New sales leaders face a unique challenge. They rise from the ranks of top salespeople — the ones making the sales — to then be the one who must coach others to close more sales.

They also pivot from being part of a group — often having five to 50 peers — to a more rarified air with fewer peers and no same-level colleagues to lean on.

Often, this shift occurs with little-to-no formal training, with the only insight on proper protocol being that which the previous leader did or failed to do. From metrics to staffing to accountability, the upwards move to sales leader is unlike anyhing these sales professionals have ever done.

Compounding the problems is that too many new sales leaders approach their work with the wrong mindset. They think of this new leadership post as the next step in their ascent, representing an increase in responsibility, authority and prestige. But they do not necessarily see it as one that demands fundamental changes to their core thinking and behaviors. That is a mistake, for to assume a leadership post is to accept a whole new type of position than what they’ve held.

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