Key Attributes for Successful Inside Sales Management

40% of new managers fail in the first 18 months – American Management Association

Much has been written about inside sales management and managers, but every inside sales professional knows that it’s often the intangibles that separate good inside sales managers from the great ones. 

Below are some of the key attributes I find in most of the successful inside sales managers. I have not only defined success on the basis of numbers but have also taken into account coaching, training, empowerment, and leadership.

Intangibles for Inside Sales Management Success



An inside sales manager should be both creative and disciplined.

He should not only be able to come up with great and innovative ideas to experiment, but also effectively measure their effectiveness.

Why do I feel so?

Even with a well-defined sales process, consistent brand positioning and standardized tools, inside sales managers have to continuously innovate and improvise to get more out of the market and their inside sales teams.  


Never lose a holy curiosity – Albert Einstein

It’s very important to ask questions and drive your boss nuts. Why didn’t it work? How did that work? Should we try something else?

Similar to creativity, curiosity is also complemented by discipline. Just asking questions is one thing, but asking the right ones is what matters.  

Conflict Management


No matter the age, size or nature of a sales team, there will be conflicts. In these situations, ineffective sales managers take up a role similar to the school principal who is  in charge of discipline. 

More effective sales managers would enforce discipline but in a more productive way. They would leverage the standards of both fairness and consistency to get the team focused. 

Can-do, Will-do Attitude

The best sales managers lead by example. I have had the chance of working with many inside sales professionals, but not many are ready to get their hands dirty. 

They should join sales reps on call, dig through lead lists and create sales presentations. In short, they should devote more time doing things than just managing. 

Have I missed onto some attributes?

Do let me know through your comments. 

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