If you have been hitting all your targets while working in sales, you might be hoping for a promotion to a management position. However, the best salespeople don't always have the necessary skills to become great managers. If you want to progress from selling to managing a team, then you need to develop a new set of skills to help you make that transition.
Many of the best salespeople enjoy working alone. They are self-motivated individuals who enjoy working toward personal targets. However, a great manager needs to be able to work well with others. Rather than working toward their own goals, the best managers coach and mentor their teams to make sure all team members hit their targets.
If you want to stand out as a great salesperson who also has strong management skills, then you need to start focusing on the team's targets as well as your own. Help your colleagues out by passing on leads, helping them close sales or even just giving advice to help your teammates improve their selling skills. For example, set up a weekly session where every member of the sales team can share tips and ask for advice on selling.
While the best salespeople focus intensely on their clients' needs and pour all their energy into making the next sale, the best managers need to have a broader view. Sales managers must think ahead and decide how the sales team should adapt their strategy to cope with changing demands in the market. If you want to become management material, you need to develop an understanding of your organization's place in the industry. A good place to start is reading industry blogs and publications to find out about the latest trends.
Managing a sales team is very different from being a great salesperson. If you love meeting clients, getting to know their needs and desires, and experiencing the thrill of closing a sale, then it could be that selling is the right job for you. Before you go for a management job, consider whether you would actually enjoy managing people. Many of the best salespeople prefer selling directly to clients over being in charge of a team. If your motivation to move into a management role is driven by the desire for a higher salary, consider instead looking for a commission-based sales job — the best salespeople can earn a lot of money with this kind of compensation plan.
The best salespeople do not always make great sales managers, as selling and managing require very different skills. If you are a great salesperson who is considering a management role, you need to invest some time and effort into developing your management skills in order to be successful.
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