One of the things that sometimes scares me the most in the companies I work with is precisely this issue – when a company I work for tells me that salesperson X is going to be promoted to head of sales.
The question is not whether he will be promoted because sometimes there are plenty of proven track records, and he even deserves it; the question is whether we will lose a good salesperson and gain a bad boss.
Unfortunately, this happens in many situations to which we have access and are called to intervene to correct.
Of all the projects we have had in this area, and there have been quite a few, there is almost always a common denominator – the need for more investment in the preparation of the person in question for the sales manager position.
Sometimes people are expected to guess what they must do, which usually leads to failure.
When the manager is adequately trained and accompanied by the previous manager or someone higher up in the hierarchy, the situation is often different.
However, there may still be the risk that the person is not really cut out for a management career.
Sometimes this happens. Only sometimes what we want or think is good for us in professional terms is so!
Being a sales manager is great, but when we start getting pressure from all sides and feel sandwiched between our team and the top management, it doesn’t always shine as brightly.
The other day we were hired to do business management coaching for a new manager who had taken over as a matter of urgency since the previous manager had left in a very unethical way.
What the company did was the most logical: instead of going to the market, as they are a company that promotes internal recruitment whenever possible, they analyzed who stood out in sales and promoted him.
After a few months, that is, after the grace period was over, the problems started to arise.
And they were such that we were called to intervene.
They started with the team, which systematically boycotted the sales manager’s work, then discomfort was generated in the person due to the dissatisfaction that everything was bringing him.
Not to mention the increasing pressure from management to get the team back on track regarding sales targets.
We have an intensive sales management program, open to several companies, going on, and we were able to enroll him there.
He took the basics from there and got new ideas to better manage his team in terms of motivation, performance, and, above all, control in terms of commercial management indicators.
At the same time, we worked with him at a more personalized commercial management coaching level to alert him to the main problems and how he should reorganize his acting as a manager.
This piece was fundamental for him to integrate everything; after all, we functioned as management figures in terms of external mentoring and advice.
But what can justify our client companies adhering to this type of project, given that they still have somewhat high costs?
In their case, it was because it was much cheaper than any other option.
Once the management, demotion would not be an option; in this person’s case, he would probably feel the defeat on his skin, and his sales would no longer be the same.
Firing the person, in this case, was not an option, given that he had been almost pushed into the position, and ethically speaking, the company did not want to go in that direction.
The cost of firing this particular salesperson would be very high even if it wanted to, not only in financial terms but also because he would most likely go to the major competing company, where he would undoubtedly do a lot of damage.
We were left with our option, which turned out to be the most viable, consensual, ethical, and, above all, with a guaranteed return, as it turned out.
This week stop for a moment to think:
“Are my business leaders prepared?”
Also published on Medium.