Bryan was a consistent top sales performer. Senior management considered him a superstar. He exceeded his quota by 20% every month, he landed some of the most difficult (and profitable) accounts, and he won the annual Top Sales Achiever award at three different companies.
After several years of stellar sales performance, executives in his division decided that Bryan was ready for the next step in his career. They promoted him to sales manager and put him over a team of 10 experienced sales reps in a fairly productive territory.
Over the next 18 months, sales quota achievement and team morale systematically dropped, while customer complaints and employee turnover accelerated. All of this was confusing to the executive team who enthusiastically supported his move into sales leadership. Most of all, Bryan was devastated. He had never experienced failure in his entire sales career, especially at this magnitude. Continue reading