For all of the salespeople reading this article with their dander raised, allow me to explain. There is an executive dream — taking a top salesperson and making her the sales manager based on the disciple-selling strategy: “Have the six salespeople do what she did and we get six times the sales.” It’s a nice dream, but not one that often comes true.
The issue isn’t giving this salesperson the nod to be the sales manager. It’s that business owners and executives often perceive this move as a “promotion.”
The sales manager role isn’t just an elevation in responsibility, it’s a job change. A salesperson rarely has experience in hiring, onboarding, managing, coaching, or compensating sales teams. Given that, there is a huge disconnect between selling and managing that must be bridged for the new sales manager to succeed.
Assuming that you profiled the sales manager role and made a good selection decision for it, the focus turns to onboarding — the knowledge and skill development timeframe, during which she learns the role. The question on your mind is probably: “What should she be taught to become an effective sales manager?”
The answer to that question is a question: “What are your expectations of her as a sales manager?”