Working Habits of a Good Sales Manager That Actually Work

Discover the top working habits of successful sales managers. Increase revenue & improve collaboration within your sales team

May 9, 2023
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

A successful sales team is often the driving force behind a company's growth. And the presence of a competent sales manager is a critical factor in that success. 

A competent manager can build and sustain working habits that lead to increased revenue and greater collaboration within the sales team and with other departments.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll look at how to become a good manager, as well as the habits that every sales manager should implement into their workflow to flourish at managing their sales team.

We'll cover the following:

  • What are the 4 elements of sales management?
  • What are the 3 Cs of effective sales?
  • What are good sales habits?
  • What makes a good sales manager
  • What are the 7 basic managerial functions of a sales manager?

First, a little groundwork…

What is Sales Management?

Sales management is leading a sales team to meet the company's goals. It includes creating plans, organizing the team, hiring new members, training them, motivating them, and keeping track of their performance.

What are the 4 elements of sales management?

The four elements of sales management are sales strategy, sales operations, sales leadership, and sales analytics.

1. Sales strategy

Sales strategy is establishing objectives, devising plans, and designing a road map for accomplishing sales goals. It requires a detailed understanding of the market, your target audience, and the company's products or services. 

For instance, let's say your line of Android phones is moving well, and your salespeople are racking up those numbers. A good sales manager wouldn't stop there. They'll instruct their team to cross-sell complementary accessories, like tripods or gimbals, for content creation.

That’s part of a sales strategy.

Other vital components of any sales strategy include:

  • Creating sales goals and quotas for each team member
  • Competitive analysis and product/service differentiation
  • Market segmentation and client identification
  • Making individual sales plans and approaches for each market segment
  • Putting together a sales estimate and budget
  • Prioritizing continuous learning and development for themselves and their team members

A well-crafted sales strategy allows the team to focus on high-priority activities while ensuring that resources are appropriately deployed.

2. Sales operations

The sales process involves implementing procedures, frameworks, and instruments that facilitate successful and efficient sales execution. The sales process is what makes or breaks your sales quota. If your process is long and tedious, it becomes a problem for your team and prospects. 

A 2022 Gartner survey revealed that 72% of sales leaders prioritize improving their sales processes. This includes streamlining communication between sales and other divisions, maximizing the sales process, and using technology effectively. Critical aspects of sales operations include:

- Streamlining the sales process and reducing administrative tasks

- Implementing sales tools into the workflow

- Coordinating with marketing, customer support, and product teams

- Analyzing sales data and metrics to identify opportunities for improvement

As a sales manager, your team should be able to work without your supervision, and your sales process or operation guarantees this. It's crucial that you make it simple and flexible. This does not mean you don't supervise, no. On the contrary, supervision is another sales element to watch out for. We will discuss it below.

3. Sales leadership

Sales leadership involves inspiring and guiding the sales team to achieve its objectives. A strong sales manager creates an environment where team members feel supported, empowered, and driven to succeed. Critical components of sales leadership include:

  • Setting clear expectations and communicating the firm's mission and goals
  • Showing how to achieve said goals
  • Leveraging the strengths of your team members and providing support for growth
  • Encouraging collaboration and creating a positive team culture via ongoing coaching, mentoring, open communication, and feedback to team members
  • Acknowledging and applauding individual and collective achievements

For example, a sales manager at a SaaS firm may arrange team meetings twice a week, rather than daily, to discuss progress, celebrate triumphs, and address issues. They may also offer one-on-one coaching to team members to assist them in developing their abilities, identifying areas for improvement, and setting personal objectives. In addition, to inspire and reward outstanding performance, the sales manager may develop incentive programs and recognition efforts.

4. Sales analytics

Sales analytics is the act of monitoring, measuring, and evaluating sales performance/metrics to make educated decisions and modifications. This component guarantees that the sales team stays on track and continuously improves performance. Important aspects of sales analytics include:

  • Monitoring sales metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Conducting regular performance reviews and providing constructive feedback
  • Identifying gaps and implementing corrective actions
  • Continuously refining sales strategies based on data-driven insights

A sales manager in a retail organization may monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales volume, average deal size, and conversion rate to evaluate the team's effectiveness

They may also conduct quarterly performance evaluations with each team member to discuss progress, identify areas for growth, and establish new targets. Sales managers may spot trends and patterns in sales data, such as seasonality or the most efficient sales channels, and adapt their strategy appropriately by studying sales data.

What are the 3 Cs of effective sales?

The 3 Cs of effective sales are Communication, Collaboration, and Consistency. Each of these components is critical to the overall functioning of a sales team and is strongly related to the responsibilities of a good sales manager.

1. Communication

Communication is the foundation of effective sales interactions because it helps sales professionals to connect with prospects, understand their needs, and provide solutions successfully. Effective communication also needs active listening, empathy, and the ability to communicate information simply and convincingly.

A sales representative who can actively communicate the benefits of their product or service to a prospect is more likely to close a deal, as they can address the prospect's concerns and demonstrate the value of their offering.

Studies show that 56% of sales leaders say the best way to acquire a client's trust is to be involved and attentive. Sales managers who prioritize the development of emotional intelligence within their team can create a more empathetic and effective sales force.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration allows team members to exchange knowledge within the team and with other departments, resulting in a more unified and effective sales process.

A sales manager who collaborates with the marketing team to develop targeted messaging and collateral for a specific target can increase their chances of closing a deal, as they can present a more tailored and compelling sales pitch.

3. Consistency

Consistency guarantees that sales professionals follow a planned and established procedure, allowing them to produce predictable outcomes. Adhering to best practices, keeping a solid sales pipeline, and constantly refining and upgrading sales techniques all contribute to consistency.

A sales representative who consistently follows up with prospects, conducts thorough needs assessments, and presents tailored solutions is likelier to build trust with their clients and close deals than a sales professional who takes a more ad hoc approach.

Now we know all the factors that lead to successful sales and sales management; we'll examine what habits your sales manager can cultivate to ensure these factors are present in your sales team.

What makes a good sales manager?

Strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills are some unique abilities a good sales manager possesses. Here, we'll go over what makes a good manager and which personality traits of a manager and leader help support these abilities.

1. Strong leadership skills

A good sales manager demonstrates strong leadership skills, guiding their team with a clear vision and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. They lead by example, setting high standards for themselves and their team, and create a positive work environment that encourages growth and collaboration.

For instance, one of your team members is not meeting their quota. Instead of scolding and threatening to reduce their commission, you can have them shadow you, so they'll know how to handle sales better. 

Personality traits: Decisiveness, confidence, assertiveness, and empathy.

2. Effective communication

A good sales manager is skilled at both verbal and written communication. They can concisely communicate their thoughts and expectations, ensuring their team knows the business' aims and objectives. They are also great listeners who actively participate in conversations and elicit input from their team members — two-way communication.

Personality traits: Active listening, clarity, adaptability, and openness.

3. Strategic thinking and problem-solving

Good sales managers think strategically and understand difficult circumstances. They may create long-term sales strategies, detect possible stumbling blocks, and build methods to overcome problems. They are also competent problem solvers who can resolve difficulties swiftly and efficiently, reducing the impact on their team’s performance of their team.

Personality traits: Analytical, innovative, creative, and resourceful.

4. Results-driven approach

Successful sales managers are focused on achieving results and driving their team's performance. They set clear expectations, hold team members accountable for their actions, and use data-driven insights to make informed decisions. 

They are also adaptable and willing to make adjustments. 

For instance, if a particular training program is complex for some of their salespeople, good managers won't jump to replace them. Instead, they'll find out what is causing the difficulty and tweak the program to accommodate everyone. Who knows? You might gain tremendous insight from the adjustment.

Personality traits: Goal-oriented, driven, persistent, and adaptable.

5. Emotional intelligence

Successful sales managers have strong emotional intelligence, which allows them to understand their own emotions, the emotions of their team members, and, subsequently, the clients.

Personality traits: Empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and social skills.

6. Team building and motivation

Effective sales managers can develop strong, cohesive teams through motivation and engagement. They acknowledge each team member's unique skills and shortcomings, create opportunities for growth and development, and celebrate individual and team triumphs.

A good sales manager will know when the team is slipping and catch them before it becomes too late.

