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Sales

I have a question for the sales managers out there. What motivated you to pursue a career change from front line sales to managing a team of sales professionals? I ask, because as I look to the future I am wondering if just staying on the front lines will be more lucrative then entering management.

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Leadership isn’t about the money. It’s about the opportunity to help develop. I understand the firefighter mentality. I would say that is more your experience in your company. I’ve managed in a couple of companies, where I’m at now, I get the opportunity to lead, learn, and stretch my abilities with complex customer challenges. I love it. Don’t do it for the money. Stay an IC if you only want to earn money. I had an incredible manager who left an impression on me early in my career. His guidance and quotes have stuck with me for years. It’s not about the money, it’s about the impact.

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You help your team work through the challenges as a team. This scales your time and the team’s time.

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Switching from sales pro to your first management position you’ll see a decrease in pay at first but there’s more options to build a lucrative career over time. I plan to use my experience in leadership to build a consulting business that will be more lucrative than anything I could have made as a sales pro.

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Personal experience is, I’m going back to sales. I thought I’d get the chance to develop a team, help them be successful and push beyond what they thought they could be. I knew it would be a pay cut but I was willing to do that because my ego made me think that the management position would matter. All it turned out to be was a firefighter, dealing with constant problems (rarely sales related) sitting in meetings where I was told what to do and dismissed when I tried to speak up. I didn’t even have time to do 1:1’s and when I did, it was more firefighting, no development. So now I’m going back to an AE role, I will mentor anyone who wants it, I’ll have more time for my family and make way more money. Basically my summation would be; if you’re good at sales, stay in sales. It’s tough but if your good you make bank and bosses leave you alone. If you have a company with established management structure and think sales are “okay” but you’d rather climb up that ladder, bless you I wish you better luck than I had.

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Currently, this is the idea I have too. I look to my management team and wonder if it is worth it or not. I like to share ideas with coworkers and new reps, with time ill have enough experience to be a worthwhile coach. I don't know though. I would have to hear a pretty strong pitch to switch.

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