Ask BDU: New to Sales Leadership? Do These Four Things Right Now!

Sales Leadership

Investing in a sales leadership course is a crucial step to take when being promoted from sales to sales management.

Question: After being one of the top sales performers at my company, I was just promoted to the position of sales manager. While I am very excited, I am extremely nervous as I’ve never had any experience or formal training for this role. I am not sure what to do to be as successful as possible in my new position or how to best help my new direct reports be successful as well. I know what’s worked for me as a salesperson, but I also understand that the methods I used to achieve my success might not work for everybody. Any advice on what to do first?

Answer: Congratulations on your promotion! Rest assured that you’re not the first person to be promoted from sales to sales management with no experience or training in sales leadership.

First, make sure you learn the five “rights” of leading a sales team. Ask yourself, “Do I have the right number of the right people that do the right number of the right activities right? You might not have enough salespeople, or the ones you have might not be the right fit. If you have the right people and the right number, they might not be doing enough activities or the right activities the right way. Once you look at your team holistically, you can get a better feel for where you need to focus your efforts.

Next, focus on the five key opportunities to get in front of your direct reports and help them maximize their efforts and productivity. These include one-on-one meetings, team meetings, ad hoc interactions, joint appointments and field rides, and trainings and sales kick offs.

Then, make sure that you have a systematic and methodical way to manage and lead effectively. This includes making sure that each of your direct reports has a well-defined game plan in place, with clear activity and results goals so that you can hold them accountable. In addition, perform a sales triage for each person to determine the top three areas that, if improved upon, will have the biggest impact on their individual performance. You can utilize this triage visual to help you determine their key focus areas.

Lastly, focus on your development as a new leader. Your company or organization might not have provided adequate training for you, but you can absolutely seek out development opportunities for yourself, including:

  • Finding a coach or mentor you trust to provide valuable tips, advice and guidance.
  • Investing in a sales leadership course like BDU’s Sales Management program, a 13-week comprehensive one-on-one program designed to take you through everything you need to know to be an outstanding sales leader and truly impact your direct reports. Contact us for more information about how we can customize this program to your specific company and industry, as well as to your skillset and experience level.
  • Joining an association or peer group such as BDU’s Sales Leader Peer Group, a complimentary quarterly virtual forum for leaders to come together to share support, ideas, strategies, challenges and best practices for supporting your team.


Are you a new or seasoned sales leader? Contact us to schedule a complimentary one-hour session with BDU’s CEO Lisa Peskin! You’ll have an opportunity to discuss some of your challenges, initiatives and goals, and Lisa will provide you with insights, ideas and tools that you can implement to impact your team immediately. SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION