Recently, I made the point that the role of sales management – dare I say “sales leadership” – is now pivotal in the success of every organization and yet it is becoming clear that around 80% of managers are unqualified to fulfil the role that is being asked of them.
What does that mean?
As I have said often enough in recent live discussions, the single most common mistake that organizations make is promoting their number one salesperson into the role of sales manager, thereby depriving themselves in a single stroke of their best producer and hamstringing their sales force with an ineffective manager.
The skills required for managing, mentoring and developing a sales team are totally different from those required for selling – sounds obvious, but it is a point which must be re-iterated. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find newly promoted sales managers who regret having taken a management position and may even leave to get back into sales.
When a salesperson gains promotion to management the first thing they have to do is to quickly acquaint themselves with a new set of working relationships – and a new set of rules.
The salesperson’s primary working relationships are with customers. However the sales manager’s is with the sales force i.e. his subordinates.
Let’s look at that a little more closely:
Essential Attributes – Successful Salesperson:
• Personal drive (ego)
• Needs to win battles (Individual sales)
• Able to work alone
• Persuades customers to see his/her point
• Needs selling skills, personal skills and knowledge
• Able to work away from the office
• Works well with people and numbers
• Good at implementing sales tactics
Essential Attributes – Successful Sales Manager: