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Leading the Pack

Have you got what it takes to lead your sales team to success? Find out which qualities our experts picked as must-haves for sales management.
May 1, 2004

At the wizened age of 27, I became a staff manager for the first time. All Type-A bluster and bravado, I thought that simply relaying my wishes would be enough to get stuff done. Au contraire--I soon found that it takes much more than smarts and expertise to manage. It requires great empathy, mucho compromise, and a willingness to play traffic cop to discord in the ranks.

I asked entrepreneurs and experts what personality characteristics a sales manager needs to run an entrepreneurial sales force. Whether you're managing your sales staff yourself or hiring someone to do it for you, these are the qualities you'll need:

Pinnacle Group International conducted a study in November 2003 to determine the management styles, motivators and temperaments of successful sales managers in small companies (those with less than $15 million in sales). According to the results, top sales managers tended to have an entrepreneurial, hands-on management style. They also relied on coaching and upgraded hiring standards to improve the sales team, and used prospecting and cold-calling to increase sales.

Kimberly L. Mccall (Marketing Angel) is president of McCall Media & Marketing Inc. and author of Sell It, Baby! Marketing Angel's 37 Down-to-Earth & Practical How-To's on Marketing, Branding & Sales.