The Wrong Pick For Your Next Sales Manager

Often, the obvious pick for a sales manager is also the wrong one.


Picture this. You have an opening for a sales manager position in your organization. The obvious pick is your top performing sales rep, right?


Not necessarily.


Contrary to popular belief, the skills that make salespeople successful are not the same skills that make sales leaders and coaches successful.


The obvious move, when a sales management position is open, is simply to promote your best performer to become the new leader of the team.


But, just because a particular rep has created positive results for themselves, doesn’t mean they’re automatically equipped to lead a team.


A leader, by definition, must be able and willing to put the collective best interests of the team ahead of their own.


If a rep is successful, but doesn’t know how to properly transfer his or her skills to other people, then this particular rep is already at a disadvantage to manage the team.


Or, a rep might be successful in making sales, but perhaps isn’t particularly well-liked by their team. Again, putting this rep in-charge of said team can obviously lead to less than favorable outcomes.


The last thing you want is to move your best seller into a management position, have them fail and subsequently leave for another company. In such a scenario, you’re not only out a manager, but you’ve lost a high-performing rep too! 


While I’m not saying every top performing rep is a poor choice for a management position, I am saying that every sales leader and executive needs to be mindful that a top performing rep doesn’t automatically equate to a top performing manager.


Whoever you place in a management position needs to receive an adequate level of training and guidance to succeed. And, as is the case for hiring any position, ensure the person you’re hiring for the role has the right skill set to thrive in a management position.

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