Do Great Sales People Make Great Sales Managers?


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Do great sales people make great sales managers?  This is a debate that never seems to end, I’ve written about it before, over the past few weeks, I don’t know how many posts I read about the topic.

There is a real problem, too many times, we take great sales people and move them into sales management roles.  Some succeed, some fail.  Move anyone into any management job, some succeed, some fail.  The real issues are: 

  • Do we know what skills, capabilities, experiences, and mentality do we want in a sales manager?  Do we have a profile of what the ideal sales manager looks like?
  • Do we look for candidates that match our requirements or profile as closely as possible?
  • Do we have an “on-boarding” or development plan for the new manager?  Are we providing them the right training, coaching, and development to enable them to be successful?
  • Does this job change make sense as the next step in the person’s career?

Evaluating candidates against these criteria helps us make better decisions about sales managers.  Great sales people matching these criteria are likely to be great sales managers.  Great sales people that don’t match these criteria are best left to be great sales people.

The question is not Do great sales people make great sales manager?  Let’s move on and focus on hiring and developing great sales managers, wherever we source them.


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