Build Trust Through Communication: The Sales Managers Guide

Do your sales reps often seem disengaged during meetings and underperform on targets? As a sales leader, have you noticed a lack of trust as a growing issue hampering productivity? This lack of trust and engagement may stem from insufficient transparency and communication from leadership. 

One study has shown that effective communication can lead to a 72% increase in productivity, a 63% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 60% increase in employee confidence.

Having a sales communication strategy is key for managing sales teams. When sales managers share goals, context, metrics, and insights openly, they demonstrate respect which builds trust. 

Let’s take a look at how sales managers can build trust through honest and open communication.


The Crucial Role of Trust in Sales Management

Why does trust matter so much in sales? 

Without trust, forget about long-term productivity and morale. Sales teams crumble when reps lack managerial support. With no foundation of trust and loyalty between managers and reps, performance falters. Managers must back their teams fully to maintain morale and results.

Make fair questions but make no mistake, trust makes or breaks even the most results-driven teams. On teams where trust runs high, managers inspire reps to meet their sales goals rather than micromanaging every move. 

Another key benefit is constructive feedback sticks like glue when trust exists. Reps accept that managers aren't criticizing, but sincerely coaching them to unlock higher performance. Reps are transparent about obstacles with managers they trust to problem-solve rather than lecture.

So if trust is such a big deal, how can managers consciously build it? Continuously upskilling yourself is the key. If you want to enhance your management capabilities, you can use training courses such as those provided by leadership training experts like Acuity Training or Badger Maps

Equipping yourself with relationship-building and communication skills is crucial in establishing trust across your sales team.

Badger Sales University

The Power of Transparent Communication in Building Trust

sales communication skills

While earning organizational trust begins from the top down, sales managers can directly build trusted relationships with their teams and clients through open communication. Transparent communication centers on consistently sharing truthful, substantial, and relevant information rather than being selective, ambiguous, or opaque to seem more favorable.

Leaders who communicate with candor and authenticity build credibility and earn others’ confidence in their character and competence over time. Transparency enables sales teams and clients to approach managers with hard questions and concerns that otherwise may anonymously undermine the relationship.

Maintaining engaged and productive sales teams over the long term requires strong foundations of trust established through transparent communication.

Why Is Transparency Important for Sales Managers?

We've already discussed the potential benefits of transparency, including higher employee morale and retention. Here are additional advantages for sales managers:

  • Larger pipeline of sales prospects
  • Increased cross-team collaboration
  • Faster deal closure rates

Transparency is critical for sales managers for these reasons:

  • Transparency builds trust: By openly sharing goals, sales metrics, and context on decisions, managers demonstrate trust in the sales team. This increases the team's trust in leadership, boosting morale and retention.
  • Transparency enables accountability: With access to pipeline data, activity metrics, and win/loss analysis, reps can better track their progress and self-correct. This supports the manager's trust in the team.
  • Transparency drives performance: Sales teams can spot trends, course-correct strategies, and replicate best practices better with real-time access to funnel data and benchmarks. This leads to improved sales results.

Want to know how sales experts such as John Barrows, Samantha McKenna, and Mark Hunter increase their sales? Check out their top sales growth strategies here!

6 Strategies for Building Trust Through Transparent Communication

sales management

Sales managers can nurture trust daily by embedding transparent communication practices across interactions with sales reports and customers. 

Let’s take a look at the top 6 strategies for doing just that!

Being Transparent With Your Sales Team

Keep teams updated on organizational performance, priorities, and needs while welcoming input into direction-setting. The truthful discourse around company realities - positive and negative - makes teams feel valued through inclusion. Sharing business context aids strategic decision-making at the frontline to meet goals.

Even when the optimal path forward seems clear to leadership, transparency comes from outlining the variables weighed and the logic applied before finalizing decisions. Help two-way dialogue by communicating how employee feedback influenced outcomes and contributed value.

Schedule regular touchpoints to exchange perspectives, answer questions, and gather observations from the field. Follow up promptly on concerns raised to reinforce strategy.

Never forget that all voices carry weight.

Managing a sales team is hard, yet with a sales tool like Badger Maps it becomes a lot easier. 

Badger Maps is a route planning tool that allows sales managers to easily manage and realign territories. You can optimize your team’s routes, plan routes in seconds and assign routes to reps in different territories. 

Your sales team can gather exactly the data you need from the field, allowing you to make better decisions based on data.  Sales teams have reported that they sell 22% more and drive 20% less when using Badger Maps, in fact, the average team of 10 reps sells $936k more the year they start using the app.


"After getting Badger Maps, weekly meetings per rep jumped from 12 to 20. This led to a 22% increase in annual revenue."

Brad Moxley

Business Development Manager, Cutter & Buck

With Badger Maps, reps in the field can mobilize their CRM, providing instant access to important customer information as they work in their territories. You can sync and leverage data in your CRM, all from your mobile device. 

You can also enable a two-way, real-time native integration with the most popular CRMs such as HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Insightly, NetSuite, and many more

Additionally, field sales teams increase their CRM usage by 50% when using Badger Maps.

Maximize your sales team's revenue by using the Badger Maps route optimization tool.

Badger Maps reduces sales reps’ average drive time by 20% and frees up an average of 8 hours a week.  

Sign up for a free trial today or schedule a demo now!

Drive 20% Less. Sell 20% More.

Being Transparent With Customers

Overpromising capabilities in the name of the sale erode credibility over time when offerings perform differently than they are described. 

Be fully upfront about pricing and contract terms without obscuring information that may re-emerge as misunderstandings down the line.

