Most business owners don’t have experience with fractional leaders. It’s hard to know what you can expect from such a person. If you are toying with the idea, here’s a short list of some of the things you can expect from a fractional sales leader.
- Most business owners could create a well-oiled sales machine if they only had the time. However, the dozens of other important responsibilities they shoulder prevent them from doing it.
- If the owner is out of the equation, most sales teams don’t have someone with the requisite talent to take the sales function to the next level. Fractional sales leaders do.
- Create a proven and repeatable sales process for all team members to follow. To us, this is the most important item lacking for many small businesses. When someone takes the time to determine the best-of-breed sales process for the business, the entire sales team can improve, and, more importantly, the company now owns this process, not individual salespeople. The breadth of experience and talent brought by a fractional sales leader allows such a process to be created.
- One-on-one sales coaching. There’s nothing wrong with sales training, but it’s general. The salesperson has to take a generic lesson and translate it to the specifics of their talent and situation. Some salespeople are quite adept at this and make sales training well worth the investment. Others cannot bridge this chasm, and sales training is a waste of time and money. Both types can benefit from one-on-one sales coaching because it is specific to the salesperson. For instance, we have found that deal coaching closes more deals, teaches new skills, and, most importantly, drives behavioral change.
- A brain trust. The best fractional sales leaders are part of an external mastermind that can be called upon for advice, ideas, systems, best practices, and a sounding board. Having access to other seasoned fractional leaders makes your leader that much better.
- Bring best practices. Fractional leaders are like bumblebees. They spread pollen and flower to flower. Just like flowers need cross-pollination to grow, businesses need cross-pollination of ideas. The best of the best new ideas come from ideas in use at other companies. Fractional sales leaders possess thousands of these best practices and can filter the most useful ones for your business.
- Tune up areas that need work. Do you have a compensation structure that works for the sales team but not the company? A Fractional sales leader can fix that. Is your lead generation process working all right but not great? A fractional sales leader can fix that. Does your sales pipeline not accurately predict future sales? A fractional sales leader can fix that too.
- Become a valued team member. Done right, fractional leaders gain a deep understanding of your business and provide ongoing value well in excess of their cost. Their knowledge of your business model, people, process, and goals can provide you with lasting, ongoing value.
Fractional sales leaders have the time business owners don’t, plus the talent drive initiatives in ways an average sales manager can’t. In nearly all situations, the cost of a fractional sales leader is far less than the value created.