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Passing the Torch

You've found the right person to replace you. But could things heat up when you Introduce that person to your sales team?
November 1, 2003

For your business to thrive, you may need to relinquish the reins of sales force management to new blood. But turning over control of the team you've nurtured for years can be a thorny exercise. To extricate yourself from your sales role gracefully and effectively, follow these solid steps to hire and introduce your replacement:

Also, don't be afraid to hire a manager who may one day eclipse your management prowess. Says Gardner, "The best CEOs in the world aren't afraid to be surrounded by greater talent than their own."

According to Joanne Sujansky, founder of KEYGroup, a Pittsburgh company that helps leaders increase productivity and inspire loyalty, managers should quiz the interviewee on "building a sales force, [his or her] specific track record [including sales and volume], previous instances of motivating reps, and how he [or she] developed and maintained a sales system."

According to Gardner, the smoothness of the transition will hinge on how well the new hire fits into the company culture and how different her management style is from that of her predecessor.

Kimberly L. McCall (aka Marketing Angel) is the president of McCall Media & Marketing Inc. (, a business communications firm in Durham, Maine.