There’s a lot you can expect from a fractional sales leader; however, there are some things you shouldn’t expect.
- A doorknocker or salesperson. Fractional sales leadership is just that, leadership. There are plenty of companies that can help you outsource your entire sales department and provide you with salespeople. If you’re okay with an offshore sales team, this is a good option, and the cost is very reasonable, but if you follow the advice of your fractional sales leader, you shouldn’t need an outsourced team to sell for you. Your sales leader will devise a plan and add the talent necessary to make that plan work.
- Whip the team into shape. There must be a required class every CEO takes entitled “There’s nothing wrong in my sales department except the team doesn’t work hard enough.” Our experience is that whipping the team into shape isn’t the problem and rarely works until other pieces are in place. Accountability 101 – you can’t hold someone accountable to a squishy standard or imperfect system. If the company does not have a proven and repeatable sales process, a compensation model that aligns management goals with salesperson goals, technological and non-technological sales leverage, and coaching when they need it, there’s no point in trying to hold the team accountable. It’s not fair and will drive the best performers to quit.
- Fix all your bad salespeople. Fractional sales leadership isn’t about fixing your bad salespeople. In our experience, far more problems can be fixed by working on your sales system than by attempting to fix your bad salespeople. We have hundreds of examples where the company wanted to fire a bad salesperson only to have that same “bad salesperson” turn into a solid contributor once the systemic problems were fixed.
- Wave a magic wand over problems you have been unable to fix for years. Don’t get me wrong; your fractional sales leader can fix many problems. They just won’t be able to wave a magic wand and fix all of them tomorrow. In most cases, problems in the sales department don’t exist because the problem isn’t known but because there’s no one on the team with the time and talent to fix the problem in a consistent, ongoing fashion. Big problems take time to slay.