Internally promoting a sales manager is difficult, but employing an outsider may be even more difficult.
Current sales reps could be excellent candidates for open jobs within the organisation. They’re already familiar with the company’s ideals and practices, which makes them better prepared for leadership roles and mentorship.
While it may appear that promoting a top-performing salesperson to a team manager is a no-brainer, a strong sales rep does not always equate to a good manager. It’s critical to understand the distinctions between the two so you can select the ideal leader for your team.
In this RisePath blog, we’ll look at the traits of effective managers and excellent salespeople in this guide so you can figure out who is the ideal candidate to lead your team and who will succeed in their current position.
Teams with effective managers are more effective.
A team—and your company—needs both successful managers and exceptional sales reps to achieve its objectives. While sales personnel are more focused on producing money, a good manager has an impact on the profitability on numerous levels:
- Managers establish the processes that define the team’s productivity.
- They get the support they need to carry out plans and meet revenue targets.
- They identify areas where individual reps may increase their win rate and then provide coaching to assist them to close the gaps.
- They foster a work environment that is conducive to employee pleasure and, in the long run, staff retention.
- They encourage staff involvement, which naturally boosts productivity.
In this sense, it doesn’t matter how good your salespeople are; if you don’t have the appropriate person in charge, the entire team will suffer.
Myths about salespeople being promoted to managers
Check your thinking on the following frequent myths before beginning your search for a team leader:
Myth: Good salespeople make good managers
While it’s true that effective sales managers are usually terrific salespeople, a great salesperson isn’t always a good manager.
According to a survey, only 14% of firms have a large pool of leadership-ready people from which to pick. It was also discovered that four out of ten tech executives are failing. These flaws are most likely the result of firms not investing enough in leadership development training.
Another crucial aspect to consider is that team leaders demand a completely different set of talents and attributes than frontline sales workers. Some of these characteristics, such as altruism and data-drivenness, are diametrically opposed to the talents required of a sales representative.
Myth: Managers and salespeople have the same interpersonal abilities.
A sales representative must have interpersonal skills in order to engage with consumers, but a manager must have interpersonal skills in order to manage a staff. Reps and managers, on the other hand, use such skills in quite different ways.
The interpersonal skills of a sales representative are mostly limited to how they interact with clients. They must instantly create a rapport with the individual and be innovative in their service delivery. While this requires a great deal of talent and practice, a manager’s interpersonal abilities are more subtle.
Managers must be able to assign duties, assist employees in resolving disagreements, and establish an environment in which coworkers can form trusting relationships. They must also be able to deal with difficult situations and find answers to them.
Effective managers compared to great sales reps
Both effective managers and exceptional sales reps require excellent communication and organisational abilities, as well as a dedication to the company’s vision and values. However, there are numerous differences between these two roles.
Characteristics of an effective manager
Effective managers are usually:
- Critical thinkers
Managers outperform salespeople in critical thinking, according to a survey. They are experts in analysing sales data and devising small changes to systems that yield large benefits. They can also look at complex issues from several perspectives and come up with win-win solutions that benefit the firm while also improving consumer experiences.
Effective managers can forecast how specific methods or activities, when implemented consistently, will affect long-term performance through strategic thinking. Team goals must also be aligned with a company’s mission, vision, and values, as well as have measurable results and action plans to attain them.
Managers can consider all of these elements when setting goals and developing action plans for their teams.
Effective managers are selfless, putting the team’s needs ahead of their own. They also get pleasure and satisfaction from witnessing their team and individual personnel thrive. Salespeople are frequently more competitive, which is fine in some situations but not in management.
Finally, upbeat managers can contribute to a positive work atmosphere, which leads to increased workplace satisfaction, which leads to improved sales and employee retention.
Characteristics of a great sales rep
Great salespeople are frequently:
- Decision-makers who are quick and intuitive
- Individuals who solve problems
While having a lot of data can help a manager, it can actually hurt a salesperson. When it comes to their consumers, great salespeople understand that time is of the essence. They make quick, intuitive judgements based on their keen intuition and in-depth knowledge of particular clients. Customer satisfaction rises as a result of these swift judgments, which affect new sales, contract renewals, upsells, and cross-sells.
When sales personnel focus on clear activity with predictable outcomes, they thrive. They are aware of the impact that regular activities such as calls, proposals, and presentations might have on their capacity to reach monthly objectives. They perform better when they concentrate on short-term objectives rather than long-term objectives.
Great salespeople are competitive, whether it’s with themselves (e.g., by aiming to beat their own best sales record) or with their coworkers.
Because customer satisfaction is so important to a sales rep’s success, instead of thinking big, sales reps concentrate on how they can best address problems for individuals. They ensure customer happiness through inventive and new techniques.
Effective managers excel at six things.
Consider how likely potential managers are to accomplish the following activities without urging from their supervisor, in addition to assessing them for the qualities needed to lead.
1. Make decisions based on data.
Effective managers are used to sifting through sales data in search of trends or insights that can help their team perform better. They track the most essential sales indicators every day to see how they can better support individual reps or develop new methods to boost team productivity.
2. Speak with their top-performing salespeople.
Effective managers spend time talking to their workers to figure out what behaviours the top salespeople share. They then seek ways to spread those habits to the rest of their team so that everyone benefits.
3. Keep an eye on the team’s performance.
Individual reports are used by managers to keep track of team performance. They understand that the correct technologies not only boost team transparency but also reveal which procedures need to be improved and which reps could benefit from additional coaching.
Drilling down into individual performance also reveals which areas a rep requires assistance, allowing managers to provide highly targeted coaching that saves everyone time.
4. Provide coaching
Effective managers offer coaching or training targeted to the needs of their sales staff after recognising which ones could use it. They’re willing to put in the extra effort to guarantee that everyone on their team is ready to succeed.
Managers use their top representatives as mentors when one-on-one coaching isn’t an option. A mentorship strategy accomplishes two goals: it improves reps’ abilities while also fostering team culture.
5. Foster a positive work environment.
Effective managers lead by example when it comes to creating a positive team culture. They are always optimistic, inclusive, and trustworthy. They understand how to create a healthy competitive environment rather than a toxic one in order to keep sales reps engaged while also working together.
They also foster a culture of trust by getting to know their salespeople outside of the office and providing opportunities for team members to form relationships.
While creating and implementing these initiatives requires time and money, smart managers recognise that their efforts will pay off with a more engaged workforce.
6. Hire excellent salespeople
The top prospects for their team are identified and hired by effective managers. They don’t mind spending the time and money to extend a search in order to discover the best candidate for the job. They understand that in the long run, it will save the organisation money on training and replacement costs.
Find your team’s most effective manager.
It isn’t difficult to place the correct person in a leadership role. It only takes a little understanding of what makes a good manager and how that function differs from that of a sales representative.
There’s a good chance you have a lot of high-potential applicants at your company. You might discover that the best candidate for the role is an excellent salesperson who requires some leadership development. A successful salesperson can convert into an effective manager once they focus on a few key abilities and learn to prioritise certain attributes.