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
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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

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Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

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The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

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We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

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Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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