Is Sales Management for You?

Sales ManagerIt’s not uncommon for successful sales professionals to be offered promotions into sales management jobs.  And because it’s considered a “promotion,” it’s easy to think the seller should take it.  But should she… or he?

I’ve seen a lot of people make this move and many end up regretting it.  Just because they’re good at sales doesn’t necessarily mean they’re well suited for management.  And for those who are, many find they enjoyed sales more.  They may miss the independence, the open-ended earning potential or the customer interaction, to name just a few of the rewards sales people enjoy.

I’ve also seen sellers make the move and thrive.  So how do you determine if it’s a good move for you?   

The following is a list of indicators that describe people who excel in sales management.  Consider whether they describe you.  If so, it might be just the move for you.

  1. You enjoy coaching and training your fellow sellers to succeed, and you do it frequently.
  2. You like planning how to achieve annual sales objectives.
  3. You’re pleased when other sellers are recognized for their individual wins.
  4. One of your strengths is strategizing about account situations with the sales team.
  5. Your peers and colleagues look to you for leadership. They come to you for your advice and take it. Your direction and ideas motivate them.
  6. You envision new markets your company could penetrate, and see how the sales team could do it.
  7. You enjoy teaming with marketing to execute lead generation campaigns.
  8. You’re hungry to be a part of the executive team, to make a difference in driving the success of the company.
  9. You’re organized and disciplined. You understand and appreciate the importance of forecasting, scheduled prospecting activities, consistent sales process and otherwise pain-in-the neck activities managers press their team to do – with good reason.
  10. Money is not your primary motivator. Instead, you feel rewarded by the success of the company, revenue and client growth. (It’s important to note that sales managers typically earn less than their team members, but can still earn fairly substantial incomes.)

If you saw yourself in these descriptions, congratulations on your future move into sales management.

If you discovered, however, that sales management is not for you, celebrate the fact that you found out before making an unhappy move.  Remember, you already have a successful career, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making sales a lifelong profession.

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