7 Signs Your Sales Rep Should Be Promoted


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sales rep promotedPreparing for the New Year requires decisions to be made. As a Sales VP, putting the best people in the correct positions is critical. Making your number next year means promoting, keeping and terminating certain sales reps. Knowing who to promote is the first step. They can help you make the other decisions. But which person on your team has the best chance for success?

Download our Sales Rep Promotability Scale. It will allow you to:

  • Objectively evaluate your team
  • Determine who is most likely to succeed in the promoted role
  • Develop others to get promoted in the future

Sales Rep Promotability Scale

You don’t have time to afford a long onboarding process. Plus, you only have a limited amount of time to coach them. And promoting from within has proved more successful than hiring from the outside. What do you look for on your current team?

7 Signs Your Sales Rep Should Be Promoted:

  1. Making the Number Properly: Ultimately, fulfilling your sales job description is exceeding your quota. But to get promoted, the rep must do it correctly. For example, making the number by discounting heavily hits your goals. But selling value allows not just revenue but margin to be considered. That’s profitable and good business.
  2. Get Extra Credit: The great ones make the number while helping you. Training, piloting or even taking on extra responsibility (i.e. open territory) is met in stride. Somehow they figure out how to do it. And make it look easy. They are the ones who in school got the extra credit.
  3. Be the Informal Team Leader: Watch for the team turning to this person subtlety. They don’t ‘promote’ themselves yet get all the questions. In meetings, others want their opinions. They don’t usually voice them by their own. Most of the time people ask them specifically. And their view usually sways the decision.
  4. Creates Social Debt: The promotable rep does something valuable for their peers without being asked. This could be going on a sales call, helping with deal strategy or running a sales meeting. They consistently ‘pay it forward’ always providing value. Yet they do it without any real benefit to them.
  5. Displays Constructive Criticism: They don’t complain. The best provide professional, mature constructive criticism. Things aren’t always right. But how you voice your opinion matters.
  6. They Don’t Cost any Political Capital: You never have to give an excuse for this person. They always get it done no matter what obstacle. You rely on them consistently without defending their actions. And you don’t waste any valuable energy ‘talking them up’ with the boss. The boss notices them on their own.
  7. Extreme Coachability: They actually listen and take action on your coaching. This means your coaching and feedback help them sell. Helps them develop. And helps them get promoted.

Recognizing these signs in your reps takes time. You must attend multiple sales meetings. Go on field rides. Attend customer meetings with your reps. If you just listen to your sales manager, the critical interactions will be missed. And the signs of a promotable rep will be missed. Unfortunately, this happens quite often. When it does, the sales rep that endears themselves to the boss is promoted. Don’t let this happen in your sales organization.

Call to Action:

  • Be Present at the Weekly Sales Meetings and Field Rides: Attending all of them across multiple teams is impossible. But having a regular cadence is necessary. Observing the reps over time allows the necessary visibility to watch and listen.
  • Watch and Listen for the above Signs: Promotable sales people don’t do every sign. But they accomplish most. Making the number but not being the informal leader doesn’t cut it. Displaying constructive criticism but having to defend the accounts they sell is a problem. The next Sales Manager completes most the signs weekly.
  • Develop those Reps who Display Some Signs but not all: Noticing the signs is one thing. Devoting time to develop the others in a future sales manager is another. Construct an Individual Promotion Plan for the great ones. Invest time so they exhibit most of the signs.

It is worth the time and energy to develop promotable sales reps. Those that display the above 7 signs onboard quicker with less effort. This leads to quickly making the number. Download the tool and work on developing people for promotion. You will receive the rewards now and later.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Perry
Dan is an industry thought leader with more than 25 years of experience in b-to-b field sales, sales management, and sales operations. Dan has delivered domestic and international results for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Terremark Worldwide, Dow Jones, Activant Solutions, Kronos, CDS Global, Microsemi.


  1. Although I am an individual contributor, this article was very informative for me. It provides some great pointers for areas to focus and develop.

    Thanks for the great article Dan!


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