How to Rescue Your Sales Leader resized 600You hired a good guy. He works hard. Your team likes him. Your customers like him. But, it feels like he’s a bit lost.  


As you plan for next year, you have two options:


  1. Pull the Plug – Fire your sales leader and find someone else
  2. Rescue your current sales leader – Help the current guy make the number next year


While many CEO’s may select option 1, today’s post focuses on option #2.


Download the Sales Leader Execution Kit.


Sales Leader Execution Kit


How did this happen?

When you hired your sales leader, perhaps you made some mistakes. You focused on things like:


  • Industry experience
  • Domain or product expertise
  • Culture fit


While these are important characteristics, they don’t predict results. As your sales leader has settled in, it has become apparent he is “green.” Strategic planning is a foreign concept. Day-to-Day execution and cadence are erratic. You need to course correct heading into next year.


Why Rescue Your Current Sales Leader?

Q4 is not prime hiring season for sales leaders. ‘A’ players are waiting to collect big year-end bonus checks. Pulling them away from their current gig will be very difficult.


Q4 is prime firing season. The market will be flooded with ‘C’ players. You could end up spinning your wheels with re-treads.

You feel like the current guy can get it done. You just need to close the gaps. To avoid this again next year, you need ways to rescue your sales leader. Here are a few ideas for you on how you can help.


Strategic Planning

Many sales leaders struggle with strategic planning. Perhaps yours struggles with prioritizing his initiatives. Rather than focus on 2 or 3 core initiatives, everything is a priority. Your sales force has become fatigued by this.


To fix this, you have a few options:


  • Take Over – realize your sales leader cannot develop your sales strategy. Instead, provide him with the strategic playbook. Keep him laser focused on executing your vision.
  • Prevent Thrashing – provide him with the tools necessary to prioritize, sequence and execute on strategic initiatives. Consider providing him with this ebook for starters.


Field Execution

In other cases, your sales manager may struggle to implement a defined strategy. When it’s time to roll up his sleeves, he’s not sure what to do. This results in nothing getting done.


Here are a couple ideas for you on this:


  1. Sales Management Coaching – Many times, the best reps are promoted to management. When they were sales reps, they were taught what and how to do things. As a sales manager, that instruction is often lacking. It’s assumed they know how. We’ve provided extensive resources to help in our blog. This includes a number of free tools and templates.
  2. Sales Leader Execution Kit – Today’s post offers the Execution Kit as yet another free resource (Get it here). In it, you can get access to things like:
    1. Weekly time management tracking
    2. Best practice time allocation and cadence
    3. 1on1 coaching guide
    4. Sales rep ride along debrief form


If blocking and tackling prevents you from missing next year’s number, these will help. It may sound simple, but often sales leaders just need basic tools for improvement.


Call to Action

Rescue your sales leader from making the same mistakes again next year.



Ryan Tognazzini

Works closely with B2B companies to solve strategic business problems so that they will make their number.
Learn more about Ryan Tognazzini >

Ryan joined SBI in 2010 as a Senior Consultant. Since then, he has worked extensively with emerging growth technology companies, including SaaS, enterprise software, systems integrators and OEMs. Additionally, Ryan works alongside numerous private equity investors, performing both sales and marketing due diligence and organic growth initiatives inside their portfolio companies.


Among a long list of accomplishments, he developed and implemented a sales and marketing strategy that resulted in the turnaround of a $1B IT integration clients. He executed organic growth initiatives to help a $100M software company achieve 40%+ year-over-year growth in preparation for an IPO. And he worked with a $1B enterprise software client to transform their sales and marketing go-to-market strategy for their cloud and SaaS offerings. Not surprisingly, in 2014 he was voted SBI Employee of the Year by his peers.


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