This article comes from Celine Grey’s insightful talk, ‘Tactical leadership enablement to drive sales execution’, at our 2023 London Sales Enablement Summit, check out her full presentation here

If you're a sales enablement professional, you've likely seen this frustrating cycle play out time and again: 

A top-performing salesperson gets promoted into a sales management role with high expectations...but they're given very little actual training or support for this major leadership transition they're undertaking.

In my 25 years in sales roles, I’ve seen this countless times. It's easy to just assume that because they were a sales rockstar, they'll naturally be able to lead and develop a high-performing sales team. 

Well, it's not that simple, is it? The skills that made someone an exceptional individual seller don't automatically translate into being an amazing coach and leader of others.

This is where tactical leadership enablement comes in. It bridges the gap between the great conceptual training many sales managers receive and their ability to effectively implement those concepts day-to-day while juggling a million priorities. 

Tactical enablement gives leaders specific actions to drive outcomes in a contextual way for their team's situation. 

Are they building a brand new team? Taking over an existing but underperforming one? Or managing a stellar group in high-growth mode? Each scenario requires tailored strategies for the leader to be successful. 

Let’s unpack this further …

The role of a sales leader

One of the very first mindset shifts I try to drive with sales leaders is reframing their primary responsibility. When I ask groups what their #1 responsibility is, the overwhelming response is "to hit the number."

But I like to push back on that notion. I think that a sales leader's true #1 responsibility is to enable their entire team to hit the number. 

It's a small distinction, but an incredibly powerful one when you realize the behavioral implications. If you see your role as just hitting your own personal quota, you'll likely take a more self-oriented, numbers-driven approach as a manager.

However, if you see your mission as empowering and supporting every member of your team to maximize their performance, it shifts your entire mindset and actions towards coaching, developing, and creating an environment for collective success.

So one of the first "tactical" things I do in any leadership enablement program is have managers reframe and commit to that small but mighty mindset adjustment of:

My #1 priority is to enable my team to hit our goals. 

Once that crucial mental reframing occurs, we can start layering on other specific skills and behaviors.