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It’s not unusual for salespeople to decide that they want to move up the corporate ladder into a new career opportunity in sales management.

There are different factors that influence these decisions to be sure. And we’ve all seen that sometimes this works out, but quite often it doesn’t work out.

So what types of discernible skills do you need to develop to get on your boss’s radar for a potential promotion into a sales management position?

This post will help you determine what skills you already have (and maybe don’t know it!). You will also learn what skills you will need to work on to improve your chances of steering your career toward a sales management role.

Now don’t be alarmed, but we’re going to the conclusion first, kind of like dessert before dinner!

Conclusion: You can significantly improve your chances for promotion by developing and promoting the following skill sets:

Now let’s backtrack a bit and cover this in some more detail.

Acquired sales skills are fairly self-explanatory. They develop from what you’ve learned experientially.

You understand your product and know how to articulate business value to the decision-makers. You have a proven ability to understand sales cycles and buyer decision metrics. You know how to leverage your internal pre- and post-sales resources to help you close deals. These skills are learned and developed over time by sales professionals.

Acquired skills are much easier to showcase on a resume than soft skills.

Soft skills are usually defined as interpersonal skills, or how you interact with people on an emotional and personal level. They are more about who you are as an individual, as opposed to what you know. Important soft skills for sales leaders include:

  • Ability To Coach and Mentor
  • Ability To Inspire Others
  • Ability To Lead a Team

These soft skills are not as easy to showcase but can be instantiated in subtle ways. For example, have you taken time to mentor new sales hires (ride-alongs, etc.)?

Have you demonstrated leadership by voluntarily participating in new sales initiatives, etc.? Job board giant Monster.com calls it “Strategic Leadership.”

It’s the little things that count, so don’t sell yourself short with soft skills!

OK, so let’s do another conclusion. Kind of like dessert twice!

You can also get on the radar of recruiters, staffing agencies and hiring managers for sales management opportunities. How? By showcasing your existing soft and acquired skills, as well as your professional accomplishments.

We can help you start and complete this new journey into the sales management world. We have clients looking for candidates just like you. Why not start your journey today?


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