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Tips to Hire a Good Sales Manager

Published: June 26, 2019 In:

It’s important that your sales team has the right sales manager to lead because arguably nothing is more important than your sales team in your organization. It’s also a bit more complicated than just promoting a good salesperson; just because they’re good at sales, it doesn’t mean they’ll be a good manager. We’ve compiled some tips below to help you hire the best sales manager to lead your team.

1. Management Trumps Sales Ability

This is not the time to look for someone that has good personal sales skills, because you wouldn’t want your sales manager to be spending the majority of their time selling. Because the majority of their time will hopefully be spent on recruiting and managing the team, it’s more important to find someone with that skill set. If your organization is running things differently and wants a manager who spends half their time selling, then you may need to consider promoting a salesperson and develop them into a good manager, but this is not the recommended course of action. 


Your ideal sales manager should be able to recruit and develop his sales team to maximize their potential. A good sales manager will know that their team needs to be engaged to improve the effectiveness of their sales methods, so they will spend a lot of their efforts creating and maintaining an engaged and motivated workforce.

2. Initiative and Leadership

You should consider what kind of sales manager you want for your organization: will they be expected to execute a plan that has been developed by the senior partners, as many middle managers are, or is the goal that the sales manager is the creator and innovator to help develop the vision of the organization. These two roles are highly different and therefore should be filled by different candidates.

In any case, your sales manager should be innovative and constantly looking at ways to improve and motivate their sales team, as well as making good short and long term decisions for the well-being of the unit.

3. Responsibility Matches Authority

It’s important that your sales manager’s authority level is matched by his responsibilities. Your clients or sales team may have difficulty reporting to someone with high responsibility with a junior title, or an authoritative title with no mechanism to enforce their authority. A key recommendation comes from Nancy Milano, a hiring consultant at Brit Student and 1 Day 2 Write: “develop a clear job description with job responsibilities that leave no room for interpretation and give that job a matching title, so you avoid driving away skilled management candidates that are either intimidated by a high-level title or discouraged by the appearance of a junior-level position.”

4. Experience in Relevant Fields

It goes without saying that you should hire a sales manager with sales experience, for the same reason you wouldn’t hire a salesperson with no sales experience.


Sandra Heard, an HR manager at Next Coursework and Write My X, explains that you should still “leave room for exceptional candidates with a good background in a similar industry, but it’s quite crucial that your sales manager be familiar not only with managing a team, but also your field and sales methods.”

5. Interview Process

The interview process is a key part to hiring a sales manager, but it’s also the most difficult. Sales managers are usually very experienced in interview processes and know exactly what to say to check the right boxes.

Knowing socially accepted answers help candidates fake MCQ-based psychometric tests effortlessly and this reduces the accuracy of the behavioral analysis using such techniques.

So how can you interview them and get the real answers that will give you insight on the candidate? 

Talview Behavioral Insights world’s first job competency report that leverages psycho-linguistics, tone analysis and emotion recognition. It is derived from Video Interviews and textual inputs from assessments conducted on Talview Platform. Talview employs psycho-linguistics which is based on LIWC dictionary which is the gold standard in computerized text analysis.

You should also think about the other managers in the team that this candidate will interact with. Are they a good team player? Will they fit well with the rest of the organization? If you think they have potential to be a great manager but you think they may have a poor business relationship with operations unit, or another department head, it may be worth rethinking that hire. It can be useful to engage all the department heads in the process so you know your new sales manager will be a good fit for everyone.

Ellen Lawton is a writer and editor at Phd Kingdom and Academic Brits who enjoys sharing her knowledge of marketing and sales with others. She has mentored many businesses to help them create their marketing strategies and has written about this experience on multiple blogs and online magazines like Origin Writings. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and meditation and reading books about happiness and self-improvement.

Written by: Ellen Lawton

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