Part-time sales management trends
Our belief is yes. There are several factors driving the part-time and outsourced sales management trend.
- Shortage of sales management talent. Smaller enterprises always have and always will have a handicap competing for the best talent. Larger companies can always pay better and offer more goodies. When a small enterprise needs a true management superstar, it’s slim pickings. The simple solution is for smaller enterprises to share sales management talent. If three companies split a sales manager, the need to recruit two sales management stars is eliminated. By reducing the demand side of the economic equation, small businesses can find the talent needed in a tight market.
- Shortage of sales person talent. Talk to a small business owner for ten minutes and they will share their woes finding good salespeople. Savvy sales managers have been dealing with this obstacle for years and have solutions. For instance, leveraging sales process innovation and technology can radically decrease the dependence on the sales team. One of our sales mangers typically can cut the direct sales force in half by retooling the sales process/system, leveraging technologies, and shifting outside resources inside. The cost savings are significant, but the reduction in reliance on sales talent is even more important.
- Adoption of outsourcing as a long-term business practice. Thirty years ago, no one understood the concept of a part-time CFO. Today, fractional CFOs are commonplace. Ten years from now, outsourced sales management will be the norm among small sales forces. The economics of the system are will eventual force adoption.
- Pricing pressure. Nearly every enterprise is experiencing cost/margin pressure.
This relentless drive for efficiency applies to the cost of selling too. Small businesses have been slow to adopt sales innovations and technology that can radically cuts the cost of sales. Why? They don’t know how. They are not as privy to innovative practices as their larger counterparts. A part-time sales manager brings a wealth of experience, best practices and systems to smaller companies to help them compete on the cost front.
- Excessive demands on business owner. Business owners are being asked to more and more with less and less. Twenty years ago, a business owner was asked to grow sales, build good product, and keep the employees happy/productive. Today, the business owner has to master social media, technology, websites, free agent employees, global competition, shorter product life-cycles…..AND managing the rest of the business. It’s simply impossible to manage the sales function well with all the other demands of the business. Eventually the profit leakage from an under-managed sales function will force the CEO into hiring an expensive sales manager or outsourcing the function.
What do you think about a potential part-time sales management trend? What trends do you see in your industry or local market?
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