However, before you promote one of your salespeople to a sales management position, you should know that not every salesperson is fit to manage and lead a team to success.
Sales management positions require an entirely different skill set and personality than typical sales positions, and you must know whether or not your potential candidate possesses those skills and personality traits before you can confidently promote him or her.
Let’s start with the infographic:
And here is the text version:
How to Tell if Your Sales Rep Will Thrive as a Manager
1. She consistently proves that she is fit to lead.
The top 3 traits that determine someone’s potential for sales success according to our sales personality test are:
- Need for Achievement
Once you’ve found a strong sales rep, it may be tempting to promote her based on sales numbers alone; however, you must be mindful that being a sales manager involves much more than meeting numeric goals. Making the transition from working on the sales floor to managing the sales floor requires additional key leadership traits that many successful salespeople may not necessarily possess.
If you are considering promoting a salesperson to management but are unsure of whether or not she is a good fit to lead the sales team, these are the traits you must look for:
- Good at managing conflicts – The sales manager will need to handle disputes that arise amongst the salespeople to promote teamwork.
- Confident – Good sales managers are confident because they know that it will help their team become more confident as well.
- Curious – A good sales manager will always look for ways to improve processes to help everyone on the sales team succeed.
- Creative – A sales manager must be able to come up with new sales contests/incentives and think of new ways to solve problems within the sales department.
- Patient – Sales managers are faced with challenges on a daily basis, and they must be patient enough to handle them without becoming overwhelmed.
If the candidate does possess all of these traits, you can feel confident knowing that she has the right personality to excel in a management role.
Keep in mind that the person you choose for a sales management role should exhibit these traits regularly – not just every once in a while. You want someone who will show up to work every day ready to inspire her team to succeed.
2. She is focused on career advancement.
The best candidates for sales management positions are often the salespeople who are proactive in figuring out how they can reach their career goals. They will not wait for you to come to them about the promotion. Instead, they will ask you directly if the promotion is an option or at least make it known that their career goal is to become a sales manager.
3. She reaches out to a mentor.
A great candidate for a sales management position is someone who actively seeks out a mentor that can help her sell more effectively. Seeking out a mentor shows both humility and the willingness to learn and take advice from others when necessary – two traits that are important for anyone in a sales management position.
4. She serves as a mentor to others.
A salesperson does not need to wait until she has been promoted to sales manager to begin mentoring her fellow salespeople. Often, a good candidate for a sales manager position will make herself available to help her peers learn new sales techniques, ways to overcome objection and more. She may also volunteer to lead team meetings or coaching sessions for members of the sales team who are struggling to sell effectively.
The willingness to help fellow salespeople reach their full potential shows that the prospective sales manager possesses the expertise necessary to lead and that she prioritizes the needs of others.
5. She is passionate about the company’s potential and future.
Sometimes, salespeople just want to move up to a sales management position because it seems like a natural progression in their career. However, you should avoid choosing someone for a sales management position if she is not passionate about the company and what the job role entails.
It is not enough for someone to want the perks and benefits that come with a leadership role – she must also genuinely care about the future of the company and be willing to do what it takes to help the company prosper. When the sales manager is passionate about her job and developing her team, you will find that her salespeople are more passionate about their jobs as well, which can translate to better overall sales results.
6. She is proactive about making improvements.
A good sales manager will not accept that certain processes are failing – she will analyze them and figure out how to make improvements without being asked.
This often goes hand-in-hand with being passionate about the company and position. A sales manager who genuinely cares about her work will naturally look for ways to make life easier for her sales team so that they are well-equipped to get the best sales results possible.
7. She is willing to avoid personal bias.
When a salesperson is promoted to a sales management position, she can no longer pick and choose which salespeople she wants to associate with. She must treat everyone as equals and show willingness to devote time to those who need it – not just to those whose company she enjoys the most.
This can make the transition from salesperson to sales manager difficult, as it is tempting for someone who has been promoted to management to show preference to the team members she associated with when they were peers. However, avoiding personal bias is absolutely necessary for a healthy team culture – if the sales manager plays favorites, she will soon find herself dealing with a dysfunctional department.
It is all too easy to fall into the trap of placing your top salesperson in a sales management position. That’s why you should avoid doing this without first analyzing her leadership skills and personality to see whether or not she is truly cut out for the job.
If you are feeling unsure about a sales management candidate, use the information in this post to guide your decision. You may also want to use a sales personality test and encourage the candidate to continue her role as a salesperson if the test shows that she has a high potential for sales success. That way, she gets the most out of the job and can benefit the company as much as possible.
Otherwise, you may end up losing one of your top salespeople, and all you will have to show for it is a bad sales manager.