Setting Sales Managers to Fail

Are you setting your sales managers up to fail?

A few years ago, I met an executive running sales teams who had recently been promoted to the role.

He gave new meaning to the term “hands off.” The entire time I was with him, he ignored the teams he was supposed to be managing, had his head down in his laptop or phone answering emails and putting out fires, and seemed completely overwhelmed in his new role.

Let me ask you this. Would you feel confident letting the very best lawyer in your area perform brain surgery on you? How about a highly competent accountant providing you with legal representation?

My guess is you wouldn’t have a high degree of confidence in either scenario.

A business question or problem needing solving

Why? Well, despite them being highly competent in their skill set, they are naturally completely unprepared to handle another set of skills.

This same principle applies to sales managers.

You can’t simply assume that just because someone is a high performing sales rep that they’ll be able to readily pivot their skills into becoming an effective manager.

Far too many organizations make this mistake, and find their sales teams declining in performance after promoting a high performing rep into a management role.

Flying paper planes signifying sales leadership

You need to provide anyone that you transition into a management position with the adequate training they need to succeed. It doesn’t matter how experienced they were a sales rep, you cannot simply assume that they can be thrown out the plane with no parachute.

Don’t set your sales managers up to fail. Take the time to carefully onboard them into the new position, so they can be truly prepared to help their sales team soar.