How much time do you get to spend executing your sales strategy? You’ve set your vision for the sales force. At sales kickoff or quarterly business reviews, you reinforce your strategy.


However, demands on your time mean you have to trust your leaders to execute. You can’t be everywhere at once. Sometimes, execution doesn’t happen how you envisioned.


  • Your sales leaders get distracted.
  • People are focused on short-term tactics vs. long-term strategy.
  • Reporting back from the field is sporadic.


This post is for sales leaders looking to bridge the strategy and execution gap.


You are not alone. Many of your peers are having this problem too. They lay out their strategic vision to their teams. They get pulled in other directions. When they check in, they realize the strategy is sitting on the shelf.


What you’d really love is a lieutenant who can execute on these things. And do it well.


Here’s a tool for you: Core Competencies of a World Class Chief of Staff.


There is an emerging role in large sales organizations: Chief of Staff. This is not a management-level sales ops resource. It is an executive level role designed to help implement the sales leader’s strategy. They are your right-hand person.


Leading companies like Riverbed, Mitel and Microsoft all employ this role today.


An Emerging Class

Last April, SBI identified the Top Sales Ops Leaders to Watch. In it, we provided tips for Sales Ops leaders to improve their brand promise. It was the most downloaded tool of the quarter.  


This is an emerging group of leaders who aspire to become Chief of Staff. These are examples of profiles you might consider.


How to Spot Your Chief of Staff

These executives are proficient at supporting sales leaders in new ways. Here are 4 from the tool:


  1. Execution Focus: They can help you develop and implement your sales strategy. They use data to help sales leaders make big decisions. They’re in the big meetings with you and your CEO. Assessing what’s been accomplished and what needs to be done.
  2. Visionary: They’re looking past this month or quarter. Chiefs of Staff are looking at improved organization models, acquisition integration, and productivity gains.
  3. Organizational Agility: The top dogs aren’t just working in sales. They collaborate with finance, marketing, products, and channel partners. They bring these groups together to ensure successful initiatives, like new product launches. These skills give you time to focus on your team and your customers.
  4. Data Driven: You need relevant data to run the business. They use predictive analytics to make smart decisions in real time.


These are things you’d love to do, but you are time starved. This is why the Chief of Staff is so critical for you.



A great Chief of Staff is not easy to find.  It starts with knowing what “great” looks like. The tool will help you with this. Hiring one will give you time back to focus on strategic issues.




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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