Think you’ve earned a sales promotion? Does your boss think you’re ready? If you’re doing these three things right now, it will be hard to deny the promotion you deserve.
You’ve been consistently hitting your sales targets, have experienced success in moving opportunities down the pipeline, and actively serve as a mentor to many of your junior team members. You’re obviously succeeding in your present role, but what’s next? Are you ready to take the next step into a management role? If so there are several things you can be doing. Or, are you looking for more recognition and responsibility? Either way, doing these three things will prove you’re ready to move up the career ladder.
Here are three things you are doing that prove you deserve a sales promotion:
1. You Go Beyond Your Individual Goals
As a salesperson who has been in your role for a significant amount of time, you have mastered the numbers aspect of selling and know how to achieve your targets. Your managers can rely on you to consistently hit your sales targets and exceed your quotas.
The value you add to your organization goes above and beyond superior results in the numbers aspect of your work. You bring insights to the team that involve work processes, market challenges, or unnoticed opportunities. For example, you are able to identify an inefficient process with your CRM. You not only provide a solution, but also share the solution with your team and incorporate the improved process into the training of junior team members. You deeply understand the market you work in and contribute to the strategy and planning in territories beyond your own. You demonstrate your aptitude and readiness for a sales promotion by providing insight and vision that goes beyond your individual goals.
2. Your Boss Relies on You
You display informal leadership by mentoring junior team members, and peers come to you for advice and guidance – a sign that you deserve a sales promotion. Not only are you meeting and exceeding all your targets, you are doing so while mentoring new trainees. You help arm them with critical insights about the market, explain what selling tasks and behaviors are most effective, and teach junior salespeople how to best prioritize their responsibilities.
You help to implement pilot projects or prospect an unassigned territory. You constantly seek out new information to deepen your knowledge base — and, to go further, you freely share this knowledge with others. You are an independent learner. You seek out training opportunities on your own accord instead of waiting for your manager’s suggestions. Finally, you are committed to honing and refining your skills, even as you excel in your sales role.
As Max De Pree, author of Leadership Jazz explains, one of the biggest indicators that you are ready for a leadership or management role is that managers are able to observe you recognizing learning opportunities for others. It’s one of the things that makes you a significant contributor to the team — you help others to achieve their objectives along with your own.
When sales managers look to identify their top performers and determine who is ready for a promotion, they heavily consider how their team members contribute as coaches and mentors to more junior salespeople. Embracing the mentorship and coaching role while delivering on your targets shows your boss you are ready for more responsibility.
3. You Understand Coachabilty
According to a study published in the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing titled Salesperson coachability: what it is and why it matters, there are several dimensions to a salesperson’s coachability. The following table depicts the dimensions of sales coachability and examples of coachable behaviours. Compare these dimensions with your own behavioral patterns to determine your own coachability:
The authors of this study describe coachability as a manifestation of the personality traits of agreeableness, achievement motivation, and conscientiousness — what we refer to as the DNA of sales excellence. While being coachable doesn’t automatically mean an individual will be great at selling, it is a necessary ingredient of a top performer seeking a sales promotion.
Because not all salespeople possess equal levels of these traits, they will naturally possess varying levels of coachability. Use the table above to measure your coachability. Consider not only how coachable you see yourself, but also how your manager assesses your coachability. (i.e. during feedback, formal performance reviews, etc.). Understanding how coachable you are allows you to objectively assess how you are perceived by your manager in a new way.
The fact that you understand coachability proves that you are ready for a promotion. This is particularly true if you are seeking to be promoted to a management role because as a manager, you need to understand how to coach. In fact, research shows that the more effective sales managers are at coaching, the better their teams perform. Those working for managers with formal coaching training, and who coach regularly, deliver revenue at four times the rate of teams working for managers who don’t coach. Understanding how to be coachable is the first step in being a great coach.
Prove You Are Ready For It
Since you are currently doing all three of these key things, you are likely ready to move up in your responsibilities. However, you need to consider what you really want. Often, top performing salespeople think they want to become managers, but eventually miss the rush of hunting, selling, and closing. Do some research and ask a manager you have a strong relationship for some insight about their role. Managing is much different than selling. What it takes to excel in management is not the same as what it takes to excel in sales. As a manager, your role is to coach rather than play, so gaining a perspective of what the performance indicators and quotas are for a management position is critical when deciding what you really want.
As a salesperson, taking your performance beyond the numbers, being your boss’s biggest asset, and understanding coachability are the most important qualifiers in determining your readiness for a promotion and aptitude for a management position. There is a lot that goes into gaining a promotion, but determining if you are ready for one is the crucial first step.
Ready to advance your career? Or, are you interested in gaining insight about current and future B2B sales openings in the technology, professional services, telecommunications, software, or manufacturing/industrial services sectors? Submit your resume to Peak Sales here.
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