Promoting your best salesperson to Sales Manager?

“Wouldn’t it be great if all our salespeople performed like Diane or Patrick. Let’s put them in charge of the sales team.” Why is it when a business is looking for a Sales Manager they look within their own ranks for the top performer. And. Why so often does it go wrong when promoting your best salesperson to Sales Manager?

You assume that because the individual was successful in sales, they will also be successful in sales management. The sales rep also has an expectation of being the top performer that they have an entitlement to the promotion. The detrimental effect of this promotion not working has implications all around. The sales team is now lacking a competent leader. The business has lost its top revenue generator and this previous top performer becomes disillusioned and wallows in the new role or leaves the business. A highly costly mistake! Sound familiar?

So why is it, so often that it that it doesn’t work?

Is it…..
• That they have delivered previously due to their determined self-centred approach which then lacks a team approach (A hunter)? Jumping in to close deals and holding on to the larger accounts.
• That they expect all members of the team to do it exactly like they did it. They don’t understand that different personalities can achieve the same results in different ways?
• Nobody is as good as they were and by demanding results to the same levels, demotivates and disengages the team?
• A lack of understanding of the administrative requirements of the business which frustrates senior management?

What can be done to ensure that the promoted top performer will be a success in the transition to their new role?

• Support

o Internal Support – Of course the new Sales Manager will want to put their own stamp on things. After all they have successfully worked under a previous Sales Manager and will see improvements from working the old system. However, additional internal support and regular feedback will be required from the business leaders to ensure there is an understanding of the business requirements.
o External Support – Assigning an external coach who the Sales Manger can be vulnerable with, sharing concerns and seeking support. Someone to guide, influence and challenge externally will assist in the new role. Management/Leadership training would also be of benefit to give the individual the best chance of success.

• Systems

o Ensure they have the best tools in order to give the best chance of success, like Hubspot

So when you are thinking of promoting your best salesperson to Sales Manager, please give this some consideration.

Lockview Business Solutions are keen to engage with business owners to discuss how they can deliver positive outcomes through specific consultancy projects in businesses based in Belfast and across Northern Ireland.
We work closely with business owners and leaders on a consultancy basis to challenge and define their goals for the coming years and help deliver a strategy to achieve their vision. Acting as a Business Bounce Board to sound out, challenge and share ideas that deliver success through three main pillars of Sales Improvement, Cost Reduction and Contract Negotiation.
By reviewing the businesses current processes, analysing data and working with the existing teams, our business and management consultants are the conduit to deliver on business growth, profitability and potentially work towards a succession plan or an exit strategy. We are also a Solutions Partner with HubSpot.
If you can’t see the wood for the trees and need someone independent and impartial to help you navigate problems with fresh eyes call us today on 02896 009 275, visit or book time with Adrian McCourt directly at this link. You can see more about our services here.

Leave a Reply