David has been an incredible salesperson for the company. A sales management position opens up and the executive team identifies him as a strong candidate for the role. His interview goes well and one of the biggest, most common corporate mistakes is made. David is promoted to sales manager.
The issue here isn’t giving David the nod to become the sales manager. The issue is viewing this move as a promotion rather than what it truly is… a job change. There is an executive dream of taking top salespeople, making them sales managers and having them create teams of disciples. Rarely does that dream come true.
For David to succeed as a sales manager, he needs a structured onboarding program during which he is taught sales management skills like evaluating sales talent, onboarding salespeople on to the sales team, coaching salespeople, etc. None of these are skills David would have acquired as a salesperson. And, if the company treats David’s new role as a promotion whereby he attempts to create disciples, he will fall flat.
Remember, no one comes out of the womb knowing how to develop a sales compensation plan, hire the right salespeople, or put together a successful trade show. These are skills that are learned through onboarding.
See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.