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The role of a sales manager involves sales outcomes and manager responsibilities. There’s something else, too, that sets the most successful sales managers apart from others. That something extra is what inspires members of the team and ignites engagement and performance. It’s leadership. To be one of the best, you’ll need it all -- sales manager leadership skills.  

 Developing a full skill set starts with understanding the difference between managing and leading. Both are important, and both are essential. Let’s start with this table to draw a stark contrast.

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Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” The three skills that, broadly speaking, make up EI are: 

  1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify and name your own emotions
  2. The ability to harness your emotions and use them constructively in critical thinking and problem solving
  3. Emotion management, including regulating your own emotions and expressing them appropriately and effectively and anticipating and influencing others’ emotional responses.

 Less formally, you can describe EI as “being smart about feelings.

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Any organization that hopes to boost sales effectiveness will start by shoring up sales management effectiveness. No matter how strong the sales team is, they will become hamstrung by an ineffective sales manager.

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Workplace culture. It’s one of those business buzzwords that gets tossed around casually. Everyone kind of knows what it means but no one knows where it comes from or how to get the one they want. There’s a definitive link between successful leaders and strong workplace cultures. YOU decide what the culture will be, and your actions and soft skills can bring it to life. 

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As a new manager, you have one distinct advantage. But you won’t have it for long! Coming into this role, you have a fresh perspective. You’re not yet swayed by seller justifications regarding revenue performance, use (or disuse) of enablement tools, and daily practices and priorities. You can use that fresh perspective to objectively conduct a thorough sales force evaluation. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Soft Skills for Managers wouldn’t be complete without a look at the links between critical thinking and organizational performance. Like most soft skills, critical thinking is difficult to quantify and define. But you admire it when you see it, and you recognize the gap when it’s missing. Because it’s often easier to spot the gap, consider these indicators that you might need to brush up your critical thinking skills: 

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You’re new to your role as a Sales Manager. Congratulations on your recent promotion! (Not promoted yet but angling for a sales manager role? Here’s a post to help you get there.)

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Is hiring sellers like rolling the dice in your organization? You can do better and increase your odds of getting sales superstars with a solid sales selection process.

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Is hiring sellers like rolling the dice in your organization? You can do better and increase your odds of getting sales superstars with a solid sales selection process.

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You might be surprised to learn the causes of a potential breakdown in communication at work.

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