The attributes a sales manager possess and uses in working with sales reps are a key factor in the productivity of the sales professionals. When sales leaders take a proactive, supportive and empowering approach to their team members, amazing things can happen in a very short period of time. Working towards developing the essential attributes of great sales leaders is critical to the success and motivation of your sales professionals.

These essential attributes of great sales leaders can be learned, developed and enhanced over time. Many great sales leaders come by these attributes naturally, but they continue to build on their knowledge, skills, and practices throughout their professional careers. Strengthening these 6 essential sales leader attributes and qualities will help your sales leaders gain the trust, respect, and loyalty of your sales reps:

  • Emotional intelligence

    While emotional intelligence (EQ) is a buzzword, it is also one of the most essential attributes of great sales leaders. This allows the sales leader to work individually with sales staff and clients to provide support, encouragement, motivation, positive feedback and even correction as required.

  • Inspiration

    The ability to inspire the team by modeling the desired behavior and constantly curious about learning new things is an essential sales leader attribute. Great sales leaders are always willing to receive feedback. They are motivated by being the need to be the best sales leader possible to for their sales team. This also means showing the “personal” side and being comfortable with vulnerabilities.

  • Listening skills

    Being an active listener is more than just leaning forward and nodding. Sales leaders who actually listen, stay present in the conversation and provide authentic, meaningful feedback. They encourage open communication and better understanding within the team.

  • Empathy

    The ability to put yourself in the shoes of a struggling sales rep or a new member on the team is an invaluable and essential attribute of a great sales leader. This allows the leader to work from the point of mutual struggle and coach the sales rep into creating achievable, attainable goals.

  • Embraces change

    Being flexible and adaptable to what is going on within the company and within the industry at large brings a sense of control. Learn to embrace change through effective short and long-term planning. Sales leaders who develop a positive view of the future are able to support challenges the sales team may be experiencing because they are prepared and ready.

  • Trust

    A great sales leader is trusted by the sales team. Trust is one of the most essential attributes of a great sales leader because it fosters loyalty and respect from the sales team. He or she is committed to the team, and there is a reciprocal sense of appreciation and honesty with the team and with the team leader.


Sales leaders can focus in on these essential attributes through their own personal growth and development. Sales Coaching is an ideal way for sales leaders to hone these skills. Learn more about how to strengthen your qualities for sales leadership and check out this free executive white paper on how sales coaching can improve the performance of your team!