Why Sales People Do Not Make the Best Sales Managers

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Why Salespeople Do Not Make the Best Sales Managers
Cheryl Young, Naish Berran, Tonya Rupert & Cortlyn Appel
Eighty-five of ‘sales superstars’ fail in sales management (Stein,2011). In fact, seven out of eight salespeople promoted to sales manager fail within the first year (P, M, D, 2011). These statistics represent our viewpoint; the best salespeople do not make the best sales managers. Sales managers have a natural ability to perform the necessary tasks. This ability can be shaped to make them better, but they cannot be taught from scratch. A manager has the skills and the abilities to run an office and their employees; just like a salesperson has the skills and abilities to make a sale. These characteristics cannot be taught to an individual who does not already posses them. We will be discussing the differences between salespeople and sales managers and explaining why salespeople do not make good sales managers.

Salespeople and sales managers have essentially two different jobs with their own distinct characteristics. Salespeople tend to have a stronger personality and a bigger drive to succeed. They also “have the ability and desire to generate results through their own effort” (Chitwood, 2004). Sales managers, however, have to be able to teach and mentor their salespeople to place them on the right track to succeed. They are not focused on themselves, “they are measured by the results generated [from their] people” (Chitwood, 2004). Sales managers are motivated by seeing others, the ones they are in charge of, succeed.

Salespeople and sales managers also have different knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) associated with each job to differentiate between the two. For example, sales managers need to be able to work with others and be good at developing sales and market strategies to help their employees succeed (Farrington, 2011). Sales managers also need to use his or her employees to meet the corporate goals. Without the help of the sales force, the corporate goals will not be met. In order to help the sales force team succeed, the managers need to train and mentor the sales people accordingly. Whereas salespeople need to have strong selling skills, personal skills and knowledge in order to make a sale (Farrington, 2011). Without these qualities it will be hard for a salesperson to succeed in this profession. Salespeople rely on their managers to steer them in the right direction, and when they have questions, the managers should be able to answer them confidently. It is obvious that a sales manager and a salesperson have different sets of KSAs, therefore showing that these are two different jobs. Neither of the skills sets can be used for both jobs. An individual either has the right set of skills for being a manager or the right set of skills for being a salespersons, but not both. Therefore, this holds true that salespeople do not make good sale managers.

Sales managers and salespeople also have different tasks, responsibilities, and duties (TDRs) that comply with each job. A salesperson duties are to makes sales calls, refers people to the company, as well as creating leads. A salesperson has the correct KSAs in order to implement the TDRs efficiently and accurately. A manager supervises the employees, works on budgeting and marketing strategies, and can train their employees. Again, the reason for having all of the correct KSAs is so that these TDRs are not a problem for the sales manager. Once again. This proves that a good sales representative does not automatically make a good sales manager.

According to Rob Halveorson, “Regardless of industry, Sales Representatives play an important role in the success of their individual companies. Regardless of the type of product or service they sell, their primary duties are to interest buyers and purchasing agents in their companies merchandise or services and to address clients’ questions and concerns” (Halvorsen, 2006) That being said, what is stated...
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