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Attributes Of A Winning Sales Leader

Have you ever considered what the attributes of a winning sales leader are?

It’s such a critical position in your business having an insight into this can only help your chances of success in so many aspects of your business.

Results, retention, recruitment – The 3 R’s maybe a future article 🤔

During a recent conversation we were was asked this specific question;

What are the qualities that make a top sales coach, manager, and leader?


Trying to categorise the top qualities of a coach and sales leader is no easy task.

Top coaches will come from different backgrounds and have different styles, but, they know how to connect with people, inspire quality performance and get results.

Sport is always a good reference point for top coaches. Take a look at this Bleacher list of the Top 50 Sports Coaches

Having worked in the space of sales leadership for 30 plus years these are the key qualities we believe that you’ll see in a great sales coach and sales leader.

They are 👇🏼

Leadership, Knowledge, Know Your Team, Motivation, Consistency and Effective Communication Skills.

Let’s take a quick walkthrough and explain why we see each as important and we’ll offer you a few points to consider to help raise your game in them.



A great coach should be an exceptional leader with the ability to unify a group and make them committed to a single purpose.

The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower an individual or a team to achieve their full potential.


  • Reading Creating A Winning Sales Culture
  • Being accessible and available. When people want to see you and talk to you, prioritise that time over ” other stuff”.
  • Creating the direction, empowering, allowing the space to operate and guiding the outcomes. Not micromanaging.

Your job is to create heroes and not be one.

Steve Knapp


A great coach should have in-depth understanding of the skills they are coaching.

This does not necessarily have to come from personal experience, but a sales coach needs to have an understanding of the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategies involved in sales.


  • Reading Funnel Vision Selling Made Easy
  • Tuning into podcasts and reading. There is so much out there to assist your journey to become a sales leader. Check out our recommended reading here 👉🏼 Plan.Grow.Do. Book Recommendations.
  • Finding a mentor or coach for yourself. Many will have walked in your shoes and could help you avoid making unnecessary mistakes.

Coaches need to be able to convey passion to their team members and to inspire them to get the most out of their performance.

A successful coach will possess a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the business and the sales goals. This, in turn, inspires their team to excel.

Motivation might also involve keeping the any coaching sessions engaging and challenging. Exploring the “art of the possible” can be very motivating.


  • Working on your mindset by creating a well-being routine will keep you at the top of your game.
  • Make targets realistic. Not too big, not too small but with enough stretch to keep motivation high.
  • Taking the time in every team meeting or team call to celebrate successes.
Know Your Team

A key to successful coaching is being aware of the individual differences of your team members.

Some coaching tactics work better on different personality types so it is important to tailor communication and motivation based on specific personalities.

To achieve this, a coach needs to pay attention to the emotions, strengths and weaknesses of each person in the team. Knowing the individual also involves having empathy for the person.

Coaches need to care deeply about their people and a coach needs to be willing to be a mentor and counsellor, as well as a coach.


  • Spending time with each team member. Don’t just focus on the star or bottom performers.
  • Committing to a 30-minute meeting every week with each of your team members. This will build trust and create transparency.
  • Not focusing solely on performance in your weekly meetings as personal circumstance will often impact performance.

If a coach wants to change an attitude, alter the plan or improve skills, the coach needs to be consistent in the message they are delivering.

Salespeople will learn by hearing the same message constantly and consistently.

Constantly moving the goal posts and forever changing priorities will confuse and demotivate a sales team.

Don’t give them the “wriggle room” to avoid and dodge accountability as they will use the changes as reasons and excuses.


  • Keeping consistency in purpose, goals and objectives. Knowing which way is north and using team meetings, team calls and internal communication to constantly reinforce the message.
  • Trusting the process. Having a common sales process or methodology will create commonality in language and application.
  • Reducing KPIs. Too many targets will confuse people. Find the key metrics and stick with them. Read The Four Musketeers of Sales KPI’s for some ideas on this.
Effective communication skills

Needless to say, a great coach will possess exceptional communication skills.

An effective coach is able to set defined goals, express these goals and ideas clearly to their team, give direct feedback, reinforce key messages and acknowledge success.

Listening is also a part of effective communication, so a coach should be a compassionate listener who welcomes comments, questions and feedback.


  • Not being the loudest voice. Set the scene and encourage others to contribute. The quiet voices may be the deeper thinkers and have the best way forward.
  • Always ask questions and never assume you know it all. You might have an extra stripe on your arm or one more pip on your lapel but don’t look to be seen as the “font of all knowledge”.
  • Prepare for meeting. Selling can be emotional. Hitting or missing targets brings all sorts of challenges and reactions. By preparing you’ll be factual, logical, fair and transparent.

So What’s Next

If you are B2B Key Account Manager or have B2B Key Accounts in your business, what’s your Key Account Management process like?

  • Is your process working?
  • Is your organisation aligned to serve your Key Accounts?
  • Are they secure and growing?

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