Should You Promote Your Top Performing Sales Rep to Sales Manager?
It is often seen as the right, or natural, choice to put your top performing sales person into the sales leadership role. And it may be the right choice. However, sales leadership is about coaching, selecting talent and gaining results through others.
The thing to consider is that many, if not most, very high performing representatives are self focused individuals and are most interested in their own personal achievement. It is that focus on personal achievement gives them the drive to be extremely successful in sales. However, that personality type is very seldom a successful sales manager.
I look for people on the sales team who are strong performers (the sales manager needs a good sales track record to have the respect of your sales team) and who have shown leadership and mentoring skills while in the sales role. So, a sales representative who has been selected to be on a “task force” or work on a joint team with employees from operations, manufacturing or finance and gained their respect would show signs of good leadership and being able to work effectively with other parts of the organization. If that person had also been a good mentors or trainer for new sales people joining the team would be another strong indicator of an “aptitude” for sales management.
So, while a good sales track record is a requisite for being a strong and well respected sales manager, people skills, be able to work across company “boundaries” and a love of developing others are just as essential.
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