sales manager promotion.


You just got passed over for a promotion. You are angry, frustrated and unsure why this happened. As a Sales Manager, you have great results and outstanding performance reviews. When you ask your boss what happened you get vague and unsatisfactory answers. His fear is rooted in the uncertainty of how he will replace you. You are left to your own devices in finding your own career goals.


Why did you get passed over?

There could be several reasons why you probably got left out.  Examples are lack of backfill, big company bureaucracy, poor reviews, change in leadership, etc.  This post is about how to develop your backfill.  You can download the Succession Readiness Guide.  The guide will help you eliminate the fear your boss has in replacing you.  Revenue decline.


Your boss has this fear because of a resistance to change.   First, the fear he will lose you as a result of your leadership.  Secondly, how much will the productivity of the team drop? Develop a plan to eliminate these fears and control your own career.  Below is a clear path to that plan.


A Structured Plan.



  1. Identify the Leader– People struggle to determine the right qualifications for a new leader.  What worked for you might not work for the next person.  You have to understand core competencies of a leader and then test for it.  Ask your organization for a sales manager scorecard.  Then determine if the leader exist within your team.  If they do not, you need a hiring plan.
  2. Spend Time– Statistics show that most managers spend 80% of their time with low performers.  This is a mistake.  You will waste time for minimal gains.  Instead, spend more time with your top performers.  On average, spending time with your top performer can increase results 10%.  The additional benefit is job satisfaction and retention.  Remember, you may be coaching your replacement.
  3. Coach and Mentor– This is a good way to see your top performer in action.  You need to put them in positions to coach and mentor others.  You might have them conduct trainings or assign a new hire to mentor.  Download the guide here for other ideas.  You will quickly find out if your new leader can influence without authority.  Do not forget to circle back and get feedback from those mentored.
  4. Stretch Them– Often as sales managers you focus entirely on reps’ results.  Do not ignore their personal goals. These personal goals are the fuel that sparks personal achievement. To motivate your senior reps, get past their money goal. What do they want to do with the increase in commissions?  This is a great way to win over their hearts and minds.  Apply the SMART model even to these personal goals.
  5. Branding– Do they have the ability to articulate their brand? Moreover, does it align with the culture of the organization?  Do they possess self-awareness? Start early and build a plan.  Include senior leadership exposure.  This makes the transition easier for everyone involved in the prom
  6. New capabilities acquisition– Have they demonstrated the ability to adapt. Help them identify new capabilities to drive success in the role.  This will allow the both of you to develop a roadmap to promotion.  This person will be ready for the role before they are in the role.


As Sales Manager, you are a reflection of your company’s culture, professionalism, and career development. You play a key role in your companies’ success.  This is why it is so hard for your boss to promote you. Make the transition seamless for him.  Develop a plan that builds confidence.  Show him that the next person will get the job done.  Download the Succession Progression Guide to get started.



Andrew Urteaga

Helps motivate clients to design and implement new sales and marketing strategies so that they stay on track to make their number.

Clients describe Andrew as an industry thought leader. He has deep experience as an executive, having served in multiple positions as a sales leader, with a track record of outstanding performance in F500 companies.


Prior to joining SBI, Andrew held the position of VP of Sales at Avis Budget Group where he was responsible for sales and marketing leadership. He also held a variety of positions with Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-national company, including key quota carrying positions in the sales force from sales rep through to executive leadership.


Andrew’s work has included everything from lead generation, campaign planning and sales process to designing complete sales management coaching programs and new compensation plans.

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