Not many companies give traits much thought. Chances are that an existing sales manager was promoted, left the company or was flat out fired. The company is in panic mode so they look at the salespeople and pick one to be the next sales manager.
Here is a reasonable list of qualities a good sales manager should have:
2. Good listening skills.
3. Good writing skills.
4. Organizational skills.
5. A strong personality but not an overpowering one.
6. A strong ego but one that falls way short of arrogance.
7. The ability to critique without damaging the ego of a salesperson.
8. The ability to establish trust with salespeople.
9. Fairness, i.e. not playing favorites among the salespeople.
10. The desire and the need to help others grow and achieve success.
Although this is not a quality, sales managers should have the common sense to hire salespeople who are better salespeople than they were. The answer is pretty simple. The better the hire the better the manager looks. Why don’t sales managers hire more accomplished sales people? It’s easier to control weak reps; there will be no contests of will with wimpy reps; the sales manager does not like to share the spotlight. And, the list goes on. I had two goals as a sales manager: One, make a lot of money and two, always be the best sales division.
The Final Word: If you don’t do it right sales management can be like herding cats!