Sales managers play a vital role in high-performing sales organizations; sourcing and developing effective managers is therefore critical to any firm fielding a sales force. It’s a challenge approached in two ways: sourcing talent from outside the firm, or developing internal talent – usually salespeople promoted into their first management role. Organizations with a sizable management corps almost always employ some combination of both approaches, rather than emphasizing one to the exclusion of the other.
In this research, we examine practices essential to effective sales management hiring. In doing so, we broadly define what constitutes “hiring” decisions to include deciding which internal candidates to promote, in addition to determining which outside candidates to hire as employees new to the firm.
Regardless their degree of emphasis on internal or external candidates, firms must address, namely: What makes a good sales manager in our firm? Where do we find the best manager candidates? What tactics are most effective in identifying, attracting, and developing manager talent? and How do we develop new managers, and further develop experienced managers?
This research offers insight into how firms are addressing these fundamental hiring questions.