What Makes a Great Sales Leader: Six Traits of a Successful Sales Leader

Out of every dozen sales professionals, one or two will advance to the next level and become a leader.

So what is the trend of six traits training for those who grow from individual salespeople to a team leader?

I have spent a decade hiring hundreds of sales professionals and developing the ones I hired into leadership positions.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

All the Traits of What Makes a Great Sales Leader

There are a lot of different paths to grow beyond individual contributors, but there are some common six traits training traits that successful sales leaders share. Learn about what makes a great sales leader now. 

1. Work Performance

If you don’t work hard, your employees will get frustrated and want to leave.

As a salesperson, you need to work hard for five days each week all year long. Leaders must set the example and demonstrate this commitment.

One of my mentors set an example by always being the first person to greet our team in the morning and last one at night. They did this because they wanted us all to be motivated, show up for work every day, and go home with a positive mood.

When there is an opportunity to cut corners, future leaders separate themselves from ICs by rolling up their sleeves and finding a way to get more out of the time they have been given. In most cases, these successful few can do the work in less time than it would take for someone else but choose not to because they want to show that hard work pays off.

2. Staying Curious

What makes a great sales leader? People who want to grow in their careers should always be learning, not just about what makes a great sales leader, but also on their craft.

People who are curious about their jobs and want to improve themselves will ask for book recommendations, articles they read recently so that they can learn more. This creates a culture of change because people with this curiosity make it contagious.

Curiosity and learning are what drive people to be better. The more we learn, the happier we are.

3. Consistent

Good salespeople have a repeatable, scalable process that they follow.

What makes a great sales leader? a sales leader needs to follow the same process each time. You need accountability and consistency in order for your company to succeed.

Leaders should be consistent and encourage others to do so as well, even on their bad days. They also understand there is no value in showing up with highs or lows for themselves, their team, or teammates.

4. Coachability

The best employees are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and the company.

Feedback and criticism are crucial to improving. If you get defensive or start explaining yourself, it shows that you don’t want to improve.

An incredible leader has a meeting with each member of their team about what they need to improve, and also asks for feedback on how the company can be improved.

If you want to grow in your career, take the coaching and respond with thank-you responses. This response will help you get better not worse.

5. Authenticity

What makes a great sales leader is to embrace yourself and the things that make you unique.

You may be an introvert or someone who is outgoing, but in order to lead others effectively, you must maintain your authenticity. Trying to act like somebody else will result in distrust with the people on your team.

I once had a serious teammate with a dry sense of humor, who tried to imitate their manager’s communication style in an email. This person did this before the annual review season.

The whole team knew that this teammate’s email was fake and selfishly motivated. They thought they needed to send these cheesy emails instead of being proactive about their career path.

Your company doesn’t need a clone of another leader; you are the one who can add diversity to leadership.

6. Ambition

The best teammates are constantly striving to be better. They want the same for others, which creates a contagious enthusiasm.

A good teammate is someone who constantly challenges themselves to achieve more, and they never settle for what they’ve already achieved. They want the next big goal.

To have a successful career, you need to be motivated. You will also want to motivate others when the opportunity arises.

Show up today

Now that you know what traits successful people have, it’s time to ask yourself: What do I need to do next? You can’t change overnight. It takes a lot of work and dedication.

To get promoted and experience continuous career growth, you must commit to the extra work today. You start by committing to do the little things that will make a difference in your life.

If you can hit targets consistently, then it is easy to imagine that in the future you will be able to lead a team and help them reach their goals. If today you are always learning new things and trying your best, then tomorrow when someone asks if they should hire for this position again, all of these actions would show how much potential there is.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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