9 personality traits of top sales leaders

What makes a good sales leader? Well… it’s a combination of things. Here are 9 things that separate the best from the rest.

One of the questions we ask every year at Sales Confidence is who is the best sales leader. For three years now, we’ve given awards to the sales leaders voted as the best in the UK. However, how do you get to be one of those winners? Sure, an exemplary sales track record is vital, but it’s much more than that.

The best sales leaders, or at least, all the ones you meet at Sales Confidence Sales Leaders events, have personality attributes that make them special at what they do. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of them.

Here are our 9 personality traits of top sales leaders.

1 — Strategic

We’re long past those days when a sales team was a sweatshop and whoever made the most calls won. Now, we work smarter. The best sales leaders set a strategic course for their team, incorporating new ideas and technology to get their teams performing effectively.

2 — Empathetic

Great sales leaders direct, not dictate. Part of this is being able to put themselves in the shoes of their customers and their employees. They remember what it was like when they were at the coalface, and understand the challenges that salespeople face. The best leaders will always bear this in mind when formulating strategies and setting targets.

3 — Analytical

The most successful sales leaders let the data drive their decisions. Gut instinct has its place, but the numbers don’t lie. They’ll track as many data points as they can, know the handful of metrics they need to focus on, then use them to decide what’s working and what isn’t.

4 — Thoughtful

Top sales leaders know that the most successful people are the ones that help the most customers in the most valuable ways. Plus, when it comes to managing their teams, they reverse the traditional roles, putting themselves at the service of their employees. They work for the team, not the other way around.

5 — Leads by example

The best sales leaders will live the values they want to see in their sales team every day. They are happy to sacrifice their time and effort for the good of their teams. These are the leaders that high-performing salespeople want to work for; the ones that are revered in the industry.

6 — A coach (not a dictator)

The greatest sales leaders are able to improve the skills of the people they manage. However, they won’t tell them how they think things should be done; they create an environment where their reps can discover the answers for themselves. The best sales leaders are natural coaches.

7 — Integrity

Salespeople need to be able to trust their leaders. Top sales leaders know this and cherish it. Every day, they make the right choices and set an example for their teams to follow. They do what they say they are going to do. Because they carry themselves in this way, they can expect the same from their reps.

8 — Visionary

Brilliant sales leaders are visionaries. They have an overarching philosophy, which they are able to communicate to the teams that work for them. Buying into a vision is a big motivating factor.

9 — Confident

Of course, we save the best to last. Top sales leaders have sales confidence in world-beating amounts. Sales has its ups and downs, and during those down times, reps look to their leader for reassurance. The best leaders are confident that they are on the right track, and if they aren’t, they’re sure enough of themselves to change things. They are the managers who stay calm in a crisis, rather than rant and rave.

Over to you

Those are our top 9 personality traits of top sales leaders. Now, we want to know what you think.

Think of the best sales leader you worked with? What made them great?

Let us know with a comment below.

If you want to meet and network with the best sales leaders in the industry right now, get yourself along to the next Sales Confidence Sales Leaders event. Find out more about our events here.