Strategic Leadership in Sales

Karen Flaherty

in The Oxford Handbook of Strategic Sales and Sales Management

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569458
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Strategic Leadership in Sales

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  • Business and Management
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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This article examines the important relationship between the role of the salesperson and the role of sales managers. It considers how these roles vary across organizations, noting a distinct trend toward the salesperson's role including involvement in shaping strategy. The result is that the salesperson's job has changed to meet new role expectations. Salesperson strategic roles can be characterized as competence deployment, competence modification, and competence definition. These roles call for different capabilities and perspectives concerning the sales force. Successful strategic sales leadership requires the utilization of management perspectives and processes that correspond best with the current environment, required salesperson roles, and the strategic direction of the organization. In this article, an integrative framework for sales leadership is proposed. This framework examines three strategic leadership modes: command, coach, and sponsor.

Keywords: salesperson; sales managers; competence deployment; competence modification; strategic sales leadership

Article.  10504 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Marketing ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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