How to Identify a Strong Manager

I’m a big proponent of choosing career opportunities based on who your manager would be, especially early in your career. Working for a manager that coaches, retains, and promotes their people will significantly accelerate your career.

Here are the questions I’d ask in the interview process to assess a potential manager in those areas:

Evaluating their ability to coach

How do you identify skill gaps? How do you coach those gaps? How do you track progress?

What “great” looks like:

  • Evidence that they proactively assess skills – not just pipeline/deals.
  • Examples of coaching that go beyond “reviewing calls.”
  • Progress is tracked more specifically than quota attainment – they look at how skill development impacts metrics like conversion rates across the deal cycle.

Evaluating their ability to retain

How many reps have left your team in the last 12 months? Why did they leave?

What “great” looks like:

  • Less than 30% annualized attrition (if they have a team of 10, no more than 3 should be leaving each year)
  • Evidence that they understand why they left
  • No “bashing” of the departing rep

Evaluating their ability to promote

Who do you think will earn the next promotion on your team? What do they have to do first?

What “great” looks like:

  • Names readily come to mind
  • Clear description of promotion criteria
  • Evidence that the manager is working to help them promote

If your potential manager provides strong answers for all three, do all you can to land a spot on their team.

If they are two for three, you’d likely be in good hands.

If they are one for three, or worse, I’d think twice before joining their team.

Thanks for reading,



Join 1,500+ Account Executives who have unlocked the power of PROVEN Frameworks that can transform you from bottom of the sales floor to #1 AE in your company.

Explore AE Frameworks

Simply click the “Get Started” button below to explore Account Executive Frameworks and claim your copy.

Popular Posts
Never miss a Post again

Simply enter your First name and Email below to join the SI community and receive actionable sales tips, right to your inbox.

Claim Your Copy for Free

Simply enter your First name and Email below and we’ll send it to you immediately.

Related Posts

Sales Introverts is proud to guide thousands of Account Executives and Sales Leaders from: