Should I Promote My Top Sales Gun to Sales Manager?

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Many companies continue to make a critical error when they are looking internally to promote someone to the role of sales manager.  All too often they take their best sales person and try and make them the sales manager with disastrous results.  Your best person is no longer selling, profits drop, the territory looses coverage, good customers may become disillusioned and defect and ultimately the sales person becomes frustrated with their failure.


Face it they have not been trained in sales management and their confidence plummets as the pressures to produce build and they inevitably decide to leave the organization and return to selling for a competitor or another industry.  This person almost never asks to return to their original sales role since it would mean admitting failure in front of the company and their peers.

If you are looking for a sales manager you should also look beyond the top sales person and you will often find you have a good sales performer who is better suited to the role.  Once you have identified the individual and sales assessment testing can be very helpful here, make sure you have proper sales management training arranged to assist them in their new role.  If you don’t have the expertise internally to conduct the training then hire a sales training organization.  

If  you are thinking you will send them to an off the shelf “Sales Manager Training Course” where your sales person will attend 2 or 3 days of classroom instruction then don’t spend the money.  If you want a program that will make a difference, deliver results and provide a long term ROI then you need to look for a program that includes knowledge based training (everyone offers this) and “coaching to build competency through practice”.  Very few sales training companies offer this critical component.

The number one way for someone to learn a new skill and create lasting results is through the mentoring process. For your new sales manager to be successful you need a program that can provide this support after the ‘formal” part of the training is complete.  Plan for success.

Looking for more information on how to choose a sales or sales management training program?  Join us for our free webinar!  Check out for more details.

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Robert J. Weese

B2B Sales Connections

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