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The Politics of Promotions

Pros and Cons of Promoting within Your Company

What do you do when a high-end manager leaves your company?  Do you promote from within or do you seek external recruiting methods?  Each tactic consists of pros and cons, so how do you decide what the best course of action is?

Let’s assume that a Director of Sales is leaving your company, and that he or she was responsible for 10 Sales Managers and roughly 100 Sales Representatives under the managers. Do you promote of the ten in house contenders or do you bring someone in from the outside?  We will look at several scenarios within this series.  In part one, we’ll discuss bringing in someone from the outside.

Bringing in Someone in From the Outside who has Similar Experience as the Director of Sales


This person will have experience, knowledge and can add certain business perspectives that the 10 current Sales Managers could not.  Typically, this individual will not only be able to sell and manage your prized accounts, but they will have vast marketing, recruiting, management, PR, P&L experience plus more.  Additionally, instead of being another employee, this individual can also serve as a “go to person,” for the CEO.


Bringing someone in from another company and not promoting one of those 10 Managers creates a risk of losing some of the internal sales managers who were hoping to be “next in line.”  Let’s assume that you have 2 main Sales Managers who are very good at what they do but lack some of the skills which an outside person already has.  In their mind, it doesn’t matter whether or not they have all the skill sets that another person may have.  They feel (and usually justly) that they have done very well for the company and will usually resent the fact that they weren’t promoted.  These managers may then seek employment elsewhere which leaves you with several slots to fill and several people to train.  Worse yet, this sentiment can trickle down all the way to your lower Sales Representatives who also feel that they are up for management when their manager gets promoted.  Once this does not happen, you are even more prone to losing people.

In the next installment, we’ll look at the pros and cons of promoting from within.
For more information on our NYC Sales Staffing Services, go here.

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