From Rep to Manager

December 29, 2020

It’s THE FINAL COUNTDOWN… I know you can’t read that without singing the song…you’re welcome.

If you haven’t seen it on Linkedin, Thursday Night Sales or Patreon… On January 1st, Ryan Walker and I are releasing a book entitled, “From Rep to Manager: A Step by Step Guide for Taking the Leap into Sales Leadership”. [You can get it early today if you like!]

Our collaboration came about organically after Ryan read my five part series of newsletters called, “Becoming a Manager”. Ryan mentioned he really liked it and that I should write a book and expand upon the ideas. My response was, “Why don’t you expand on what I wrote and we can release it as co-authors?” He said, “Hell yeah”, and it was off to the races as we cranked this out. I am really proud of it and know that it is filling a gap in the market – Sales Leadership training – that I am really passionate about.

Why did we take the last quarter of the year and dedicate our valuable time to this project?

As I said a moment ago, there’s a large gap in sales training that no one talks about and worse, no one teaches about. The gap is how to become a good sales leader. We have sales training easily available for every part of the sales process and for every role. LinkedIn is buzzing with sales training for anyone and everyone. Except the transition into sales leadership. No one is discussing how to tell if management is really the right place for you and how to do it well once you’re there. The gap is far and wide and we see it all the time through stories of poor sales leaders. We hear horror stories about bad managers and leaders who feel in over their head. It’s pervasive and it’s time to change. But it all starts with you figuring out if leadership is where you want to be.

The best way to change it is by filling in the gap with knowledge. The best way to do that is to write some books to share my knowledge. I read a tweet the other day from Jack Butcher that said, “1. Help yourself  2. Build a System  3. Help Others”. This hit me hard and I realized it’s what I’ve been trying to do for years now.

That’s what I’m doing here. I’ve been a rep who moved into leadership and Ryan has made that transition himself. Sharing our collective knowledge on how we did it and reflections of the journey in a way that can help others carve their path, that was our goal. I challenge you this week to reflect on when you helped yourself, what you did to help yourself, and then decide how you’ll share your knowledge with someone else. Imagine if we collectively and openly shared our knowledge with each other, just how many gaps we could fill.

I’m excited for Ryan to share his hard won knowledge with everyone too. The guy was a front line, top producing rep for a high growth tech company. When he transitioned to help build Victory Lap, it was to pay it forward. Ryan’s life was deeply impacted by the folks along the way who stopped to help him, sharing their time and knowledge. At Victory Lap he spent his time matching talented people to the right sales role across hundreds of companies. Today he is building the sales team at Beyond Pricing, as their new Director of Sales. His personal growth is reflected in our book, and we hope it’s meaningful along your journey.

‘From Rep to Manager’ is designed to help you explore if going from being an individual contributor to a sales leader is right for you. Not all rock star sales people will make good managers and vice versa. Yes, the salary goes up, so does having to give a shit about everyone and everything else. Once you decide that you’re capable of being an empathetic and direct leader, we dig into what the path looks like to get you into a management role. If you’re not hitting your numbers now, you’re not getting hired for the next open role. Find small things everyday to improve your current pipeline and numbers, document what you’re doing and the results. Be organized and effective each day. When it comes time to interview, be prepared with a good mindset, have a plan, and if you don’t get it ask for feedback. Don’t be pissed, or dramatic, regroup and try again. You’ll eventually get the role, then you need to do it well.

Legendary basketball player and coach Dawn Staley had a killer quote in the Netflix Series: “The Playbook – A Coach’s Rules for Life” that fits perfectly here:

What is delayed is not denied.

Here is an excerpt “From Rep to Manager”:

If you want to be a great leader, focus on diversity. Embracing, understanding, appreciating and respecting people that look, sound, and think differently than you is the first step in building a successful team. Candidates of diverse backgrounds will not just magically fall into your talent pipeline. You have to build a network of influence, and proactively seek out organizations that help people from underrepresented communities unlock professional opportunities.

The sales community needs to do better. Leaders must be intentional about mandating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within their organizations. It’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to live it.

Being intentional about integrating people into your team from all walks of life, and all areas of representation… That is leadership. 

We’re looking forward to sharing from Rep to Manager with everyone Jan 1st but if you’d like a copy early… enjoy it now.

One book ends and another book begins. What about those who are sales managers but are trying to figure out if being a VP Sales is right for them?

My next book – “More than a Number: The Modern VP Sales Playbook” – is coming sometime in Spring of 2021. More Than A Number is about the life and times of a VP of Sales. How to become one, how to be a good one, and how one should be treated in the role. I’m hopeful this will be a great guide to having a quality VP Sales life.

At the end of a shitty year for some, and a great year for others, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you doesn’t really cut it for the amount of support I’ve been given this year. Your support from Scott Leese Consulting, The Surf and Sales Summit, The Surf and Sales Podcast, Thursday Night Sales and my Patreon group mean the world to me. I’m deeply grateful. I’m always open to helping you in any way I can and look forward to sharing 2021 together.