Advice: "I was recently given account management responsibilites, but I prefer to spend my time selling. How can I tell my boss?"

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Dear Quota Team,

I've been in sales, very successfully, for several decades. Over the years, my current job has morphed into an Account Management role, which takes me out of the cold calling/hunter game, though I’m in a competitive industry that requires a fair amount of know-how. 

My concern is that with inventory, supply chain, and sourcing issues, my job is moving more toward operations and logistics. This not only cuts into my sales time, but I'm finding that dealing with the nitty gritty details is not a particular strength of mine! 

I've never been one to cry, "that's not my job," but it seems to be consuming half my day, and causing 99% of the mistakes I’m making in terms of ball-dropping and follow-up.

How do I reasonably explain this to my boss? I want to explain that not only do I feel that I’m not that great at it, but that I’m not interested in becoming great at it? I have NO interest in half my job at this point. Any advice?  

Frustrated somewhere in the U.S.  


Dear Frustrated,

You can explain how you feel to your boss in a calm, honest, and professional way (and in a private setting). But before you bring it up, you should be ready for the possibility that he or she will start looking for your replacement as soon as the conversation is over. It’s a lot more likely that the company will find the right person for the job, rather than the right job for the person. 

But if you have no interest in half of your job at this point, moving on might be the way to go. Companies are struggling to find reps who love the chase, and it’s a lot easier to find an account manager than it is to find someone who enjoys cold calling, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding somewhere else to land. 

Life's too short to be miserable at work. Talk to your boss, but make sure you’ve got a back up plan first. Good luck! 

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