We’re officially into the second month of the year! What were your strategic priorities in January 2019? I’ve had a number of themes that have kept on coming up in conversations with my clients in the last month, and I thought that it was time to address one of the hot topics in greater detail in this article. It’s the age-old sales question of whether or not top salespeople should be promoted to managerial roles, and if they actually have the right psychology for this job.
So who exactly are these “top salespeople” you might ask? Well, that part is pretty easy to define. They are usually a breed of hungry individuals who are hunters by nature. They’re there for the win. And they’re willing to do just about anything to come out on top. Everyone knows at least one person who fits this “hunter” avatar. These unique characteristics that top sales professionals possess help them thrive in fast-paced sales environments. But once the thrill of the hunt starts to fade, a lot of these people start searching for their next challenge. It’s at this time that these hungry lions assume that they’re ready for management. But let’s just clear something up – just because somebody is great at sales and is a great salesperson, doesn’t mean that they’re going to be a great manager too.
Think about your own organisation for a minute. Do you know of any top salespeople that have been promoted recently? How far have these people come and how much have they achieved in their new roles in management? I’m not saying it’s impossible for a top sales person to become a great manager, but in my experience, these people aren’t always the right people for the job.
I sometimes liken salespeople to racing drivers; they might be part of a team but they’ve got a winning mentality and their priority at the end of the day is to get that win for themselves. Getting wins through other people takes a different dynamic altogether. This is why not everyone will enjoy being a manager. Believe it or not, but managing others requires effort, patience and a tremendous amount of selflessness! And if you’re a true hunter, then selflessness doesn’t usually come easily to you.
Top performers naturally want to move up the ranks and want some form of significance and recognition, but when they’re promoted, instead of leading they often just disrupt the environment and equilibrium of the organization because of their lack of experience.
Adjusting to life as a manager isn’t an easy task at all. Even I found it tough at first! I myself was a top achiever for many years before I was promoted and although I desperately wanted to grow in my new managerial role, it took me over a year to get used to the new dynamics and psychology that came with it.
I went from being in control of the income I made (because it was essentially up to me how many deals I closed and how much commission I made), to then only making my money if my team performed well. And instead of being out on the battlefield, managers are usually stuck at the office- working longer hours, for less pay (or at least that’s how it feels at first).
Luckily I learnt a lot through my experience, and with time I became a much better manager, mentor and teacher. Being a manager shouldn’t be about the job title and status. It’s about more than your ego.
Considering a management role? Do this first!
- GO ON A MANAGERIAL COURSE: If you really want to become a manager, then consider completing a management course during your free time. These qualifications will equip you with the skills you need in a management role, and your boss will see that you mean business!
- HELP AT THE OFFICE: If you’re committed to being seen as a leader, then taking the time to train and motivate less experienced staff members at the office will most definitely help promote you faster. If you have time for others and want to get them on their path for success then you could have what it takes to be a great manager.
*If you’d like to watch my Facebook live that I did on this very topic, then click here to watch the replay: