7 Characteristics of great sales leaders

I have coached and trained some truly amazing leaders. I can tell you with confidence that it’s not easy to be a great sales leader. In my experience leadership requires a unique set of skills and personality traits. Few if any people are born great sales leaders, but everyone can maximise their leadership skills and qualities.

Author: Gary Morgan   |  Tags:

Many leaders have asked me to train and coach them because they want to be better leaders but don’t know where to start. They often have the self-awareness to know they need to improve if they are going to help their sales teams to win more new clients and improve client retention.

Self-awareness is not enough. If you want really make a difference to your sales reps you need to take action. Here’s an equation that I share with many of my clients: Self-awareness + action = Professional and personal development. It is impossible to improve your leadership skills without taking action. You can read as many leadership books and attend as many leadership courses as you want, but unless you apply what you read or learn you will make zero progress which means your sales team will stagnate.

Develop these 7 characteristics to become a great sales leader:

  1. Resilience. Being a great leader takes resilience. As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to shoulder the blame for bad sales results. You need to set the KPI’s and targets for your sales team. You’ll get most of the credit when things go well, but you must show resilience if your sales reps are producing poor results.
  1. Assertiveness. Great sales leaders are neither passive nor aggressive. They are assertive when they share their ideas and opinions. You have to be able to tell your sales reps “no”. If you tend to be aggressive or passive, your ability to lead your sales team is compromised.
  1. Impulse control. When you lead others, there are countless highs and lows. You don’t have the luxury of being erratic, frustrated, or angry. Leaders with high impulse control respond to their feelings rather than react. They don’t let what they are feeling or their emotions get the better of them.
  2. Confidence. I believe confidence is critical to sales success. Confidence is also a powerful leadership characteristic. Your sales reps will be more willing to follow you and buy into your plans if you’re confident. If you show them that you don’t trust yourself or your decisions, they won’t trust you either. Your confidence will foster confidence in your sales team.
  3. Persistence. A sales leader must never give up. They are often relentless in their pursuits. If or when things don’t go to plan you as the leader must stick to your plan. I have witnessed many great leaders put in immense effort when they are faced with a challenge. Do you do that or do you go into your shell?
  1. Motivational. Even the top sales professionals need motivation from time to time. Top sales leaders can positively motivate their sales team. I say positively motivate as it’s possible to motivate with threats and intimidation. Learn to positively motivate and you will have a sales team that will do their best for you.
  1. Integrity. Integrity is doing and saying the right things even when nobody is watching or listening. It’s unlikely that your sales team will trust you if you don’t have integrity. Integrity is also about staying true to your values irrespective of the situation.

I believe everyone can become a great sales leader if they are willing to accept help and take action in the areas where they are lacking. 

If you would like to be a better sales leader please call me on 020 8337 5937 or send me a message.


P.S. Have you visited my YouTube channel yet? Head over and watch my latest video “Are your sales people clones of you?”


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