I have a theory that in most cases success in one job doesn't necessarily translate into success in another role. Despite people's perception of most reps being gregarious back slappers, there is a loner side to a rep - not unlike a lion on the Serengeti.They are very strategic in their approach to taking down their prey and there is a remarkable sense of pride when they land a new account. Although they may be part of a team, they want to me recognized for their individual accomplishments.
Now think of this lone hunter being tapped to manage multiple lions. First, there is the issue of the manager no longer being the one that strikes the prey, but rather having to send out a lion from the pride to do the work for them. To many, this is not enough of an adrenaline rush to satisfy their need to conquer. Although they are considered partly responsible for the kill, it just isn't the same when you are not the one landing the account. You also have to deal with multiple temperaments and personalities, all of whom have their own way of accomplishing their goals. It may be hard to sit back and not render some rather strong opinions of how you were so successful, ergo, they need to sell like you did. Selling, despite common misperceptions, is a very individual and personalized skill.
And let's not forget the addition of the administrative side to sales management and the multiple meetings that a manager may find themselves attending. Reps, for the most part are impatient, have difficulty focusing for long periods of time and despise sitting still for too long. So what is the solution?
I think when team building and deciding who needs to be given a new role in a company, there needs to be an assessment of their temperament and skill set. This can be accomplished by administering the KTS-II (Keirsey Temperament Sorter-II) to those individuals under consideration. This test is used by over 75% of the Fortune 500 companies, the US Army and many academic institutions. The results of this test will enable both the manager and the rep to better understand how best the individual operates in various capacities and predict to some degree the outcome of a new position. Although, like any type of test, it is not fool proof, it does shine the light on certain traits and behaviors that need to be understood prior to a change of responsibility. Additionally, knowing the temperament and inner motives of your team members can better prepare you to manage them effectively. One size fits all is not an adage that should be used in a leadership role if the leader wishes to be effective at what they do. Yes, maybe there are reps that just don't belong in a managerial role, but then again there probably are reps that may make great managers with the proper preparation and training. Doesn't it make sense to find out if a rep has the internal wiring to become an effective manager before you take the time and expense to move them from sales to management?
Our team is trained in administering and counseling personnel when in transition from sales to management. More broadly, we are here to help anytime you would like to know more about your employees strengths and weaknesses, and if they are in a role that maximizes their potential.
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Correct alignment = Maximum results