Transitions: Sales Superstar to Sales Manager

Category: Management Training

Setting up your first-time Sales Manager for success

In many organizations, people are promoted into management roles because of seniority or because of strong performance in their previous role. In a sales environment this is no less true. A sales representative who consistently beats their numbers, who always excels on customer satisfaction surveys is sure to possess some special ingredients of skills and tactics that they will transfer to every other member of the team if we just gave them a chance.  


Not so fast. 

You don’t have to dig too deep to find volumes of surveys, research reports and fish tales that suggest sales managers promoted from within fail at alarming rates. 

Why do sales managers fail? And, more importantly, what can your organization do about this?

While the skills and abilities of sales reps and sales managers are related, there are some very substantial differences between the roles.  Even the best sales representatives will need to develop some new skills in order to excel in the role of manager.

The two main themes that HORN weaves into our custom sales manager training programs for clients are shown here along with some of the key tasks and activities they enable: 

Inspiring Activity & Results 

  • Run effective sales meetings that focus on what we will do and how we will do it instead of on just what we did do. 
  • Handle difficult conversations with empathy and grace, preserving respect and self-esteem and achieving the desired result.
  • Create an environment that encourages staff to take ownership and accountability, maintaining an encouraging and positive atmosphere.

People Development

  • Conduct one-on-one’s with their team that unlock meaningful improvements in performance.
  • Apply a wide range of coaching techniques to optimize individual performance and talent.
  • Streamline the demands of managing, planning and coaching into a comfortable and effective rhythm.

Set Your New Sales Managers Up For Success

When promoting your superstar to the next level, have a plan in place to ensure that they are set up for success. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Identify the strengths, weaknesses, gaps and opportunities for skill development in each of your sales managers
  • Develop a clear onboarding process that builds skill and competence over time
  • Set development goals and milestones collaboratively with your sales managers
  • Provide the support tools and resources, including individualized coaching opportunities for new sales leaders

HORN helps to create great sales leaders.

Connect with us to discover how you can take your sales managers from good to great.