What High Performing Sales Managers Do

What High Performing Sales Managers Do
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What We Know Works — High Performing Sales Managers
Ask any savvy sales executive what drives high revenue growth other than having “the next iPhone,” and they will most likely tell you some version of skilled sales managers who know how to lead, manage, and coach their sales teams to higher performance.  We call them high performing sales managers, and it is hard to underestimate the impact a well-prepared sales manager can have on the bottom line.

Recent research from Wilson Learning found that “high-skill” sales managers drove 29% higher revenue performance and 16% higher customer satisfaction than managers with low-skill ratings regardless of the solution selling skills of their salespeople. Our own organizational alignment research found that High Performing Sales Managers are one of the most powerful levers to increase and sustain profitable revenue growth.  In fact, their sales teams outperform their peers 4-to-1 in terms of quota attainment.

Simply put, high performing sales managers build high performing sales teams.

A Look at What High Performing Sales Managers Do
Our sales leader simulation assessment has identified twenty-one core leadership competencies and

seventy-three associated and measurable micro-behaviors that roll up into the core competencies.  They focus on the areas of business acumen, communication, interpersonal skills, customer focus, leading teams, negotiation, influence, and strategic thinking.

The good news is that each competency can be measured, benchmarked, and improved.  If twenty-one core leadership competencies and seventy-three micro-behaviors sound daunting, know that fundamentally high performing sales managers consistently do three things better, more frequently, and more consistently than their peers:

  1. Lead to Drive Desire
    Sales leadership is about increasing a sales team’s desire to perform at its peak. High performing sales managers ensure that each and every team member understands, embraces, and is intrinsically motivated by the sales strategy and plan for success.

    Can your sales leaders lead enough to create high growth?
  2. Manage to Drive Productivity
    High performing sales leaders proactively manage sales performance. They ensure that team members are accountable to the agreed-upon processes and critical productivity metrics.  They set clear and fair performance expectations while proportionately rewarding success and managing underperformance.  They provide regular feedback, track key success metrics, and conduct effective account and sales pipeline reviews so that they have a finger on the pulse of what is and what is not working.

    Can your sales leaders manage performance in a way that gets the most out of their sales teams?
  3. Coach to Drive Capabilities
    The most effective sales managers understand the importance of coaching their sales reps toward reaching their full potential. That means being able to consistently assess the sales effectiveness of their reps, follow a proven sales coaching model, and seamlessly implement individual development plans for growth.  The bottom line is that high growth sales managers spend about 25% more time coaching than their lower performing peers.

    Can your sales leaders build business sales capabilities?

The Bottom Line
Selling complex solutions has never been easy.  Although advanced sales technology is helping, sales organizations are still made up of people who need sales leaders to set them up for success.

To learn more about what high performing sales managers do, download How to Optimize Your Sales Force in the Face of Increased Performance Pressure

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