Ask the Coach: How do I successfully promote my top sales performer to sales leader?

November 9th, 2018

Many great bankers or sales people in a growing organization inevitably get that tap on the shoulder and are asked to consider a leadership role.

This promotion opportunity is a deserving reward for consistently exceeding annual sales targets and the ultimate recognition that they have outstanding sales skills that can be emulated by others.

But it’s important to critically assess if this new responsibility will truly benefit the outstanding producer and the organization …. or if it may frustrate them and their Team – causing more damage than good.

If sales people are struggling within your organization to produce results, don’t simply promote your best sales person and ask them to help. To their credit, most great sales people will help but then they may become burdened with lack of time to do anything else. The short-term performance gains are soon outweighed by complaints or discouragement about long hours and extra work.

So how do you know if someone can be a great Producer/Leader?

It starts with understanding the motivations and needs of the individuals and the organization.

Before offering the promotion, explore the Top Producer’s personal “life” goals and career aspirations. Challenge their understanding about what it means to be a Sales Leader and why they would want the role.

A Top Producer ideally considers a leadership promotion because:

  • They are genuinely interested in helping others succeed and achieve their personal goals.
  • They value Team building and multiplying their success across a broader group.
  • They are willing to sacrifice personal rewards/recognition for Team success … albeit they recognize that greater Team success produces greater growth for the organization and better rewards for everyone.
  • They are interested in evolving their own skills and learning how to better lead/coach others.

Leadership promotion should never be considered or sought due to perceived entitlement or for recognition.

There are many other ways to accommodate a Top Producer’s desire for recognition. Consider a title promotion (eg. Director, SVP) … or a formal accolade that they can claim … or a public announcement. Think very carefully before offering them a leadership position.

Remember, you always want to help your Top Producer achieve their true personal goals …. not add a new layer of responsibility that they may be unable to effectively fulfill causing discontent, disruption and adversely impacting their success … and the success of others.

For more career, sales, and leadership advice please contact our coaches
Joe Micallef – Sales Coach – email, or call (773) 329 0066
Donna Flynn – Career/Management Coach – email, or call (630) 624-4319