Did you promote your top Rep to Manager? Whoops!

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Think of your very best rep.  Like ever.  Pulled deals out of the air like little cloud gifts from heaven at month end.  Broke new business, mastered the upsell, just couldn’t TOUCH their results.  Was she a little high maintenance?  Always had an emergency?  Bet he never quite did the “I – dotting and T – crossing: like he was supposed to?  Man, what a salesman.

Do. Not. Promote. Him.


Top reps (very tippity top Reps) make lousy managers.  Sure they want it!  But that’s because they like to WIN, get RECOGNIZED, get PAID.

What they don’t like is administrative crap, coaching other reps, and putting the rest of the team before themselves.  Hint: these might be critical skills.

If you’re looking to promote internally, here’s a list of a few things I use to spot future super-managers.  I hope you’ll add to the list!

  • B rep.  Really.  Your “A Reps” are probably making too much money to stay in management anyway.
  • The volunteer.  The one who doesn’t mind you delegating a task like putting together a presentation, training the team, or researching a product.
  • The mom.  You know who loves to care and feed the young.  That’s the nurturing spirit a manager needs!
  • The coach.  NOT the preacher (the “Here’s-how-I-do-it” guy) but the person who loves to be shadowed and then spends 30 minutes asking questions and checks back later.
  • The accidental leader.  Who sets the culture on your team without trying?  Who do people look to for approval or answers but who isn’t officially in charge?  A natural.

Your turn! What do you look for in a Rep that tells you she might be your next manager?

PS here’s a link to a quick video about sales management and how it’s a different job.

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