Do Great Salespeople Make Great Managers?

That is an age-old question, isn’t it?  You can insert your favorite sports example here which typically involves a superstar/Hall of Fame-caliber athlete who fails as a coach because the game came too easy to him.  But does this analogy work in the sales arena also? This Sales & Marketing Management article approaches the topic with aplomb. The pull quote (emphasis mine): Sometimes great salespeople aren’t as good at coaching and managing other people – they’re excellent at being individual contributors, they’re great at building relationships with customers and working deals from start to finish, but they lack the patience or coaching ability or intangible interpersonal savvy to be responsible… Read More

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Does Job Jumping Matter Anymore?

I would answer no.  I have the opportunity to look at many resumes on any given day and there is a definite sea-change in the job jumping area.  Millennials are far less loyal to their employers than any generation before them.  In fact, I would say “job” jumping isn’t accurate, they are actually “skill” jumping.  These employees are often looking for personal skill development and once they sense they have tapped out their growth curve in their current role, they leave. I spend a fair amount of time explaining this skill jumping behavior to old-school hiring managers.  Companies must have a plan for ongoing development of their Millennial workforce otherwise… Read More

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Tracking Sales Reps 24/7

A sales executive was fired for deleting an app on her cell phone.  The details from the Fox News story: A sales executive was fired after she deleted an app on her phone that tracked her every move, allowing her employer to know where she was 24/7. It was only a matter of time until this type of issue surfaced.  My personal take is that tracking her 24/7 is an incredible invasion of privacy and her actions were the same ones I would have chosen in that situation.  However, let me throw this at you from the former Judge quoted in the article: Judge Andrew Napolitano said that in the… Read More

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How GPA’s Matter In Hiring

They don’t.  That is the conclusion from Google based on their own internal research.  Some info from the New York Times article: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation,” Bock said. “Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything. Mind you, this is research from inside Google – they know… Read More

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Bad Habits Are Good?

I am struggling with this Salary.com article – 12 Bad Habits That Can Actually Help Your Career.  Here is one example: Procrastinating Today’s work culture expects us to multitask, run from one project to the next, and constantly be on the go. The urge to procrastinate indicates your brain is overtired, overstressed, and needs to slow down. Indulge and take a time out. You’ll come back refreshed, and better able to focus on the tasks at hand. What?  Indulge and take a time out?  As a manager, procrastination from my direct reports was…discouraged.  I never recall telling them to indulge and take a time out.  To me it seems like… Read More

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The Lamest Of Excuses

CareerBuilder.com comes out with an annual list of Most Unusual Excuses and this year’s list does not disappoint.  Here it is from a press release (my personal favorites in bold): 1) Employee’s 12-year-old daughter stole his car and he had no other way to work. Employee didn’t want to report it to the police. 2) Employee said bats got in her hair. 3) Employee said a refrigerator fell on him. 4) Employee was in line at a coffee shop when a truck carrying flour backed up and dumped the flour into her convertible. 5) Employee said a deer bit him during hunting season. 6) Employee ate too much at a… Read More

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Conventional Wisdom About Sales Managers

Here is an article from Eye on Sales that addresses a common sales management topic – should you promote your top salesperson into the sales manager role?  I would argue that the conventional wisdom is to avoid making this mistake. From the article: Sales management mistake #1: Promoting top performers to sales managers Top-performing salespeople are not necessarily top managers. Leaders often fail to evaluate their best sales professionals for their ability and aptitude to manage before placing them in a leadership position. It seems like an easy decision to promote the best, but in reality you might be taking one of your most potent weapons out of the game… Read More

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The President’s Club

This is a funny story from Yahoo: The company that makes Hot Tamales candy offered its sales team an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii if it met its annual goals, and a trip to the nation’s arctic tundra if it didn’t. The Just Born team did not meet its target and, on Tuesday, about two dozen salespeople gathered inside the 19-story Radisson hotel — the tallest building in frozen Fargo. Outside, the temperature was 7 degrees. The ground had 2 feet of snow. It gets better: They are trying to make the best of it, with a little humor. They planned tours of two North Dakota wineries and a winter extravaganza… Read More

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Introverted Leaders

Great article here from the Harvard Business Review titled The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses.  Oh, where to begin on this one?  I have seen this thought process play out firsthand with many customers and even in my own career.  In the sales world, extroverts are generally held in higher regard than introverts – that has been my experience. This same value structure typically plays out in promoting salespeople into sale management roles.  The extroverts often get the position.  However, here is a differing position put forward in the article: To be sure, extroverted leaders have important strengths. However, they also tend to command the center of attention and take… Read More

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Creative Resume Writing

I have a friend who is a Director of Sales for a medium-sized company.  A few months ago, he had a major issue with one of his salespeople in another Midwestern state.  The salesperson cursed out a customer on the phone (the customer was “pestering” him by calling his cell phone more than 1 time in the same day).  He was let go by my friend. Now it turns out that this salesperson is pushing his resume out to prospective employers.  One of them called to verify his employment and had some interesting facts. Salesperson claimed to be a Sales Manager (he wasn’t) Salesperson claimed to win the President’s Award… Read More

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