A guide to promoting your sales reps: Part 1

Deciding to promote a salesperson to a management position requires careful consideration

By Sathee Brent,

The roles of the salesperson and sales manager differ greatly, so management candidates should be carefully evaluated. When promoting a successful sales representative to manager, businesses must analyze performance data and evaluate leadership abilities. 

Identify the top candidates 
Promoting an individual to a management position requires consideration of the top-ranking employees. Sales & Marketing Consulting noted, promoting from within is often more effective than hiring someone who is not already familiar with the business. 

An operation can identify top performers easily using performance and incentive compensation management software. These systems allow management to accurately stack rank employees. An incentive compensation management system can show managers which sales representatives are consistently exceeding sales quotas and goals. ICM software provides business insights to the most promotable sales representatives.

The results of the system suggest that a salesperson is capable of meeting demands, which is what quality businesses want to see in workers in their management positions as well. 

Evaluating candidates for the position 
When evaluating an employee for a promotion to manager, a proven record that demonstrates the individual consistently hits his or her sales goals suggests he or she can balance coaching a team while also hitting pre-determined sales goals. Mangers should be confident the candidate will bring valuable skills to the position and be capable of assisting sales teams and increase sales productivity. 

ICM software can help managers track whether a candidate's ability to reach goals on a regular basis. 

Know essential skills 
Sales management positions require individuals to demonstrate strong leadership skills. They need strong leadership skills to be able to motivate their sales representatives to meet and exceed quotas, provide adequate sales training and coach their teams to success. The ability to lead and motivate a team will improve the performance of sales representatives year over year.

In addition, managers can provide proper training for the sales team. A sales manager who is a strong leader will communicate a clear vision and goal for the sales team to meet. 

The ability to motivate a team and encourage all sales reps throughout the year can help improve the performance of all employees. When individuals know how to coach a sales team they can boost everyone's individual performance.

Decide whether he or she fits the bill 
To know whether a candidate would be a good match for a sales management position, a business should know and understand that the roles are entirely different. Inc. magazine noted that while being capable of selling well is important, meeting the quota and exceeding it does not mean an individual will perform a sales management position well. It is crucial the salesperson also demonstrates motivation, leadership and the ability to meet goals consistently.   

Taking the time to evaluate performance and giving candidates small tasks to evaluate their ability to lead and coach will likely help a business decide whether a salesperson can make the switch to a management position. ICM software can save businesses substantial time during this process. Sales leaders will be able to evaluate potential candidates more efficiently and promote the proper individuals.

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Sathee Brent