Truth: 9 out of 10 sales leaders have had the experience of promoting the wrong rep into management. If you’re a sales rep working on a promotion, read these tips to make sure you’re not one of the reps who shouldn’t be in management.
Tip #1: Be above quota. If you want to lead and teach reps to hit quota, don’t raise your hand if you haven’t hit or beaten quota for at least 12 straight months or 4 quarters.
Tip #1a: Don’t be the top rep. If you’re consistently smashing quota, rethink management. You’re the number one mistake, my friend. That’s right you special snowflake, most of the managers I met who were top reps are miserable. You also have more trouble teaching new reps how to be awesome. Why? Because you’re so damn good it’s an art to you – harder to teach an art than a science. Also, you’re wired to win at all costs, and in management the job is about helping your team win. You’ll also make less money. Yeah I know, I should have led with that.
Tip #2: Process wins. A hiring director wants to see that you have a system in place for how you:
- Attack a list of leads
- Document your actions in CRM
- Penetrate new accounts
- Approach your day
- Onboard a new account
Fill in your own blank here, and do it several times. And if you aren’t asked about this in the interview, bring it up.
Tip #2a. Document that process and hand it in. “Here’s how I approach ABC. I’ve documented it to help some of the new hires.” Boom! Winner!
Tip #3. Actually go and help the new hires. Every team of sellers has a de facto leader. No, not that person who wins every contest, the OTHER person who you go to and who actually answers your questions. The nice and helpful one. THAT’s the future manager on the team. Be them.
Tip #3a. Be a mentor. Ask your manager to assign you as a mentor to newbies on your team or others. Being a mentor for 6 months is the number one way to find out if management is a gig you want. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s your sign it may suit you more to be in control of your own success and commission as a next-level seller vs. manager.
Tip #4. Go Pro. Ask a friend or mentor to review ten random emails you’ve sent to customers or internally and give you feedback on the professionalism of your communication. Nobody is going to hire the master of misspelling or the novelist. Bullet points. Clear. Direct. Grammatically perfect. Completely auto-corrected.
Tip #4a. Now go make them all 30% shorter. Make your subject lines actionable, speak in bullets vs. paragraphs, and have a clear call to action at the end.
Tip #5. Network now. The time to start talking about career moves, desires, and paths is about a year before you probably want it. Do all the managers know your name? How about the directors? When the VP asks who is on the shortlist of folks wanting to move up, are you 100% positive you appear on that list? If not, start booking some lunches or virtual coffees. Start by sharing your desire to grow and asking for advice on how to work to get there.
Tip #5a. Speak up! Ladies, do this 11.5 months before you’re comfortable doing it. The whole reason I started #GirlsClub was to help us level the playing field, and I need your help by actually getting on the field. We’re historically the last to apply and raise our hands – and then we’re upset for not being approached or chosen. That happens because we wait and wait and wait to speak up. Learn more and maybe even participate in our management certification at www.WeAreGirlsClub.com.
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