The type of sales manager every employer wants to hire

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

February 19, 2013 @ 03:15 PM

Any company who knows how to build a successful sales force knows that a great business development team is built from top to bottom.  Good companies know fundamental management theories and, through business knowledge, experience and formal education, also know what types of sales managers will excel and which are prone to downgrading the entire sales force.  

Regardless of industry, when recruiting sales managers, intelligent companies look for universal traits in the sales managers whom they hire.  Needless to say, this information can prove more than valuable for the job seeker currently interviewing for a business development leadership role.  With that being said, here are some of the traits, habits and beliefs that, in the eyes of many hiring companies encompass the perfect sales manager:

  • Someone who can lead the current sales force and make leaders out of regular employees. Average sales managers maintain status quo amongst their sales personnel.  The most sought after sales managers are selfless in nature.  They spend their time focusing on the sales representatives always finding ways to make them better - always finding ways to make them future leaders of the organization which is the foundation for any company's growth.  

  • Someone optimistic with an attitude that broods resiliency and who treats setbacks as challenges rather than defeats.  The sales managers who get hired first are the ones who display a positive energy and who are the sales managers who possess the ability to make the sales force upbeat and optimistic about their plight.  They are able to mentor the team, mentally prepare them for the constant rejection that is sales, and teaches them how to keep going when the going gets tough. 

  • Someone who is profit-oriented with an ability to squeeze costs and widen profit margins.  In the eyes of the best hiring companies, sales managers have to be more than leaders, rather they must also be quasi-accountants, always keeping track of expenses and being able to make wise choices based upon fiscal information.  The "in-demand sales manager" can make the most money with the least amount of capital investment.  

  • Someone who can close the big deals and ensure consistent client satisfaction.  When it comes time to perform, the most sought after sales manager rises to the occasion.  No hiring company or recruiting firm is interested in the sales managers who don't step in and close the deal when an account may be over the head of the regular sales force.  He or she takes responsibility for the execution that goes on in the office. 

Knowing is 90% of the Battle

Just about every sales manager has these traits within himself or herself - some may be inherent, some may have been developed and some may even be yet to blossom.  Regardless, as someone searching for a sales management job, when you know what the interviewer wants, you know what to deliver to them.  Happy interviewing! 

Ken SundheimKen Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Recruiters, an executive search firm based out of New York City specializing in sales and marketing recruitment of all levels.  Ken also maintains a blog.