Accidental Managers, What Are They And Do They Need Coaching?

In the world of sales, it’s common for people who have been high performers in their sales roles to be promoted into a role where they manage people, I like to call these ‘accidental managers’. 

If you are or have worked with an accidental manager, you’re not alone. Research by the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) has shown that 68% of managers in the UK label themselves as an ‘accidental’ manager.

Hitting and exceeding sales targets does not always mean someone will have the right credentials to be a Manager, and high-flying sales members don’t always turn into high-flying managers. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can avoid the dangers of having a team being led by an accidental manager by providing the right coaching and support to those transitioning into manager roles. 

The role exchange

Although the experience of being behind the sales desk can be an advantage for people transitioning into a higher-level role. Coaching is often overlooked, and people are expected to perform well as a manager because they have shown that they can ‘sell’ in their old role.

Managing is different to selling though, so when anyone is being promoted and going into a higher-level role, they need to be developed and require training and support, this training often focuses on supplying managers with better listening, communication and supporting skills. 

By training someone that’s transitioning into a manager role you can enable them to understand the dynamics of a team and the support that is required to lead successful individuals and groups. 

Developing the right skillset

A range of skills are needed to fill the boots of a manager role from motivating to planning, but one of the most important roles is the ability to work with a range of different people. 

Managers enable people in their teams to successfully learn and develop, each individual within a team will have a different set of needs they require to reach their full potential.
Identifying and providing support to a team of individuals is not always easy but with the right tools and coaching, managers can adapt and offer the right support to each member of their team. 

Even the best sales teams need support and guidance as motivation can decline and conflicts can arise, so being able to manage people using emotional intelligence can allow managers to pinpoint and remove roadblocks that are stopping growth. 

People leave managers

People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers! 

That is why it is so important to not only choose people who show they have the skills to manage others, but also give them the support and training they need to flourish. 

Many accidental managers are promoted based on potential but if they don’t reach their potential or are not provided with the right training and skill set this can slow a teams productivity and limit success. 

By investing in training managers and supplying them with the skills they need to manage a happy and productive team, businesses can create a team of loyal employees and avoid a revolving door of low retention. 

Company Reputation 

Company reputation matters!

A poor manager can not only damage a teams morale but can also affect the reputation of a company, as the effects of management can tarnish other sections of the business lowering a customers opinion. 

This can also have an impact when looking to hire in the future, as when trying to bring new talent into the business applicants may be aware of poor management styles, people talk, and the perfect candidate may never hit the apply button after hearing about a demoralized and unhappy team due to an unequipped manager. 

Think long term 

The training and development provided to managers should be seen as a long term investment into a business and a sales team.

Management training isn’t only about companies avoiding having to carry out damage control due to managers that are out of their depth. They can also see many positive returns, such as higher staff retention, a better reputation and a more adaptable and better-performing sales team.  

Management skills can be taught, and if an individual is provided with the right support and coaching the pitfalls of accidental managers can be sidestepped, and individuals can become key components in the success of sales teams. 

If your business is struggling due to an accidental manager, or you’ve been promoted into a management role, book in a chat.

I can tell you more about how I can help!


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