Best Practice Report

Promote Or Hire? The Forrester Guide To Sales Manager Staffing

Why Promoting Super-Seller Reps Into Manager Roles May Not Always Be The Best Option

June 10th, 2024
With contributors:
Eric Zines , Mike Pregler , Justin Ferguson , Kate Pierpont


One of the most important positions in a B2B revenue organization is first-line sales manager (FLSM). These individuals serve as managers, leaders, coaches, trainers, and even recruiters, fulfilling a critical role in guiding individual contributors to success. Although most FLSMs are promoted directly from rep ranks or hired externally, Forrester has identified significant performance and behavioral gaps between the two strategies. In this report, we analyze why recruiting externally may be preferable to promoting from within if organizations do not significantly improve how they prepare internal individual contributors for their move into such a key role.

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