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What next for your Top Salesperson?

The numbers are in, and that stand out sales rep has done it again – yearly targets smashed, and they are cleaning up at the awards ceremony. So, what next?

In many instances, sales companies often promote upwards – team leader, management etc. But before you do, think – is this the right move for both them and the company? Are they ready, is this the right move, or just an easy move?

Before you decide, there some things to consider;

  • Where do they see themselves in the business?
  • What are their strengths?
  • Where does the business see them in the future?

When you identify that stand out talent, it’s important to help them shape out a long-term career path within the business. Top sales people are invariably also your bigger earners and will often look for opportunities to progress up the ranks without heavily impacting their earnings. This often leads them to management, and often without all the training prior.

So how can you help make sure they are a success as they go through their career plan? Here are some tips to consider, when planning out their move up the ladder;

  • What training can you give them to make sure they are ready? At Insight, we have a wide range of courses, including SLII, designed to get people ready for managing teammates. Knowing how to coach, structure tasks and goals to individual styles and capabilities, and how to do everything from performance management to career planning takes time – get them starting early!
  • Can you start delegating them some of your management tasks? There are a lot of daily tasks you probably take for granted, but that sales people won’t often see. For example, forecasting and pipeline management. Taking charge of days, focus calls or acting as your team leader in your absence will give them both an opportunity to see what it’s like to lead, and start giving the team some visibility of their teammate as a leader.
  • Do they have a mentor? Almost every successful leader will tell you, having a mentor was a huge help in their progression. So, enlist some support from other leaders to help you develop your teammate. Having another person to give their ideas and leadership style will help your prodigy become more well-rounded.
  • Engage HR/L&D. These people are all about developing others, so they will be hugely supportive of helping you. Trying to give your teammate enough support to make them ready is a collaborative approach, so don’t be afraid to ask your specialist departments for assistance.
  • Finally, help your teammate to gain exposure with the senior leaders. This will be a potential new peer group for them to be entering, and don’t downplay how daunting this can be. Getting them to be comfortable engaging with other managers/directors and having support from the leadership team will help your teammate settle into their new role quicker.

As somebody who has been fortunate enough to be promoted a couple of times, I can tell you how much better it was when I had all the above vs none of it. Knowing how to support my teammates, and what was involved/expected from the role allowed me to start quickly.

I have also seen the approach where people have been promoted and haven’t been able to adjust. We operate in a business world now where guidance and support for leaders is everywhere – new thinkers such as Simon Sinek, have brought leadership to the mainstream, and top selling books are often guides to great leadership. Good examples include https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA


On top of that, the generations coming through are bringing new ideas, and looking for that opportunity to progress to the top at speed – harnessing this will help elevate your business to the top of the tree when it comes to hiring the best talent.

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