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4 personality traits to look for in a sales enablement manager

Sales tips 3 min read

So, you’ve narrowed your field of candidates and carefully assessed their resumes. They all have the professional background you’re looking for and you think they’ll perform well as your new Sales Enablement Manager. Congratulations, you’re in the home stretch! But there’s still one “x-factor” that will have a significant impact on their success in the role — personality.

Similar to a Sales Operations role, a Sales Enablement Manager’s job is to create better organization and execution across sales. That’s why it’s crucial to not only find the right candidate whose skills and experience touch upon many different areas but someone who has the right temperament too.

Here are some personality traits to look for in interviews, and the questions you should ask to dig deeper.

1. What you’re looking for: Someone who’s highly organized

Let’s be honest — in an interview, everyone claims to be highly organized. It’s simply one of those things you say in an interview, along with being “reliable” and “punctual.” But this is an important characteristic that shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly in Sales Enablement Managers.

How to find out: Ask questions about their email inbox. Do they use any apps to help keep it organized? How many unread emails do they have right now? When they read an email they need to respond to later, what do they do with it? They don’t need to use the latest apps or be strong believers in keeping their inbox at zero but beware of people who have 582 unread emails in their inbox and no clear system of organization.

2. What you’re looking for: Someone who’s intellectually curious

You not only want a smart candidate, but one that’s also willing (and enthusiastic!) to go the extra mile. This may sound like a no-brainer, but no candidate will know everything and having someone interested in continually expanding their knowledge and skillset is a boon to any company.

How to find out: Ask about what they’ve read recently, both sales-related and recreationally. What did they like or dislike about the last book they read? Are there any blogs they read regularly? They don’t need to have the same reading tastes as you do, but they should be able to list a couple titles fairly easily. You don’t want a Sarah Palin-type who claims to read newspapers (“all of them, any of them”)

3. What you’re looking for: A clear and patient communicator

In addition to a healthy thirst for knowledge, they should also be a good teacher. Since it’s the Sales Enablement Manager’s job to be the ground zero of sales — actually enabling them to be in a better position to sell — it’s important that they’re able to easily communicate to the rest of their team. Clearly conveying concepts while avoiding being condescending can be challenging. How good are they at explaining topics?

How to find out: To learn more about their ability to teach, ask them about their hobbies or interests. More importantly, ask them questions about their hobbies and pay attention to how they address your questions. Are their answers clear and concise? Do they make sure you’re understanding it? Are they condescending? Are they approachable when it comes to follow-up questions? This test will serve as an example of what they will be like as a manager and team member.

See also: How to hire the right sales reps (and keep them!)

4. What you’re looking for: Good people skills

Ah yes, the one thing every company says they want but most have difficulty actually finding. How do you assess someone’s “people skills”? Sure, you talked to them in the interview and they seemed nice and gregarious enough, but does that really tell you about how they manage a team and work with others?

How to find out: To dig further into this trait, give candidates a difficult hypothetical scenario (such as a team conflict) and ask how they would handle it. This is less of a “right answer vs. wrong answer” question, but one that’s more revealing of their thought process. How do they arrive at their decision? How do they address stakeholders? Pay close attention to the consideration they give the members of their team, and respect paid to the team members’ knowledge and experience.

What tips do you have for hiring a Sales Enablement Manager? Let us know in the comments!

Anna Westendorf

Anna Westendorf

Anna is a copy, content, and communications professional living in San Francisco. Her portfolio may be found at annawestendorf.com.

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