There was nothing remarkable about Tommy Lasorda as a baseball player. He appeared in only 26 games in his professional career and gave up more than 6 runs per game. As a manager, however, he was among the best ever. His Los Angeles Dodger teams took home two World Series titles during his 20-year career as manager, a feat matched by only 23 other managers in the history of the game.
Probably the most remarkable thing about Tommy Lasorda was his ability to develop talent. During his tenure, nine of his players were awarded National League Rookie of the Year honors.
The point is that the best players often don’t make the best managers—and the same is true of your sales team. It takes different skills to manage, and more importantly coach and develop sales talent, than it does to sell. Great managers have the patience and communication skills to develop talent on their teams. They know how to build a team that is stronger than the sum of its parts with well-defined strategies that deliver not just results but sustainable customer relationships. They know how to create an environment where new talent can develop while the team as a whole delivers growth year after year.
The lasting legacy of great sales mangers goes beyond just accomplishing sales goals. The most remarkable thing about the best managers is that they develop not only great reps but people who know how to mentor, coach, think strategically, and lead companies.
Maybe those are skills you need in all of your managers!