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Transition from Agency Owner to Sales Manager with Joey Gilkey

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.

Have you ever struggled to replicate yourself as a salesperson for your agency? In this episode, Joey Gilkey from shares the actionable steps you can take to manage a team of qualified reps.

Becoming a Sales Manager

Sales can be polarizing. It is either the first thing that agency owners try to delegate or the last thing they surrender on their journey to agency CEO.

Joey mentions that most agency owners get into the game because their freelance game grew or they jumped from corporate. Few agency owners go into the journey excited to lead a sales team.

But regardless of how you feel about sales, every agency needs a high-performing sales team. And a high-performing sales team needs a sales manager to lead them. 

Agency owners will sit in this seat at some point, so listen up! 

How to Pass Off Sales When “No salesperson is as good as me” 

On the journey of getting out of active sales, you’re going to have moments of friction. Perhaps you feel like “no one will ever be as good as me.” Joey says you’re probably right! 

But just like in your service delivery, you need to be ok with 70% as good if you want to move up the org chart.

Joey shares that one of the best ways to reduce the technical understanding needed in agency sales is to sell a foot in the door offer, like a GamePlan.

This foot in the door offer is a low-commitment offer that is easy to understand. The sales rep can focus on understanding the value proposition and leave the technical understanding for team members involved in the delivery. 

Finding the Balance Between Outcomes & Activities 

Becoming a sales manager means coaching your salespeople when they hit a rough patch. This balance requires a balance. Joey shared how his days in corporate helped shape his understanding when coaching reps. 

For small agency teams, outcomes over activities should rule the day. When outcomes aren’t met, it’s time to review activities. This starts with quantity and then drills down to quality.

The Case for an Agency Sales Manager

A sustainable agency needs a steady high-performing sales team with a sales manager at the helm. It will take time, but it is worth the effort. Developing the processes and systems to run a sales pipeline will bear fruit for years to come.

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