Sales Team Leaders or Sales Team Disasters

It is interesting to note that many successful sales people do not make very good team leaders.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that promoting a top salesperson to the role of ‘team leader’ is a bad thing.

The character of a team leader is totally different to that of a salesperson.   A top salesperson is generally focused on personal systems and actions.  That is why they are so good at what they do; each day they do the right things and build momentum and market share.  They also will earn a lot of commission as a result of these personal processes.

Many business leaders and CEO’s unfortunately take the top performer from the team and give them the ‘tag’ of ‘sales manager’ or ‘sales director’.  That person will be given a pay increase in exchange for sharing their skills around the greater team.  Whilst the logic is there, it is a ‘dumb’ business move.

Do you know what I mean?  Have you been there before?  Here are some facts that you cannot ignore.

  • The character of a top performer is one of achievement.  That is removed when they are appointed as ‘sales manager’.
  • A top salesperson will drive massive business when given autonomy and left to establish their systems and procedures.  Flexibility and creativity are critical factors to top sales performers.  In the role of ‘sales manager’ they will not have that.
  • A ‘sales manager’ has to be skilful in team leadership and team counselling.  Those skills do not sit well with a top sales performer.

The best sales managers are special people that know how to encourage personal performance across many different types of people.  They enjoy the job for the benefit and results that the team can achieve.  Choose your sales managers well, and your business will benefit.