+61 2 91887292 adam@adamcallender.com

Strategic Perspective for Sales Leaders

Companies need strategies for helping sales leaders excel over time. Solutions require improving sales leader selection, development, and performance management, while creating a company culture that encourages sales leadership success. [1]

Sales Leadership is managing, leading and living through complexity and overwhelm. For those passionate about both solving customer requirements and leading a team, is an amazing role. Although sales leadership has never been easy, as organisations are increasingly increasing complex to engage in commercial relationships.

The function of sales is critical, organisations scale their businesses based on the revenue and the expected cost of sales in the future. Failure is always a clear and present danger that sales leaders face on an ongoing basis, potentially being one of the most visible and measurable of leaders.

Increasingly, sales leaders are required to have knowledge and capability in analytical, strategic and emotional domains. The challenges are increasing and with them, an increasing sense of being overwhelm can prevail.

In my new discussion paper, we review the challenges and discuss a structure to understand and tackle them.


A strategic mindset and outlook is essential for sales leaders. Sometimes leaders are asked to be more strategic? It can be challenging enough to manage the key metrics and the team, but what are the key factors diving this request? Below I list some of those and look at a model for managing them.

  • EBIT growth in established organisations has typically been achieved through cost reductions, putting pressure on sales leaders to do more with less.
  • Keeping across broader spans that only get flatter in organisations, middle management continues to be removed, with the average number of direct reports said to be approximately 9.
  • Globalisation – Issues of commoditisation, margin compression, longer periods of time to win work, increasing cost to bid, spread of shorter time to respond and pivot.
  • Technology shifts – risks and opportunities for those organisations making timely bets so far as resourcing and implementing newer technologies, both internally and in product/service offerings.
  • Complexity – a burgeoning issue, in recent surveys compliance and micro management has made life increasingly challenging for sales leaders.
  • Hyper competitive markets and the challenge to competitive advantage for organisations who may have previously enjoyed an advantage.

In my new discussion paper, we review the challenges and discuss a structure to understand and tackle them. Please feel welcome to read the paper through the following link: http://adamcallender.com/resources/resources/

Want to know more?

Please feel welcome to request my recent white paper that I wrote after meeting and interviewing many emerging and established leaders about their journey into leadership.

What I do

Though Coaching, Mentoring and Training, Adam works with emerging and established leaders, often in technical markets, passionate about balancing hard and soft skills to harness to talents of the individuals and team. Creating outstanding leadership through self-awareness, seizing and developing talents in others, collaborating and balancing the need for success with clients, partners and peers. Through mixed modes, he delivers impactful programs.

[1] What Sales Leaders Need to Excel Over Time, Andris A. Zoltners , PK Sinha and Sally E. Lorimer, Harvard Business Review, January, 2019