You’re a natural born leader. No need to be humble about it. All your life you’ve been organizing people inside and outside of work. Though sometimes it seems like herding a pack of Welsh corgi pups would be an easier feat, you still can’t help but love it when a plan comes together.
So now that you have some sales experience under your belt, it’s time to enter the next logical phase of your career: moving on up to management. To finally get a piece of that pie, you need to establish the right groundwork. Here are the essential truths that every manager comes to realize.
It might seem hypocritical to start the list this way, but it’s true. Anyone who says there’s a universal management technique is selling you snake oil. Each team member will learn and be motivated differently. You just need to decode their M.O.
For starters, there are three different learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) that every person has in their own unique combination. Though it’s probably been some time since your college days, these learning strategies still apply:
Moreover, employees are going to react to different styles of management. Some prefer regular debriefings and consistent feedback. Others like to be left to their own devices and feel that they’re trusted to do their jobs. Flexibility in your management ensures that a variety of different people can all feel satisfied in one office.
Being aware of both learning predispositions and preferred management styles can help you to build the right foundation now, so that when your bid for management is considered, it’s clear that you already can handle a broad spectrum of people and personalities.
What separates your typical sales person from someone in a managerial position is that the manager is thinking big picture. No department is an island unto itself, but is part of a larger ecosystem. Sales meshes together with recruiting, marketing, accounting, and operational divisions to drive the business in the right direction.
To get promoted from sales to management, you need to progress beyond a “sales only” perspective. A business, like a brain, functions when every area is operating in harmony. Good managers have a holistic view. They foster strong ties with senior members of every department, leveraging their knowledge into solutions that transcend what sales alone would be able to do.
When you get promoted to management, that mentality needs to be apparent in your work. Getting stuck in the minutiae of sales concerns limits your capabilities and inhibits the mental pliancy needed for you to surmount problems.
There is an advantage to being lower on the totem pole. When conflict arises, you can pass it up the chain of command. That’s not an option when you are in charge.
A full range of issues will come across your desk. Client dissatisfaction, candidate fall off, interpersonal conflicts among your team, compensation complaints, tight budgets, and a long list of other issues will either galvanize your resolve or leave you feeling defeated. Certain tasks can be delegated, but many will require your direct input. Passing the buck is not an option.
Dodging problems undermines your respect as a leader and as a reliable lieutenant to your superiors. But what do you do when you feel outside of your depth? Though each issue is going to require its own unique solution (isn’t that always the case), there are several ways to approach every problem:
Sometimes, in spite of all the effort you put into a sales position, there just aren’t opportunities for you to advance. Instead of waiting for a ladder to be built to the next floor, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
There are plenty of opportunities to get promoted from sales to management at IDR. Our company is rapidly growing and we are currently experiencing a 50% promotion rate. There are plenty of ways to grow with IDR. Check out our careers page and learn more about the opportunities available to you.