I often get the question of moving from a sales rep to a sales manager from my candidates who are looking to make that jump. There are two ways to do it, (1) you can look WITHIN your organization or you can look OUTSIDE. If you are WITHIN your organization, I am going to assume a couple of things; you are a top producing rep and you are seen as an informal leader. Now, you can be seen as informal leader who is either positive or negative. I am assuming your organization is only going to want to appoint someone who is a positive informal leader. There are extra duties that you should be taking on to showcase that management talent if you don’t have experience. 1. You want to mentor newer reps coming on. You want to mentor the struggling reps. 2. You also want to get involved in the hiring process if your organization does that, as many companies do. Part of the interview process is that the prospective candidate goes on the road with another sales rep. The manager normally picks sales people who are positive, who are achieving and who are going to give a very positive image of the organization. If your company does that, ask to be part of that process. You need to be able to take on extra duties and still perform above 100% to showcase that you could be the next good sales manager. You want to show that you have empathy, you want to show that you are collaborative and that you are a team player and you are not looking out just for you; you are looking out for everyone on your team – very important as a sales manager. If you decide to apply OUTSIDE of your organization for a sales management role, keep in mind it’s going to be difficult because you are going to be compared to other individuals who already have proven sales management experience. What you can do is not only showcase the things you’ve done in terms of taking on extra duties, but also things done outside of work. Do you have any other leadership skills and positions outside of work? Are you a coach for a sports team? Are you leadership in a non-profit organization? Those are places where you can showcase your talent. I also suggest getting a mentor or a sponsor inside your organization, someone who is your cheerleader, who is going to say, “This person would be a good sales manager,” as well as a mentor outside of your organization who can give you some good objective tips. I hope these tips have helped. Keep in mind, act for the job you want, not the job you have. I’m Dawn Williams from Sirius Personnel. I can be reached on LinkedIn and Twitter. Happy Selling!