Don’t Promote Your Sales Champion

07 March 2018

When you have hired a sales person who has gotten your sales process flowing like the machine it should be, what’s the next step?

Most business owners would be tempted to say, “Promote them to manager and expand the sales team to increase capacity.”

Here’s why that may be a mistake:

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If you do plan to promote your sales person to a position of management, make sure it’s not just because they have done well as a sales person. Sales and management are two very different roles that require very distinct skill sets.

Your sales person may well have the capability to be a good manager but trial him for that ability and formalise the promotion only once you are convinced. Remember, you want to do your best to set your people up for a win.

Even if they are not suitable for management, if they are a good sales person then create other relevant and meaningful career growth opportunities for them e.g. nature of sales accounts, geography, position titles, salary, bonus, awards, company perks, paid learning courses etc.

The sales machine is critical to your business so make sure you do not promote your sales champion to his level of incompetence. Otherwise, it could be a double whammy!

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

What I want to talk about today is a very fundamental mistake that people make in sales. And, that fundamental mistake is when they actually promote their sale superstar to a sales manager.

Now, in the scheme of career progression, and someone doing well and you wanting to recognize that person, it might sound like a common-sensical move, but actually if you were to reflect on it, you will realize that management and selling, they’re two different things altogether. They require a different skill set. They require different profiles.

When this is done just because you want to retain that Sales Superstar and want to promote that person, in that whole process, generally speaking, the person is promoted to his or her level of incompetence. They are no longer delivering on their sales because, obviously, they have management to do. And they are not really skillful at management, which eventually suffers, which means the overall sales division suffers.

So I really want you to be very mindful of this. If you have done something similar in your business or if you’re planning to do something similar, just be very careful. Just identify the fact that, actually, management requires a different skill set from selling.

Your sales superstar should continue focusing on sales and not management until and unless it’s a conscious decision on their part and you both feel that they’re ready for that promotion.

Otherwise, there are different ways of actually recognizing and rewarding the person for their stellar performance in sales. And remember, every business needs a strong sales pipeline and strong sales superstars, so make sure you protect them and nurture them well.

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