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Transitioning from a Sales Rep to Sales Manager (POLL)

How long do you think you should be a Sales Rep for before becoming a Sales Manager?
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*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
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🧒 Sales Management
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18
sales7
Politicker
+5
Sales Enablement Manager
Just because your a good rep doesn't mean you'll be a good manager. It should be based on both seniority as well as suitability for the role, not just time in the seat.
Palladium_Rog
Good Citizen
Business Development Manager
Agreed. Time spent as a rep allows you to get understanding of what is being done. Leadership capabilities will help you with how it is being done. Top scoring rep without emotional intelligence and a knack for excel tables won't make a good sales manager in my opinion.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+6
BDR
Facts, also not everyone that crushes the numbers is a great leader. Want to be a leader be there for your team at all times. Lead by example, be involved with management, be nosy about management processes, all that matters more than just time and how well you do your job.
drendo
Politicker
+8
Enterprise Account Executive
More than 5 years for my industry. I'd say the longer the sales cycle the longer you should be an IC before management.
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Obviously, there is no hard and fast rule for this. I think experience helps with exposure to different scenarios, but true leaders understand the needs of the clients, their team, and the company. The challenge is balancing all three.Β 

Personally, I spent 3.5 years before becoming a manager, and I think it was the bare minimum.Β 
ju
justatopproducer
Opinionated
+2
National Consultant
Amount of years or experience doesn’t make a good manager. The best managers can relate to each inidivudual on their team. Know what makes them tick and push them to succeed by knowing who they are and whats important to them. The best managers and mentors ive ever had knew those things and made themselves available when I needed their direction. Also, if this wasnt obvious. You may be the boss, but your team isnt there to work for you. Your job is to help make them succesful not the other way around.
batman
Good Citizen
+2
Account Executive
well articulated! couldnt agree more
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
Time is irrelevant at a high degree there are many more variables
AnchorPoint
Politicker
+8
Business Coach
The skills of a top performing sales rep do not always translate into a top performing sales manager.Β  In fact, more often than not, they do not.Β  Time spent as a rep isn't necessarily a must either.Β  Frankly, it is possible to be a great sales manager without knowing anything about the actual product.
Rontara
Good Citizen
Enterprise Major account manager
I am a perfect example of this.Β  I was a top rep for 3 years and became a sales manager.Β  I hated every minute of it.Β  Even though I beat my numbers, I did not enjoy the job.Β  After 3 years, I went back to an IC role and have never looked back.Β  It's all a matter of what is ideal for each person.
AnchorPoint
Politicker
+8
Business Coach
You are not unique in that regard and Congratulations for figuring it out rather quickly and making a change!!Β  Huge.
batman
Good Citizen
+2
Account Executive
love this!Β 
Re
RedLightning
Politicker
+7
Mid-Market AE
It's not a 1:1 skill transition. Can they help others succeed and will a team listen to them? However long that takes should be the answer
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Personally I've found that managers that have had multiple experiences selling at different companies have been very good, doesn't need to be a particular amount of years though but I think its key to have a more broad understanding of sales as opposed to a narrow scope of only one sale type. Also, as others have said it requires a certain amount of EQ so some people are just born with it others will have to learn and some may not want to learn so they won't be a great manager
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
I never understood the rush to become a manager honestly. I myself took my time before I got there, and I keep thinking I could have used more time in the field. I should have anyway, I would have made more money and more experience.Β 
Fo
Forrester
Sales Exec
Fourth year leader here, I spent just short of 4 years selling prior. Agree with the comments that sales ability and leadership ability are not directly related but always prescribe to the three C’s of leadership; character, competence, connection. The experience really hits on the competence piece and all leaders know that sometimes you just gotta roll up those sleeves and get in action with your DMs.
whissspy
Opinionated
+1
Commercial AE
Hard to listen to a sales manager who only has 3 years of sales experience… You need sales leaders who’ve gotten their teeth kicked in and have seen plenty of deal volume . A cheerleader or an excel jockey isn’t enough to move the needle to help reps grow.
ragnarlothbrok
Politicker
+6
Key account manager
I voted on 3-5 although alot depends on the individual and what they can bring to the partyΒ 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Should depend on your ability to lead way more than time as an SDR, but at least 1 year in the SDR role is helpful so you can understand what the SDRs deal with day to day
uncorpse
Politicker
+5
Sales Development
It's about the level of leadership and how much you're willing to give for the role.
Beefany28
Politicker
+6
Business Development Representative
I feel like it depends on you!Β 
Stratifyz
Opinionated
+9
Business Development Rep
Leadership shouldn’t be time based nor should it be individual performance based. I know of a company that puts people in leadership positions (with supervision still) on a weekly rotational basis and thought this was clever. You truly have to want to be a leader and it’s not for everyone. But, the SaaS world has this fucked up view where they put stellar performers in management. Instead of promoting those people, maybe just give them a raise - unless they truly want to lead.
5
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