How to Request a Promotion to Sales Management
Not everyone in sales has an interest in earning their way into a sales manager or sales director position, but many sales representatives aspire to such positions. If you have a desired career path that includes a promotion to management, you need to know not only when to ask for a promotion but how to ask in a way that increases your chances of getting that promotion.
Knowing How to Request a Sales Promotion
The first thing you need to do may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Asking directly for a promotion when there are no opportunities for advancement can create a stressful situation for you and your manager. However, communicating your interest in a future promotion can let your manager know that you are prepared for advancement if it becomes a possibility.
Requesting additional responsibility lets your manager know that you are ready to take on new challenges. A good employer will look to keep their employees motivated and engaged in their job by assigning new tasks, even if a formal promotion is not yet able to be granted.
Before you consider asking for a promotion, make sure that either a position opening exists or a newly created position is needed. This will increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Preparing for a Sales Promotion
When requesting a promotion, you should be prepared to explain why you deserve it. This includes a detailed listing of your accomplishments and the challenges you overcame to complete them successfully. In addition, assure your employer that you feel confident in taking on additional tasks and responsibilities.
To determine the likelihood of a positive response to your request, also consider your past performance reviews, paying attention to any ratings or comments that suggest management's readiness to assign you new responsibilities.
In sales, the best way to prove yourself is by producing results. Hitting your assigned quota is expected; those who consistently exceed their quotas are usually considered for a promotion.
Developing Sales Management Skills
If you have proven yourself in your current sales position, you should consider learning new skills that will increase your chances of getting promoted. In addition to your selling skills, you will need to possess certain management skills, such as teaching, coaching, and developing a team.
Senior leaders are usually reluctant to promote a talented sales representative to a management position if the person has a polarizing personality, is difficult to work with, and is focused solely on their own interests.
The best and most successful sales managers and directors blend strong sales skills, with strong rapport, negotiation, trouble-management, and recruiting skills.
If you or your superiors feel that you are lacking in any critical managerial skills, hold off on asking for a promotion until you can improve them. If your employer offers additional skills training, make sure you ask to be included in the next training sessions while letting them know that you are interested in earning a promotion.
Letting your employer know that you are serious about advancing your career before asking for a promotion will likely put you in a strong position to move to the next level.
How to Get the Promotion
If you are ready to take on the additional responsibilities of a sales management position and it becomes available, make sure you are well prepared to request the promotion and interview for the position:
- Prepare for your meeting or interview much like you would when preparing for a large sales presentation. Review the job description to ensure your skills meet the required skills of the position. Also, be ready to explain how your current experience can help you successfully perform the new job.
- Consider any weaknesses in the sales team that you would manage and how you would overcome them, as well as any improvements that you would make. Be proactive by creating a plan of action that details what you would do and what results your superior can expect. Make your presentation compelling but keep it grounded in reality. You want your employer to get interested and excited about you in this new role.
- Believe in yourself and communicate confidence during the meeting. You bring valuable skills and experience that can help your company grow.