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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.

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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:

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