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7 Skills Every Sales Manager Should Have

Victoire Léveilley
May 6, 2024
Remote Works

Being a sales manager isn't just about hitting targets; it's about empowering your team to do the same.

To truly excel in this role, you need to be a master of several key sales manager skills that go beyond just knowing the product or service you're selling. In this article, we dive into seven crucial skills that every sales manager should hone to drive their team to success.

If you're a recruiter, you'll certainly have to assess these skills in an interview, so don't forget to include these dimensions in your head of sales interview template and scorecard.

Top 7 skills to excel at being a sales manager

  1. Effective communication, both internally and externally
  2. Human resources skills
  3. Leadership
  4. Mentoring, training, coaching
  5. Analytical and mathematical skills
  6. Strategic thinking
  7. Time management

1. Effective communication, both internally and externally

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful sales team. As a sales manager, you need to be able to communicate clearly and confidently, both internally with your sales team and externally with prospects.

Internal communication

As a sales manager, you should be keeping your team informed, motivated, and aligned with the company's goals.

Whether it's through team meetings, one-on-one check-ins, or group chats it’s important to be able to articulate expectations, provide feedback, and address concerns. An effective internal communication is essential for fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Tools like Claap help a lot of sales managers to communicate with their teams. As a comprehensive communication platform, Claap facilitates both synchronous and asynchronous communication

External communication

From cold calls to client meetings, a sales manager should be able to efficiently communicate with their prospect. This way, the sales manager really inspires trust, instills confidence, and ultimately wins more deals.

Picture yourself, a sales manager, in a client meeting: you encounter an objection about pricing. Rather than brushing it off, you acknowledge the concern and skillfully navigate the conversation to highlight the value proposition of your product or service. By effectively articulating the benefits, you're able to overcome the hurdle and move the deal forward.

2. Human Resources Skills

As a sales manager, you're not just responsible for closing deals; you're also responsible for building and nurturing a high-performing team. This requires strong HR skills, including hiring, performance management, and ongoing development.


From the moment you start recruiting, your involvement in the hiring process is critical. By identifying top talent, conducting thorough interviews, and ensuring a good cultural fit, you build an efficient team for better sales.

When hiring for a new sales position, you take the time to craft a detailed job description that clearly outlines the responsibilities, and expectations for the role. During interviews, you ask targeted questions to assess candidates' sales skills, cultural fit, and potential for growth. As a result, you're able to identify a candidate who not only meets the requirements but also aligns with the company's values and vision.

Managing performance

But your role doesn't end once the ink dries on the employment contracts. Performance management is an ongoing process that involves setting clear goals, providing regular feedback, and offering training opportunities to help your team members grow and develop professionally.

Imagine that one of your sales reps has been struggling to meet their targets. Instead of simply reprimanding them, you schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss their performance openly and constructively. Together, you’ll identify areas for improvement, and plan for additional training and support.


Of course, not every hire will work out, and part of your HR responsibilities may include making tough decisions about letting team members go when necessary. While never easy, being able to address performance issues head-on and take decisive action when needed is essential for maintaining a high-performing team.

3. Leadership

Great sales managers should inspire and motivate their team members to achieve their goals. Don't confuse a supervisor with a leader: these are two different sales manager skills. The supervisor organizes and the leader inspires and empowers.

As a sales manager, you serve as a role model for your team, leading by example and setting the tone for performance excellence. It’s important for your team that you demonstrate resilience in the face of rejection but also that you celebrate successes when your team achieves a goal.

Don’t forget that your leadership style influences the morale and motivation of your team. By fostering a positive and supportive work environment, you can cultivate a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.

A good leader will definitely drive greater engagement and productivity among its team members.

4. Mentoring, training, coaching

As a sales manager, you're not just a leader; you're also a mentor. Your team members look to you for guidance, support, and expertise, and it's your job to provide general sales tips.

This means more than just doling out sales call tips and techniques (though that's certainly part of it and your team will be delighted to have examples of sales emails to draw inspiration from.). It means leading by example, demonstrating best practices in action. Of course, pay attention to your team’s needs to offer hands-on training and coaching as needed. 

The key to effective mentoring is to be proactive. Don't wait for problems to arise before offering guidance; instead, be proactive.

Leverage Claap for your training needs

Claap annotation feature allows sales managers to provide real-time feedback on sales calls, enabling them to pinpoint specific moments for improvement and offer actionable insights.

Additionally, Claap video library feature provides sales managers with a centralized repository of training resources. It can be used just like a video training platform, including instructional videos, best practices, and other training materials (videos, effective pitches described, negotiation tactics…). Sales managers can curate a collection of relevant customized videos tailored to their team's needs and objectives

5. Analytical and Mathematical skills

A sales manager is responsible for steering the ship towards success, often navigating through complex market dynamics and financial considerations. You may need to manage budgets, analyze complex data, and interpret sales forecasts to make informed decisions.

Having excellent analytical and mathematical skills is then crucial in this role.

Let’s take an example. If your team is launching a new marketing campaign, you would need to analyze past campaign performance, assess the potential ROI, and allocate budget resources accordingly. You’ll have to leverage analytical tools and mathematical models to forecast sales projections and identify where to allocate your resources.

6. Strategic thinking

Being a strategic thinker is essential for sales managers, as they're responsible for crafting a winning sales strategy that aligns with the company's objectives and market dynamics.

Imagine your company is entering a new market segment. As a sales manager, you would need to conduct market research, identify key opportunities and challenges, and develop a comprehensive sales plan to penetrate the market effectively.

Is it better to prospect a small number of partners but with a highly personalized approach? Or take a quantitative approach and focus on a large number of partnerships? Is it better to prospect via sales emails? Or innovate with video prospecting? The sales manager's strategic skills will enable him or her to make this kind of decision.

By devising targeted strategies for prospecting, lead generation, and customer acquisition, you can position your team for success and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

7. Time management

What will your prospect think if you've mismanaged your time and haven't been able to give them time to arrange a meeting or (worse!) reply to their email?

Among the sales manager skills, time management is essential. To optimize your productivity, you’ll have to prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities where appropriate, and utilize time-saving tools and techniques. You might leverage automation tools like Claap to streamline repetitive processes

Use Claap to save time

Save time by reducing meetings

At Claap, we think that meetings can be time-consuming and challenging to coordinate, especially when teams are working remotely. That's why we've developed a solution that combines the strengths of both synchronous and asynchronous communication. Less meeting, more doing.

With Claap, you can seamlessly replace traditional meetings with short screen-sharing videos. Alternatively, if you prefer to keep your meetings, Claap offers the option to enhance them with automatically generated notes and summaries, courtesy of our AI copilot.

Save time tearing your hair out over meeting notes thanks to AI

Does taking meeting notes, cleaning them up and sending them to your team take up a lot of your time? You will save an incredible amount of time on these tasks by using Claap!

Claap will save you dozens and dozens of hours thanks to its AI-powered automatic meeting notes and summaries. No more time-consuming note-taking and formatting: Claap does it for you! This way, you can better focus on actively listening to your prospect.

Save time by accessing your content quickly

Claap streamlines the logistics of managing client interactions by consolidating essential materials (like sales call recordings, transcriptions and notes) into a single, centralized hub. Gone are the days of sifting through scattered files or searching through endless email threads; with Claap, everything you require is conveniently accessible at your fingertips.


You now know the key qualities of a sales manager. With such qualities and an appropriate collaboration tool like Claap (14-days free trial here), it's impossible not to close lots of deals.


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