides a benchmark for measuring progress and a common language for communicating internally. Frameworks and checklists help people avoid mistakes and develop better methods.
16. Understanding Strategy
Since managers are almost always directly involved in higher value opportunities and such deals almost always depend on the work of several people, understanding how to use competitive strategy to keep a team focused on the right actions, is a considerable advantage.
Competitive strategy is a module in our Winning Complex Sales course. Have us deliver just the strategy module, one-to-one or for a group.
17. Understanding Politics in Organisations
As for strategy, higher-value deals almost always involve a number of people in a customer's organisation and consequently, higher-value decisions are almost always entangled with an organisation's politics. Understanding politics in customer organisations gives a sales manager a considerable advantage.
Understanding organisational politics is a module in our Winning Complex Sales course. Have us deliver just the politics module, one-to-one or for a group.
18. Problem Solving and Dealing with Obstacles
Traditional selling skills remain important in a sales manager competence model because it is sometimes necessary to lead from the front. Sales managers may need to demonstrate better planning, communication skills, objection handling, negotiation, and closing skills.
19. Pipeline Management
If marketing activities don't generate enough leads and enquiries, salespeople must be able to find their own. Effective and efficient prospecting can make all the difference when business is hard to come by. Managers who can help staff overcome these challenges are less likely to suffer from a dwindling pipeline.
20. Managing Meetings
Motivating internal meetings are a boon that builds motivation and momentum. Badly managed internal meetings have the opposite effect.
Managing Meetings is a module in our sales management course. Take the course or just the modules that you need.
21. Organisation and Time Management
Making good use of the time available is an important part of management success.
Take a one-to-one coaching programme to develop better organisation and time management habits.
If you need a customised model of sales manager key skills and competencies, a sales manager assessment tool, or sales management training, get in touch. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to learn about your needs and talk through some options. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.