Recently I was talking to one of my friend, working as an HR manager in a reputed pharma company. He shared a unique finding about the succession in sales team with me. As per his analysis, most of his in-house promotion is sales team from front line grade to first line management proved to be failure. A total of 76 % of managers, promoted in-house, have not stood up to expectations, while they all had been star performers in their respective territories for years. At one side, they made wrong choices for managers, while lost champions on the other side.
Many questions arise here. Have they made a poor decision? How come their success got vanished? Where were their skills flown away? To satisfy my curiosity, I discussed the issue in detail with my friend and raised this issue with many of my friends in different industries. To my surprise, their experiences were resonating. With all these discussion, I could work out several root causes of this issue, which I am going to share in this blog.
- Self-orientation Vs Team-orientation- Great sales persons are mostly self-oriented. They are driven by personal success. Hunger to earn money puts fuel in them. They love to be hailed as heroes. And above all, they are always ready to compete. Unfortunately, all these accelerating factors for a front line sales person proved to be speed breakers for a team manager. A great sales team manager should be team-oriented, more interested in the success of the team than in looking good themselves. They have to be okay with the fact that some of their team members will make more money than they do.
- Attachment with Own Territory- In most companies, sales persons are promoted for handling their own territory in combination with a few adjoining ones. This becomes a critical situation, as hardly any star performers detach himself from his own previous territory. Such managers, in most cases, devotes maximum time to their own previous territory. Unknowingly, they discriminate other territories under their own leadership.
- Lack of Analytical Skill – Just as the salesperson orientation is a misfit for management, so is the skill set. And one of the important skill set is analytical skill, that empower any managers to draw a complete picture of his/her team in very less time span. Data analysis can easily make the strong and weak points evident. Most of the champion sales persons hate doing this simple excel work.
- Lack of Coaching from Organization- Most of the time, organization hardly focus on coaching for newly promoted managers. Higher administration wrongfully believes that all the champion sales persons will be equally successful as managers too. They hardly care for adequate coaching to inculcate or nurture managerial skill in newly promoted managers. While it’s certainly possible for top performers to become good managers, they are rarely supported in doing so.
Pleases share your views and suggestions. I am in process of finding ways to carry out such promotions effectively, which I will share as an article soon.