Many companies continue to make a critical error when they are looking internally to promote someone to the role of sales manager. All too often they take their best sales person and try and make them the sales manager with disastrous results. Your best person is no longer selling, profits drop, the territory looses coverage, good customers may become disillusioned and defect and ultimately the sales person becomes frustrated with their failure.

Face it they have not been trained in sales management and their confidence plummets as the pressures to produce build and they inevitably decide to leave the organization and return to selling for a competitor or another industry. This person almost never asks to return to their original sales role since it would mean admitting failure in front of the company and their peers.

If you are looking for a sales manager you should also look beyond the top sales person and you will often find you have a good sales performer who is better suited to the role. Once you have identified the individual and sales assessment testing can be very helpful here, make sure you have proper sales management training arranged to assist them in their new role. If you don’t have the expertise internally to conduct the training then hire a sales training organization.

If you are thinking you will send them to an off the shelf “Sales Manager Training Course” where your sales person will attend 2 or 3 days of classroom instruction then don’t spend the money. If you want a program that will make a difference, deliver results and provide a long term ROI then you need to look for a program that includes knowledge based training (everyone offers this) and “coaching to build competency through practice” very few sales training companies offer this critical component.

The number one way for someone to learn a new skill and create lasting results is through the mentoring process. For your new sales manager to be successful you need a program that can provide this support after the ‘formal” part of the training is complete. Plan for success.

For more information on action based sales and sales management training techniques, please visit


Robert J. Weese
B2B Sales Connections Inc.

Author's Bio: 

Robert J. Weese is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, the specialized job board, free resume listing service, and sales training website for business to business sales professionals. He has a proven track record of success, with over 29 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience. Before co-founding B2B Sales Connections, Robert gained marketing, sales and general management experience in the business technology and office equipment industries. He also has experience in broadcast advertising and journalism. For more information, please visit