7 years ago
March 17, 2017

5 Things Sales Managers Wish They Knew Before Taking the Job

There is a HUGE difference between being a sales rep and sales manager. Here are 5 Things Sales Managers Wish They Knew Before Taking the Job

Rhys Metler

Making the transition from sales rep to sales manager is a common career move for sales professionals. It is a natural progression. However, what many don’t realize is just how different being a sales manager is from being a sales rep. While the two positions are intertwined, they are also very different, and it often takes some time for new sales managers to ramp up and get used to their new role.

“Let’s face it – being a sales manager is tough, especially when you’re new to the job and still getting your bearings straight. Many sales reps strive to become a sales manager eventually, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always a completely smooth transition. A promotion from sales rep to sales manager is a huge accomplishment, however, the characteristics, skills, and mindset it takes you to become a top sales rep are not what will make you a successful sales leader,” says Lindsay Kolowich on The InsightSquared Blog.

Things to Know Before You Become a Sales Manager

In hindsight, here is some information that sales managers wish they knew before they made the transition from sales rep:

1. Selling and managing are very different:

Not all great sales reps are great managers. The skills you relied upon to meet sales quotas and be a top rep don’t necessarily apply to management. Be ready to shift your approach from focusing on you (making sales) to the team, and helping them make sales and becoming the top rep that you were.

2. You need a mentor:

While you may have an idea of what to expect, you can learn a lot more and get a more realistic perspective about what you can expect by finding a mentor – someone who is or has been a sales manager in the past. They will be able to help you with your transition and ramp up quicker.

3. Finding good sales reps is difficult:

Your sales team is only as good as the people you hire. Finding good reps is harder than most new sales managers realize. Therefore, it’s important to put time, effort, and focus into hiring if you want to have a high achieving sales team.

4. It’s on you to set the tone:

As the team leader, it is up to you to lay the groundwork and foundation for the culture of the team. “Building a top-selling sales culture is no coincidence – sales managers need to make careful decisions about every aspect of their team, from compensation plans to office floor plans. My advice is to do a lot of research on the characteristics of a high performance sales culture and make these decisions before you step into the role,” says Kolowich.

5. Relationships will change:

The relationships you have with your coworkers will change when you take on a new role, especially a management role. Take time to meet with them and get on the same page.


Related Blogs:

6 Tips to Be a Successful Sales Manager

10 Tips to Motivate Your Sales Team

4 Tips for a Sales Manager to do Immediately After Landing the Job


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Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.