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TV Expert Interviews / For Sales Pros / Jun 22, 2023 / Posted by Vaughn Sigmon / 27

Is Promoting Your Best Salesperson to Sales Leader a Mistake? (video)


The Surprising Truth about Sales Leadership: It’s Not All About Sales

Are you a great salesperson and think you have what it takes to be a great sales leader? Think again. In a recent podcast episode, John Golden interviewed Vaughn Sigman, co-founder of Results Driven Leadership, about the common mistake of promoting the best salesperson to a sales leader without proper training.

According to Vaughn, being a great salesperson does not automatically make someone a great sales manager or leader. The skills required for each role are different, and coaching is a crucial skill for sales leadership. Vaughn shared his experience of implementing a mentorship program at CarMax to develop effective sales leaders, emphasizing that coaching is a skill that needs to be learned and applied.

But how do you hire the right salespeople? Vaughn suggests that hiring based on industry experience is a common mistake. Instead, sales leaders should focus on finding the right fit for the company, product, and services. A behavior-based interview approach can help uncover a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and experience does not guarantee success.

Vaughn also shared a surprising story about John, a truck driver-turned-salesperson at CarMax. Despite his introverted nature, John excelled in CarMax’s defined sales process and consistently made sales by following the process. Vaughn learned a valuable lesson from this experience, realizing that one should not judge a book by its cover and that there are different ways to be successful in sales.

In conclusion, the interview highlights the importance of proper training and coaching for sales leadership roles and the need for different skill sets in sales leadership and salesperson roles. Sales leaders should prioritize finding the right fit for the company and product/service over industry experience when hiring salespeople. Remember, it’s not all about sales.

Our Host

John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.

About Author

Vaughn is the co-founder of Results-Driven Leadership. He is a leadership development expert, podcaster, and author. He has worked with hundreds of businesses, helping them deploy his programs and advice. His methods are based on his real-world experience working on the front lines and living the role of a high-impact leader and manager. His coaching and training programs offer no theory, just common-sense advice, and direction. He is a former executive with CarMax, the world's largest and most respected company in the auto industry, and is a Fortune 100 Best Places to Work. Vaughn's mission is to improve the impact of executives and other managers by increasing their knowledge, skills, and abilities. His motto is "No matter what business you're in; you're in the people business."

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