Although sales managers influence a variety of sales force outcomes critically important in the dynamic business environment of the 21st Century, research examining sales manager effectiveness is limited. As such, an investigation of the attributes of effective sales managers, as well as the impact of these attributes on the sales force, is warranted. To explore these issues, the authors employed value laddering, an in-depth interview technique that facilitates the identification of key attributes and the subsequent linkages of those attributes to consequences and underlying values or goals held by respondents. Data collected from sales professionals resulted in 308 ladders that were subsequently aggregated across subjects and used to generate a hierarchical value map (HVM) reflecting the associations among constructs. The HVM highlights the attributes of effective sales managers, as identified by respondents, and reflects three major sales management roles: communicator, motivator and coach. Each of these roles is explored and managerial and research implications are discussed. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.