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The Sales Boss by Jonathan Whistman

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CHAPTER 3 The DNA of a Sales Boss

What It Takes to Be Great

The path to becoming the sales manager in most organizations is familiar. Typically, a particular salesperson is the top performer, and so he or she is promoted to the manager role. Sometimes this works, but more often than not you will find that the newly promoted manager struggles. Some of the very things that made the person a great salesperson stand in the way of him or her excelling in the role of manager.

What makes a great Sales Boss? This is not an easy question to answer since on the surface many different personality styles succeed, but I have found some key DNA that it seems the best Bosses all possess.

1. They have been in a sales role, but usually not as the top performer on that team if the team was composed of high performers

Why is this? In sales, there are always some very high earners whose success in sales defies any checklist or traits that might be taught. They are, to use a cliché, “born to be a salesperson.” I call them the Awesome Anomaly. While nice to have on your sales team, they make terrible managers. To them, sales are effortless and unexplainable. These are usually the ones who have been best managed by the manager staying out of the way and letting them work their magic. In some cases I have seen these high-earners be the very ones you might think least likely to have success, but nonetheless close sales month in and month out like clockwork. The problem is that if you make them into ...

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