You’re Stuck as Sales Manager. Is It Time To Look for a New Job?


You might be asking yourself: Is it time for me to look for a new job?


It’s a loaded question, but the answer is usually simpler than you’ll allow yourself to admit.


Here’s what you need to know to decide when and how to make your big move.


You might be asking yourself: Is it time for me to look for a new job? As Sales Manager, you’re most likely looking to bolt for two main reasons:


Be Honest About Why You Want To Leave –


1. You aren’t making the number

The quarter is over, and your two must-have deals didn’t come in once again. You have your head in your hands, and you’re asking yourself, “Why does this keep happening? And why is it that my success or failure comes down to two every quarter?”


As a result, you’ll be walking into another QBR without being able to deliver on your plan. And—right or wrong—you’ll be perceived to be the weak link in the Sales operation.


2. You’re not advancing your career

You’re stuck as a cog in a big company’s wheel. The organization moves too slowly and your time is spent in pointless political meetings. Even if you wanted to move up, you can’t. The VP of Sales is guarding his position and won’t budge.


If either of these situations apply to you, and there are no signs of any possible improvements where you are, you have two choices:


—Stay the current course and hope for the best


—Push your chips in the middle of the table and go for that new job


If you truly want to advance your career, you should know which choice you need to make. Here’s how you can do it.


Making The Jump:

You’ve already decided to leave your job. Now, you have to make sure you do it right.


The number one mistake people making when changing jobs is staying in their industry circles. As a result, they limit their search and shut themselves off from big opportunities.


Remember: Your ideal job might not be in the position or industry you’ve worked in past 15 years.


It’s important to search outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes staying where you are is the easy choice, but it’s not always the right one.


These steps will guide you through this process:

Before you get started, take a moment to review the sales leader competencies companies need. Download our Sales Leader Profile Checklist to identify the top 25 competencies.  You can also use the checklist to pinpoint areas you need to improve before you start looking.  Go ahead and access the Sales Leader Profile Checklist here.


1. Identify your evaluation criteria

How will you evaluate a new role against your current role? What boxes do you need to check off in order to consider a new position? Be it money, size of the job, industry, or location, identify these criteria and write them down.


This step is important because it sets you up to run towards a positive opportunity as opposed to running from a negative one.


2. Find out what meets those criteria

Build a list of roles companies that you think meet those defined criteria. Base this list on your assessments from people you’ve met, research you’ve conducted, and things you’ve heard about these jobs and organizations.


3. Focus on who you know, not what you know

In order to start discussions within those companies, look to your network. These connections can get you in touch with the right people to speak to about possible openings.


4. Write your story

This might be the hardest step, but also the most crucial. You have your reasons for leaving your current job, and you need to be honest about them.


Ahead of time, figure out how you want to tell your story. The best advice is to write with tight and concise language, and be proactive.


If you made a mistake or couldn’t make the number, own up to it. Otherwise, your potential employer will find the truth on their own, and your credibility in the market will be shot.


Most importantly, be clear about why you’re looking for a new opportunity, and what you hope to gain from it.


No one understands your situation better than you. And no one can tell you when it’s the best time to leave. You have to know it in your gut, accept the risks, and take the leap.


Don’t let another quarter go by where you’re feeling stuck and unproductive. If you follow these steps, you could be in a new chair in a new office by the end of the year, equipped with the team and tools you need to make the number.


Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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