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Transition from Salesperson to Manager

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After reading "A New Manager at USA Hospital Supply" (below), respond to the following questions.
1.How will Charlie's approach to quality and service affect his company's performance?
2.Which of the basic functions of management has Charlie considered? How well is he preparing to carry out these functions?
3.Which management skills does Charlie have? In what areas do you think he has the greatest need to develop skills? How can he actively manage his development as a manager?


As Charlie Greer drove to work, he smiled, recalling the meeting at the end of the previous day. Inez Rodriguez, the owner of the company where he worked, USA Hospital Supply, had summoned him to her office, where she warmly shook his hand and exclaimed, "Congratulations!" As they settled into chairs, Inez reviewed the conversation she'd had with the company's board of directors that morning: USA Hospital had been growing steadily for the past 10 years despite the economy's ups and downs. As the company's founder, Inez had always been an insightful and enthusiastic leader of the five-person sales team, but the level of activity was becoming too much of a distraction. Inez needed to think about the long-range vision of the company, so she needed a leader who could focus on sales. She had interviewed several candidates outside the firm, as well as Charlie and two of the other sales representatives. In the end, Inez told Charlie, the choice was obvious: Charlie was far and away the best sales rep on the team, he had extensive knowledge of the company's product mix, and if anyone could help the sales team achieve its goals, it was Charlie. She offered him the job as the company's first sales manager. He eagerly accepted. When he left work that evening, his head was full of ideas, and his heart was full of confidence.

Now Charlie pulled into the office park where USA Hospital Supply was located and easily found a parking space in the lot outside the one-story office and warehouse facility. As usual, he was one of the first employees to arrive. By habit, he strode toward his cubicle, but after a second, he recalled that Inez had arranged for the small firm's accountant and computer systems manager to share an office so he could have an office of his own. Charlie entered his new domain and settled into the swivel chair behind his desk.

At that instant, the eagerness to enjoy his new status and responsibility began to give way to nervousness. Charlie realized that although he knew a lot about selling supplies to hospitals and doctor's offices, he had never given much thought to managing. Obviously, he mused, his job was to see that his department met or exceeded its sales targets. But how?

Charlie booted up his computer and then opened his e-mail and his word-processing software, intending to get some ideas into writing. He typed a list of the four other sales reps: Cindy, Paula, John, and Doreen. Cindy handled the large corporate accounts, Paula covered the East Coast, John called on accounts in the South, and Doreen handled the Midwest. Until today, Charlie had been building a fast-growing territory west of the Mississippi. Now who was going to do that? Charlie was tempted to keep that work for himself; he knew he could build a base of loyal clients better than anyone else. Still, he wondered if he could excel as a manager and as a sales rep at the same time.

While he was pondering that challenge, Cindy walked past the office door and, without stopping, politely called, "Congratulations!" through the doorway. Charlie's heart sank as he realized that Cindy had also wanted this job. They had always enjoyed a friendly rivalry as talented salespeople; now what would happen to the fun of being team members? It was easier to think about the other representatives at the moment. Charlie scanned his e-mail inbox and saw status reports from John and Doreen, both of them out of the office to call on clients. What about Paula? Charlie wasn't quite sure he remembered her plans for this week. Obviously he needed to catch up on what everyone was doing, and that gave him a new idea. He could build on his strengths by traveling with each of the sales reps and coaching them. That way, he could show them all his proven methods for closing a sale, and they could learn to sell as well as he did. Charlie thought, "That's what a good manager does: shows employees how to do the job right." He was starting to feel less nervous as he began to compose an e-mail to Paula.

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Solution Preview

1.How will Charlie's approach to quality and service affect his company's performance?

Charlie's approach to quality and customer service resulted in strong sales growth for the company, as well as resulted in high level of customer satisfaction.

2.Which of the basic functions of management has Charlie considered? How well is he preparing to carry out these functions?

The basic functions of management ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses a scenario wherein a salesperson transitions into the role of a manager. How can actively manage development as a manager is determined.