Why Salespeople Struggle to Become Great Sales Managers

In our evaluations of sales organizations, we assess sales people, their managers and the company systems and process that support sales. We find answers to questions like:

  • How Does Sales Leadership Impact Your Sales Force?
  • Can You Improve Your Sales Culture?
  • Are You Being Consistent with Your Sales Process?
  • Why Aren’t You Generating More New Business?
  • Is Your Ramp-Up of New Salespeople Fast Enough?
  • Can You Improve Your Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy?
  • Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles?

These particular questions reflect on sales management: if there are problems here, there are problems with sales management.

Several times over the past 16 years, after we evaluated a sales organization, the manager asked to be moved back into sales.


Selling skills and sales management skill are different. The things that make a great sales person are not always those that make a great sales manager. It is not unusual for a sales manager to want their work life to be simpler, have to potential to make more money and not have to deal with other salespeople!

The best sales managers I have known want to mentor and grow people, are lifelong learners, can handle detail and have a desire to grow professionally.

To understand why some sales managers fail, check out this Dave Kurlan article. He provides a short list of the reasons new managers struggle and what to do about them

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