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Which Manager Qualities Matter Most for Building Elite Sales Teams

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Jul 28, 2023

Excerpt from Objective Management Group’s recent webinar on The Data Behind Sales Managers of Elite Teams. The third chapter of this guide addresses a fundamental question: What qualities matter most for building an elite team. Through a deep analysis of sales evaluations and coaching frequencies, we uncover the impact of consistent coaching on various aspects of sales performance.

In prior posts we discussed how to lay the foundation for a coachable sales team, and how frequently managers should provide coaching. In this segment we’ll explore what managers of top performing teams do differently and which manager qualities matter the most for building highly effective sales teams.

Based on extensive evaluations and predictive analysis, we identify three key attributes of an elite sales team manager:

  1. Coaching their teams to get a prospect’s commitment to make a decision
  2. Supportive coaching beliefs
  3. Having a passion for coaching

We’ll delve into each attribute, explaining how they significantly contribute to the development of high-performing sales teams and why they are crucial for sales managers to cultivate.

We have examined the OMG Sales Evaluations of over 44,000 salespeople and their managers with a specific focus on which management coaching elements are associated with elite sales teams. First, we identified the top 10% of salespeople, ranked by OMG’s Sales Percentile. Then we ran their managers’ evaluations through a predictive decision tree analysis to see which management competencies lead to the greatest increase in high performing salespeople on a team. This is what we learned.

Managers who are effective at helping their salespeople get prospects to commit to a decision have +40% more top performers than managers who are ineffective at coaching on decision making. Why is this so predictive of success?

If your managers are helping their team to regularly get commitment, then they’re probably coaching on several supporting skills also. Getting a prospect to agree to a decision means the salesperson has uncovered a compelling reason to buy, thoroughly qualified the opportunity, and presented a need and cost appropriate solution at the right time. This takes active listening, many insightful and challenging questions, and the ability to pushback appropriately on potential stall tactics. These skills aren’t intuitive. They need to be drilled through repeat practice with a manager the salesperson trusts.

High performing teams also have managers with strong supportive beliefs relating to coaching. What are supportive beliefs? They are the assertions that sales managers consciously or unconsciously bring to their work.

Strong managers believe that coaching is important. They might believe that they’re responsible for their team’s daily activities. They understand the different motivational styles on their team and flex appropriately. They believe it’s important to debrief sales calls and help the salesperson understand what went well or poorly.

A manager’s belief system is so important that sales teams with managers who coach on prospect commitment and have supportive coaching beliefs have +70% more top performing salespeople than managers who don’t have supportive coaching beliefs.

Finally, high performing sales teams have managers who have a passion for coaching. Sales teams with managers who help their teams get commitment and believe coaching is important and have a passion for coaching have +80% more top salespeople than managers who don’t have a passion for coaching.

A manager can coach for the right skills (prospect commitment) and believe that coaching matters, but still not love coaching. What does passion for coaching look like? Simply put, it’s where the manager wants to spend their discretionary time. Think about a team where the manager is responsible for several salespeople and their own quota. When they have 15 free minutes do they use it to develop their own clients or to help their team practice their skills? Both are good options – but electing to spend extra time coaching shows a passion that can help the entire team reach their full potential.

Sales managers who do all three are a diamond in the rough. Only 9% of sales managers in OMG’s database of millions of salespeople are strong at getting commitments, improving beliefs, and coaching with passion.


The secret to enhancing sales performance and surpassing sales goals lies in fostering a coaching culture that starts with the right insights. It's not just about using the right coaching techniques and striking the perfect frequency; the foundation of an effective coaching culture is built on trust, offering frequent support, and taking a genuine appreciation in the needs of your team. By optimizing your approach to coaching, sales managers can make a real difference in their team's performance and establish a coaching culture that fuels continuous growth and success.

This blog article is based on a three-part blog series on Coaching found on OMG’s Research Blog. Anthony Cole Training Group is a distributor of OMG sales evaluation products.

Request a sales manager evaluation to find out if anyone on your team has these skills or the potential to develop them HERE!



Topics: Sales Training, banking sales training, sales training tips


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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