Address product or service restrictions accurately so customers understand possibilities and limitations from the outset. Never dismiss or avoid customer questions. Demonstrate empathy for apprehensions and provide factual reassurance. Follow through reliably on promises made to customers to back up claims with action.

Encourage prospects to articulate worries transparently. Brainstorm creative solutions tailored to distinct needs. Establish openness norms early, even when conversations grow tough.

Check out our guide that shows you how to develop empathy with your prospects!

Backing Yourself Up with Social Proof

Social proof builds credibility by demonstrating others’ positive experiences. Detail customer achievements stemming from offerings and highlight relatable challenges resolved. Share hard ROI metrics, customer retention rates, or concrete examples of performance gains tied directly to solutions.

Remember that social proof establishes reliability. 

Compile specific use cases and quantify results. Put faces to stories so audiences connect with shared goals and realities. Enable current users to describe first-hand why partnerships pay dividends.

Nurture and Develop Relationships

Make communication a two-way street by listening closely. 

Seek clarification rather than making assumptions. Personalized understanding unlocks tailored solutions matching distinct priorities across individual team members and customers alike. Follow through consistently to reinforce transparency norms. Small truthful interactions compound into significantly positive perceptions over time.

Check-in often, not just when business is on the line. No matter how strong relationships seem, hidden disconnects always emerge. Create touchpoints to stay aligned through changes certain to arise.

Fostering a Culture of Openness

Signal receptiveness by actively inviting diverse perspectives from staff across levels. Leaders grow through transparency from reports about organizational blind spots. 

Institutionalizing transparent communication as a workplace cultural value through positive reinforcement motivates teams to uphold practices. Celebrate wins tied to transparency such as customer deals closed via discovery questions.

Praise brave questions that strengthen strategies. Admit mistakes humbly to model fallibility. Set the tone at the top for transparency expectations.

Providing Thought Leadership

Position yourself as an expert guide who takes stakeholders behind the scenes of competitive dynamics, emerging innovations, or success strategies. Show knowledge breadth and empathy.

Win mindshare and hearts through wisdom exchange versus treating information asymmetrically. Thought leadership magnifies positive perceptions.

Customize insights-sharing to individual stakeholder contexts. Listen deeply for pain points and possibilities first. Targeted transparency cements reliability and goodwill simultaneously.

Benefits of Following Transparency Culture

Managers who openly share strategic roadmaps breed inclusion and buy-in. Reps understand how their roles ladder up to big-picture goals, driving higher engagement. Rather than working in silos, teams rally together with purpose. Following through on ideas fuels motivation and improves morale. Issues surfaced early before festering into deal-breakers down the road.

Reps receive managers’ tough coaching as helpful development rather than punitive. This accelerates skill improvement and deals closing. In contrast, concealment corrodes sales team trust and productivity. When left unaware of challenges or changes, reps grow skeptical of new initiatives. Blindsided by surprises, motivation plunges. And lack of input into processes causes pushback vs buy-in.

By proactively informing and listening, sales managers reinforce transparency as a core cultural value.  This breeds loyalty and aids in retaining top talent. People want to feel respected, in the know, and part of a winning team. In the end, communication transparency separates good sales managers from transformational leaders. It helps teams absorb shocks, solve problems, improve sales techniques, and exceed targets.

A Key Ingredient for Professional Success

Effective communication stands as a linchpin in the success of sales managers. 

Sales leaders must explore why honing this skill is vital. It helps build trust within the team and with customers. Transparent communication builds trust among team members. It fosters a collaborative environment. 

In this environment, ideas and feedback are freely exchanged. This trust is the bedrock of a cohesive and motivated sales team. Trust is equally vital in client relationships. Sales managers who can communicate well build a rapport with clients. This enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Final Thoughts

An atmosphere of trust and transparency is essential for any organization to be successful. 

To build high-performing sales teams, managers must cultivate trust and transparency. Be honest and communicative with reps. Invite feedback and address conflicts respectfully. Listen to your team and collaborate. 

By following these principles, sales managers create an open, supportive environment. This drives motivation, productivity, and satisfaction. With a foundation of trust between manager and rep, sales teams gain the cohesion to excel.


Why is transparency important for sales managers?
Transparency is critical for sales managers to build trust with their team. By openly sharing goals, metrics, and context behind decisions, managers demonstrate trust which boosts team morale, retention, and performance.
What types of information should sales managers share transparently?
Sales managers should transparently share pipeline goals, individual and team performance metrics, win/loss analysis, forecasts, competitive intelligence, and incentives structures and provide context.
What is the benefit of soliciting feedback from sales reps?
Inviting input signals to reps that their voices matter. It shows that managers seek to empower and develop reps, not silence them. Reps likely have valuable insights from customer interactions. These insights can strengthen strategies or processes.
Should sales managers admit their own mistakes?
Yes, acknowledging fallibility models that transparency about weaknesses or failures won't be punished. This encourages reps to identify areas of self-improvement. It discourages concealing shortcomings, which may hurt performance if left unaddressed.
How does constructive criticism build trust?
Thoughtful criticism concentrating on progress focuses on individual growth, not personal attacks. Managers want reps to unlock higher skills that drive more impactful results. This demonstrates guiding improvement.

The Best App for Field Sales People

Learn how you can maximize your sales routes & sell more with Badger Maps

Try Badger Maps for Free

Drive 20% Less, Sell 20% More

Get a Demo

See what Badger Maps can do for your sales

Support & Legal
Support Status Privacy Policy HIPAA Compliance Terms of Use Data Processing Addendum Contact Us Manage Cookies