The Real Reason Why Good Salespeople Often Turn Into Mediocre Sales Managers

by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sales managers fail because of you.

Let's assume you did The_real_reason_why_good_salespeople_turn_into_mediocre_sales_managers.jpgeverything right.

You didn't guess in the promotion of a good salesperson to sales manager. You used a valid multi-science sales personality test to ensure the promoted sales manager actually possesses the capacity to do the job well. 


Whether your sales team crushes it or misses by a mile, it is your fault.


If you manage sales managers or are the CEO, YOU are the real reason why good salespeople do or do not make good sales managers. 


The inspiration for this piece is Dave Kahle's recent article, Why Good Sales People Often Turn Into Mediocre Sales Managers shared a sales manager problem that we have all experienced.

"When they become sales managers, they expect all of their sales people to be just as hard driving and achievement oriented as they were.  Unfortunately the reality is that most of their sales people don’t share the same degree of drive and perfectionism that they had.  If they did, they would have been promoted to sales manager.

That means that the sales manager often is frustrated with the performance and attitudes of his charges, and confused as to how to change them."


A high-performing salesperson is promoted to sales manager...

Let's break this down.

The new sales manager expects salespeople to think like them. The new sales manager expects their salespeople to perform.

Of course when the new sales manager is unable to motivate, inspire and coach low performers, they become frustrated.

More from Kahle:

"Whereas before he was clearly and independently responsible for his results, now he must achieve his results through other people.  Too often, he defaults to a view of his job wherein he becomes the “super sales person,” taking over accounts, projects and sales calls from his less-talented charges.  This creates frustration on all parts."



Your adult daycare program is destroying sales.

Most sales teams have a person or two or three who should have been culled long ago.  

One of the first things I do when I engage a sales manager is go through their current sales team. I want to hear the background of each salesperson. I want to learn each salesperson's history and selling performance. Invariably there are salespeople who are coasting without accountability.


I always ask, "Why is this salesperson coasting?" 

The answer I get is a variant of the following:

"This salesperson is the VP of sales' brother / sister."

"This salesperson is the first salesperson the company ever hired and they are untouchable."

"I complain to my VP of sales and they won't do anything to support me in making a change."

Salespeople who are not performing are destroying your bottom line and giving customers to your competitors. Worse yet, when low-performing salespeople are allowed to stay on the team, it sets a powerful tone of mediocrity in your sales culture.



It is your ship. Whether you are the VP of sales, the CEO or the President of the company, you shape the destiny of those under you.  Hire only the best salespeople. Encourage, coach and develop them. Remove non-believers and low performers quickly. By doing so, you will give your new sales manager a fighting chance to succeed.

Sales Personality Aptitude Test Sample Assessment