What are the 7 basic managerial functions of a sales manager?

A sales manager's primary role is to oversee and guide the team. To do so effectively, they must be adept in the following seven managerial functions:

1. Planning

Sales managers must set clear goals and establish a roadmap for their team. This plan includes defining sales targets, developing strategies, and creating a sales plan. According to a LinkedIn poll, 72% of top-performing sellers use buyer-first selling and prioritize the demands of their consumers. Your sales manager should bear this in mind when strategizing.

2. Organizing

Sales managers must provide a controlled workplace that encourages efficiency and production. It will involve work delegation, territory assignment, and establishing a reporting system.

3. Hiring

A sales manager is responsible for finding, training, and retaining top salespeople. They are also in charge of making sure these new hires fit into the team. 

An efficient sales manager shouldn't wait until they need a new hire; you should always have a pool to select from. Dedicate your time each week to search for prospective talent

4. Directing

Sales managers should show their team how to be successful by being good role models. They should clearly explain what they expect from the team, advise on improving, and offer support when team members face difficulties. 

5. Analyzing

Sales managers should monitor their team's performance and make changes when needed. Looking at sales numbers, spotting patterns, and making updates help the team do even better. By doing this, sales managers ensure that their team stays on track and keeps improving.

6. Evaluating

Sales managers must regularly assess their team's performance and provide constructive feedback. This includes conducting performance reviews, identifying areas for improvement, and setting new goals.

7. Motivating

A sales manager is responsible for maintaining the team's enthusiasm. This includes celebrating successes, providing inspiration, and promoting a pleasant work atmosphere. 

What are good sales habits?

A successful sales manager must develop good sales habits to manage their team and drive results effectively. Some of the attributes of a good sales manager include the following:

1. Start each day with a clear strategy

A successful sales manager starts each day by identifying objectives and outlining daily goals for themselves and their team. This guarantees everyone is on the same page and focused on the most important responsibilities. Apart from devising new strategies, a sales manager should also:

  • Examine the efficacy of current techniques.
  • Identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop new tactics, and
  • Involve the team in the planning process and gather their input.

2. Communicate effectively with the team

A high-performing sales team relies on consistent and clear communication. Sales managers should organize regular team meetings to share news, goals, and challenges.

3. Offer continuous coaching and feedback

Sales managers should always be ready to help any team member. This means having regular talks with each person to discuss any problems, talk about progress, and set personal goals. It's also important to praise good work and celebrate when the team does well — like Ted Lasso. This creates a positive and encouraging place for everyone to work.

4. Concentrate on developing good relationships

Your sales manager should understand the importance of nurturing relationships with clients, prospects, and industry professionals. By networking and engaging with critical stakeholders, sales managers can generate new business opportunities and strengthen their team's reputation. 

5. Prioritize personal growth and learning

A good sales manager recognizes the importance of continuous learning and personal growth. They should invest time improving their sales skills and encourage their team to do so.

6. Leverage data and technology to drive sales

Sales managers should use data and technology to help their team sell more effectively. By analyzing sales data and studying their Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, they can identify trends and opportunities that can guide their strategies. 

Utilizing CRM systems is important for streamlining processes. 85% of sales people say their CRM is important to the sales process, while 54% of sales leaders (in the same survey) say monitoring CRM usage is a good indicator of sales performance.

Adopting technology, like CRM systems and collaboration tools, may dramatically increase a sales team's capacity to collaborate, both inside the team and with others in the organization. 

Transform Your Sales Management With Assembly

Sales managers juggle numerous responsibilities, from training and strategizing to cultivating good work habits for the growth of the sales team. These habits include effective communication, continuous coaching, strong relationship building, leveraging data and technology, and fostering personal development. However, one of the challenges sales managers often face is keeping their team motivated and engaged.

Assembly helps sales managers overcome this by offering features like peer-to-peer recognition, customizable rewards, and seamless integration with other tools and departments. Assembly boosts employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. With Assembly, sales managers can create a positive environment where sales team members feel valued and inspired to excel.

Don't miss the opportunity to elevate your sales management game. Experience the benefits of Assembly for yourself and your team. Try a demo.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide
Employee recognition guide