How to Turn a Sales Rep Into a Sales Manager

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How to Turn a Sales Rep Into a Sales Manager

It’s time to add a sales manager to your team. You like to promote from within, but does that make sense?

Ogburn Solutions was working with Doug, the business owner, to increase the effectiveness of the sales team. Julie was a top sales representative for the company so when the sales manager retired Julie was promoted to the role of sales manager. The company didn’t have the resources to train her for the new role but they were confident that she had the ability to recruit, hire, and retain good sales people, and the retiring manager said he’d help her get started.Julie sales web

Julie moved into the role but after about 6 months it became apparent that things weren’t going as well as everyone had hoped.

  • Julie had hired someone to replace her in the territory, but she was starting to think she’d hired the wrong person.
  • The other reps enjoyed having someone with Julie’s experience working with them, but Julie noticed she was doing more selling than coaching when she made calls with her reps.
  • Doug had asked Julie to review and revise their sales compensation plan, but she wasn’t confident that a new plan would drive sales success.

Walt and Doug discussed the challenges Julie and the company were facing and they found four primary issues.

  • Julie really preferred selling to managing and had received no sales management training.
  • The company had not defined what skills and experiences were needed to ensure new reps would be successful.
  • Julie didn’t know what motivated her sales team, so she was unsure of how to compensate and reward them.
  • Julie was committed to learning and applying new approaches, she just didn’t know where to start.

Doug recognized that his business challenges couldn’t be addressed by reading a book or sending Julie to a class. He also knew that engaging Walt to develop and deliver the solutions would come with a cost. However, it was clear that Walt’s extensive experiences with ag sales and sales management would make him effective and credible working with Julie and the sales team.

 An Expense or an Investment?

Doug saw the value of engaging Ogburn Solutions in three areas.

ROI web

  • Sending Julie to a “public” sales management course would cost thousands of dollars, and days or weeks away from the job, and the course wouldn’t be tailored to Julie’s needs or agricultural sales management. Allowing Julie to learn on-the-job and to focus on her specific needs would save countless hours and thousands of dollars.
  • The cost to develop the materials for recruiting and on-boarding a new representative would be a one-time investment. Investing now to ensure they recruited and hired the right person – and then were prepared to integrate him or her into the company was a great investment compared to the cost of a “hiring mistake”.
  • Investing in Julie was an investment in the future of organization, and would lead to future sales growth to recover the investment in developing Julie’s managerial skills.


Doug and Walt determined what skills and knowledge Julie needed and Walt designed and implemented a customized training plan to give Julie the knowledge and tools she needed to manage effectively and coached her individually as she faced situations that were new to her.

Are your ready to take action? Contact Walt

Want to learn more about turning sales managers into leaders?

By |2018-10-30T17:42:27+00:00February 24th, 2015|Sales Excellence, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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