Transitioning from the Front Lines, to the Front of the Front Lines

There is no denying that experience can be a great teacher. But all too often we promote our best ‘experienced’ sales people to sales managers with no management training or safety net.  It’s not fair to the newly appointed manager, to their staffs, nor to the company.

Having a successful track record in sales enables the newly appointed manager to capture the respect and credibility necessary to lead; that’s a good thing.  But the skill sets she/he acquired as a sales person do not necessarily equip them to be great managers.

I’ve had the heart-breaking experience of seeing dedicated passionate sales leaders crash and burn in management roles. Not because they didn’t have the work ethic, desire, intelligence or integrity to succeed, but simply because they were given the title, an office, and told “good luck”!

And it can be intimidating for a new manager saddled with a truckload of new tasks to ask for coaching or training for fear they might appear weak or incompetent in their new role.
I do admire the intent of companies that prefer to promote from within.

If you do promote from within and want to see your candidate succeed, consider doing two things;
1.) Hire a management coach to confidentially mentor their growth.
2.) Invest in management training to ensure their continued success.

To not do so is unfair to your new manager, their staffs, your customers and your company.