Let’s Start Talking About Sales Manager Enablement


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There are 1000’s of articles, dozens of books on sales enablement.  In  the US alone, between training, technology, and tools, over $25Billion is spent each year on enabling sales people.  There are dozens of software tools/platforms, with new one’s springing up every week that focus only on sales enablement.

But something critical is missing from most of the conversations. What about sales managers?  What are we doing in sales manager enablement?  In fairness, many of the major sales enablement platforms and some of the specialized tools are doing very good things in sales manager enablement, but the majority of the conversations on the topic focus on sales people.

But front line sales managers are the single biggest influencers of sales performance.  It’s the front line sales manager’s job to maximize the performance of everyone on their team.

They do this through recruiting the right people, onboarding them, setting great performance expectations, training, providing the right systems, processes, tools, and programs, measuring/compensating/incenting them, and most importantly coaching them.

A lot of the SE tools and programs are vehicles for the sales manager to do this–but they are focused on the sales person.

What are we doing to help sales managers learn, grow, and maximize their own performance?  What training, coaching, development programs are we building to help our sales managers?

If we don’t invest in helping and enabling sales managers, the investments we make in enabling our sales people will never achieve their full potential.   Sales people won’t get the reinforcement and coaching, sales people may not feel accountable, sales people may not be doing the right things with the right people in the right way.

It’s the front line sales manager that has the biggest impact in driving the effective utilization of all the sales ennoblement tools/programs.  Its the front line sales manager’s job to maximize the performance of each of their people.  But if we aren’t training, developing, coaching our front line sales managers in how to be most effective in doing this, we will never achieve what we want with our sales people.

As top sales executives and business leaders, as sales operatons or enablement executives, we need to focus on front line sales manager enablement if we expect to drive consistent performance in all our teams.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


  1. Dave,
    I fully agree with your views. Enabling the sales managers to be effective coaches to their teams is essential to sales team success. This is an overlooked but significant area of focus for sales enablement solutions.

  2. Thanks John, it’s amazing that this has been virtually ignored in many of the conversations about sales enablement. So many of those efforts fail to achieve the maximum impact without sales manager enablement.


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