I love Barcelona football club because of Messi. The guy has broken almost all records in football history. The management of his club realise that and have steadily increased his salary. Yet, despite the recent crash in form of Barcelona Fc, no one is considering making Messi the coach of the club.
I have noticed a silly practice among most Nigerian pharmaceutical companies. They hate to leave their best salesman or woman on the field. Immediately a salesman starts to do very well, he or she is made a manager and taken out of the field and given a table in the company head office and asked to manage something.
At one of the companies I recently worked with, one of the top reps was almost begging not to be made a manager because where he was very good was in the field.
I do not understand why most companies think the best way to reward a good sales rep is to make him or her a manager. I cannot understand why most companies cannot correlate their drop in sales to their recent promotions of their best sales people.
The silly part is that there is no strategic path to the promotion. Most companies at their annual general meeting will announce those that have been promoted and ask them to move to their new offices with no training or mentorship. When the once good rep gets to his new office, his productivity starts to drop and the company management will start to complain that he has become lazy. No one bothers to find out if the promoted sale woman knows anything about being a manager.
However, I have encountered one great promotion plan in SKG pharmaceuticals. Although, I do not know if it is the norm or just a one off happening. One of their top sales reps attended my training but he could not understand why he alone was sent to a training attended by mostly managers from other companies.
After the training during my follow up on him which I do to make sure that you practice what you learnt in my training, he said his company management has been sending him to a series of training. He also told me how one of his managers have been mentoring him and showing him the kind of products to focus on.
I told him that I think his company was grooming him for a managerial position. He said he was still a new rep and does not think the company would be considering that for someone with just two years experience.
The training he attended with us was about ten months ago. Last week, he called me and told me that he had just been made a manager. The key point is that you can see a deliberate plan put in plan to groom the rep into a manager. I do not think it makes good business sense to make a great sales rep a manager, move him to the herald office and give him a desk.
If you think a rep deserves promotion for his or her good work, the give him or her the title and its benefits but leave him at the position from where he is making great sales for you. Rather than move a good sales rep to man a table because you have promoted him, give him the title and let his new responsibility be increased target.
Nigerian pharmaceutical companies must stop killing themselves by promoting their best sales men and women to an office manager.