I don’t think that anyone will argue that building and growing a business is a difficult task. Plain and simple, the process, speed, and expectations of cultivating a profitable and successful company are forever evolving. The advanced demands in today’s world have proven to be problematic for business owners. It commonly puts them in a position of having to lead without proper experience, knowledge, or focus, making it increasingly difficult to function at peak level across all departments.
One of the solutions that has been gaining popularity in small-to-mid sized businesses is Fractional Leadership. While it has grown exponentially over the past 10-years, the use of it within my sales specialization field remains unique and for good reason. This is because successful fractional sales leaders are hard to find. Only a small portion of us hit a point in our careers where we have the desire to step back from an impressive track record of C-Suite experience to work within our local markets to give-back.
Sales are the lifeline of a business. Without solid sales leadership in place, the ability to grow and meet goals is rendered stagnant. Fractional Sales Leaders engage with businesses to support varying needs: Fulfill acting VP of Sales role, providing coaching to on-staff Sales Leader, build or refine sales infrastructure, best practice auditing, etc. But, how do Owners know when the timing is right to utilize a Fractional Sales Leader in their company?
Three common client circumstances that tend to
benefit the most by involving a Fractional Sales Leader:
3. The right Sales Manager is in place but they need help: In cases where the current sales leader fits well in the organization, demonstrates capability, but needs help advancing their strategy, process, and people skills.
It is common for an Owner to have difficulty self-diagnosing the root cause of what is hindering their growth results. However, they tend to be very aware of the painful symptoms that indicate there is a problem. Below, I outline some of these common scenarios plus how I approach solving them as a Fractional Sales Leader.
|COMMON SALES SCENARIOS PLAGUING BUSINESS OWNERS||FRACTIONAL SALES LEADER SOLUTION APPROACH|
|Sales is not my specialty and I don’t know the right strategy or where to start in creating it.||Define/Refine brand identity, industry positioning, target markets, value and selling proposition, etc. This will serve as the foundation for a Strategic Sales Plan.|
|I don’t know if my Sales Leader is driving “the right” sales activities.||Establish on-target Leading and Lagging Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and create an executive-level reporting dashboard for visibility.|
|My salespeople are not spending time where I want them to.||Guide salespeople to develop individual sales plans with strong linkage to company-level strategy. Leverage them as working plans, not a static exercise that gets filed away.|
|My business value is not growing fast enough to meet my selling price objective in X-years.||
Evaluate current sales process, systems, and people and identify best practice gaps. Prioritize highest impact items and act swiftly by blending internal and external resources.
Bringing on an Outsourced VP of Sales has proven to help businesses get their sales on track. Our in-depth sales strategy experience and ability to provide strong leadership to Owners has critical impact. The key is to know when the timing is right to involve an outside source, and how to best utilize them by considering each business’s unique needs.