What I mean by new sales manager is a sales manager that is new to the company. And the “new” sales managers number one priority should be recruiting. Becuase 9 times out of 10 when you are being pulled into this situation, there is a reason for it. It’s not just that somebody left, it is because something isn’t right. Even if the previous manager left for a better opportunity, as the new sales manager there are still some things that need to change.

Today on the funnel we discuss why recruiting should be a number one priority of all new sales managers, what the disruption is, how to expect the unexpected, and understanding that change is necessary. As always if you have any questions please schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.


What we’re going to cover:

  • Recruiting
  • The disruption
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Change is necessary





Are your territories Full?

“Let’s say for the sake of argument that they are all full and you’re thinking everything is fine. You meet with the reps, you have great conversations, and you know where the weak spots are. But you don’t want to disrupt anything because you can’t afford to lose somebody when you’re trying to get your feet wet in the company.”


Why should it be a top priority?

“You know your team needs work, you know that there’s thing that has to get done, but what you’re trying to do is figure out where you are. So, recruiting is the last thing on your mind.”

“I’m going to tell you that should be the first thing on your mind, that should be your number one priority. You don’t have to announce it to the team. But you want to think about recruiting as your number one priority because above all else if you have empty territories you’re not going to be successful.”


What happens if I have an empty territory?

“It takes at least 90 days to fill an empty territory I don’t care what anybody says. I have to make the assumption that when you’re stepping into that new job there’s no real recruiting program and most of that recruiting is done with the manager. So, it takes 90 days plus added time for onboarding.”


Your team needs work

“We know that and we could have one empty territory or five, it doesn’t matter. Which is why recruiting needs to be at the top of that list because you will lose somebody.”


The disruption


New manager

“There’s a disruption when you take that position, whether you’re promoted or hired from the outside or this is your first job as a manager, whatever the case, there’s a disruption, and never under estimate what that disruption does to the team, and the individual team members.”


Replacing a bad manager?

“If you’re replacing a bad manager the damage could already be done, right? Somebody could have one foot out the door, I’m going to hit the road, tired of that mean old boss, right?”


Disruption is inevitable

“With that disruption, you’re going to bring change because you’re going to bring your way of doing business. You might change how you coach, your meetings might be different, you might be implementing some new tools, or a new process, you might be there specifically because the number needs to grow and with the number comes change, comes disruption, it’s inevitable.”


Be prepared

“Don’t under estimate how the sales team is feeling or what’s going through their head. And don’t expect them to be open with you right away because they don’t know you and they don’t trust you, so be prepared.”


Expect the unexpected



“Because the unexpected is coming. Expecting the unexpected is what you should do to get your recruiting ducks in a row.”


Some people can’t help themselves

“Why? Because some people can’t help themselves. They have already decided they were going before that manager left. Or maybe they’re thinking you’re going to change their whole world just by a couple of announcements or statements that you’ve made and they’ve decided to move on. People don’t like change.”


Poor performers feel exposed

“Don’t be fooled by the happiness and the ‘I’m glad you’re here I really could use the help and get better, I’ve been working hard but the last manager didn’t help me’. That’s for you to find out but ultimately, they know they’re exposed, they know what’s coming if they don’t get their act together. And that’s fine but what do you have to replace them?”


Nowhere to hide

“Now your boss is looking at you and saying ‘I’ve got an open territory here’ So you need to make sure that the business is still running, that the customers are still happy, while at the same time doing everything else you need to do and oh by the way finding a replacement.”


“Well, there are no positions empty!”

“There will be, I can say with great certainty you’re going to lose somebody even if you have been a manager there for a year or two you still lose people, we all do. So, you should have a recruiting program in place. Expect the unexpected.”


Change is necessary


“Change is necessary to be successful. Good companies change. People who evolve and grow in their positions, they change, they accept it, they embrace it.”

Already happening

“You might say ‘what if I just kept things the status quo and slowly made changes?’ Well, that’s not going to help you, it’s already happening, you’re there, that’s the change.”


Be clear.

“You need to be very clear in your objectives, very clear in your outcomes and give no quarter to anyone. Because it’s going to force you in some cases to make a decision and that’s why you need to be recruiting.”


Change is funny.

“Change does funny things to people even the most stable people seem to be affected by it. People who are smiling all the way to their desk, smile all day in the field with you, could be thinking I need to get out of here. And they may not give you the opportunity, they may not give the company the chance, they may have already decided that.”


No quarter.

You have a job to do and you’re going to come in and you’re going to do it. You need to provide no quarter, in other words, whatever you’re putting in place you need to put in place and don’t soften it because you’re afraid you might lose somebody. It sends a clear message that we’re running a real team here and we’re going to support that effort.”


The message is clear.

“We’re building a strong, winning sales team. We’re not going to accept mediocre behavior and if someone wants to move on we’re not going to cry over spilled milk, we’re going to find a replacement, we’re going to put them in position, and we’re going to help them succeed. And if you do this, in the end, you as the sales manager will also succeed.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.


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