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Eyes On The Prize

Thinking about making your top salesperson a department manager? You'd better look beyond the obvious.

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This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Selecting a sales manager may be the second most important decision an entrepreneur will ever make, right after deciding to go it alone. Sound like an easy undertaking? It's not, because of one common misconception: The most obvious candidate--your top salesperson--isn't necessarily the right one.

Why? First, great salespeople don't necessarily make great teachers. They're often better at selling than explaining the process. "They're like baseball players who can hit but couldn't tell anyone else how to do it," says Jeffrey Fox of Fox & Co., an Avon, Connecticut, sales and marketing consulting firm.

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