According to management experts and research from Alan Benson (University of Minnesota) and colleagues from Yale and MIT, the best sales leaders were NOT necessarily the top individual contributors / sales reps.
The study estimated that subordinates’ performance could be boosted by up to 30% if their companies promoted the best potential managers into leadership roles.
Here’s what they found.
- Top performers were regularly rewarded for their good work.
- Successful salespeople increased their chances of winning a promotion by about 14% each time they doubled their sales.
- Once they were in their new higher-ranking jobs, however, these stars frequently struggled.
Subordinate salespeople working under newly promoted managers:
- Saw their own performance decline 7.5% for every doubling in the manager’s pre-promotion performance.
The “sales collaboration experience” correlated with being a good manager — but not with earning the promotions in the first place.
The key takeaway here. Your boss might have been promoted into management based on their performance as an individual contributor. That does not necessarily make them suited to be the best leader. Listen to the Quotable Sales Podcast below for a complete interview on this topic with Alan Benson, the researcher behind the data.