Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Do Great Salespeople Make Poor Sales Managers?

It is sort of a rule in the selling community to take your best salesperson and make this individual a sales manager. I think this is a big mistake in most cases.

Being a salesperson and a sales manager is much farther apart than most people think. A sales manager's primary responsibilities include recruiting, creating an overall sales plan for multiple sales representatives, making sure the salesperson is paid correctly, sales training and whatever else is deemed necessary by the company. A salesperson’s responsibilities are achieving a sales quota and developing new business. Do you see the difference here?

Here is another example. How often do the best professional athletes go on to be the best coaches, trainers, or managers for sports teams? It happens, but it is certainly the exception. Some of the best managers in sports have even been poor athletes themselves. Sales management is no different.

If you are a salesperson aspiring to be a sales manager, there is nothing wrong with your goal. You must remember, however, that the waters you are going into are much different than being a salesperson. To a certain extent, you will be leaving your sales career behind. After all, the focus on your new title is "manager" and not "sales".

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