Updated: Aug 3
Published on May 23, 2022
The million-dollar question for every business usually revolves around time. Can my current sales team build and close enough sales pipeline to meet our growth goals this year? If not, how long will it take me to diagnose and fix the problems hindering their success?
It’s usually this challenge that drives the typical small to mid-sized business to look for help because they don’t have the time or experience in-house to repair or rebuild their sales organization. Using an Outsourced or Fractional Sales Leadership model is a great fit in these circumstances.
Once the top executive understands the workings of my model, the question I get most often is “How much of my time is needed if I hire you?”. It’s a practical question considering most leaders are pulled in many directions! They are surprised, and often delighted, when I explain how I can help dramatically improve their sales results with very little involvement from them.
Let me walk you through how I leverage my broad experience to create an ultra-efficient client working relationship designed to uncover, diagnose, and correct sales issues.
How Often Do We Meet?
No matter the scope of my involvement, I follow a consistent approach that typically results in my client sponsor only needing to invest 1-hour per week meeting with me throughout our engagement, sometimes less depending on the scope of what we’re working through.
This minimal time commitment is the result of my experience rebuilding sales organizations and knowing how to leverage the client’s domain knowledge to guide my efforts.
Early in the relationship I invite my client sponsor to invest additional time by sitting in on staff meetings I lead, participate in discovery sessions I facilitate, etc. I’ve found this extra involvement up front helps us expedite forming a productive working relationship and helps the client get more comfortable with the new concepts being introduced.
Throughout this journey, the client sponsor and I stay in lockstep by focusing on high-level activities during our routine check-in meetings such as:
Gaining alignment on what needs to be fixed and in what order.
Reviewing the work products, I produce and refining them as needed before roll-out.
Partnering on sales culture transition objectives.
Checking in on milestone progress and establishing the next set of goals.
What Do You Take Ownership of?
Most often there are three phases during my involvement:
Discovery & Assessment
Design & Implement
Operationalize with Adoption
After completing the Discovery & Assessment phase, I develop a plan to serve as our guide. I oversee the steps and actions necessary to create the change you brought me in for. With this plan defined, I’ll take full ownership of designing the agreed upon work products and implementing them.
I involve your key employees during the design process to glean insights from their subject matter knowledge while also gaining their buy-in before new solutions are implemented.
During this heavy lifting phase, you remain at a high level, yet aware of the changes taking place by gaining updates during our routine meetings.
The common design areas I focus on are within these 4 sales categories that the majority of small to mid-sized business struggle with: Sales Strategy, Sales Methodology, Sales Organization, Sales Analysis.
Depending on the client’s needs, another area I commonly take ownership of is the Operationalize with Adoption Phase that is key in ensuring the sales rebuild is sustainable. Taking on this role would involve me becoming your interim VP Sales where I’d have a hands-on role with your salespeople and other client facing employees.
In cases where I fulfill this expanded role, your time involvement would remain unaffected by us continuing with the same weekly meeting cadence. Just as before, you remain at a high level, yet aware of the happenings in the sales department.
How Do We Work Together?
While I am in the trenches with your employees throughout the three phases I described, I am acting on your behalf to ensure the proper changes are made and adopted. This is most effective when we develop a strong bond of trust, honor one another’s authority areas, and are committed to see changes through.
I have seen owners panic when the sales pipeline isn’t fixed within 90-days. They grow impatient and feel drawn to undo the work we just implemented. To avoid ending up back at square one, it’s critical to leave the new processes and systems in place to gain the desired outcomes. It may take longer to fix root issues causing your sales problems, but it is the lasting approach.
To help set your expectations on the timeframe for implementing changes within your sales department, check out the previous article I wrote called, “How Long Does it Take to Fix a Sales Team?”.
The Best Outcome: Getting Extra Time Back
My colleagues and I enter literally hundreds of small to mid-sized business every year. What we’ve found is that most business owners who are struggling to reach their revenue goals are the same ones who are personally overseeing their sales departments.
Usually that means late nights going over sales projections and pouring through lost deals trying to figure out what went wrong. This often leads to a lack of focus, crunched windows of time, and a never-ending project load.
Imagine the time you’ll immediately get back by hiring an Outsourced or Fractional Sales Leader! Not to mention how it will grow once your sales problems are fixed for the long-term.
This freedom affords the owner or top executive the ability to work “on” the business, creating a greater sense of impact and personal fulfillment.
You can take a vacation and not spend the entire time fretting about the bad quarter you just had. No more sleepless nights filled with stress. You can enjoy time away knowing your business is going in the right direction to achieve the growth you’ve always dreamed of.
By partnering with a Fractional VP of Sales, you are gaining a partner with the skills to create immediate impact while only investing a fraction of your time.
If you’d like to discuss assessing your sales team in more detail or chat about the improvement you’re looking for in your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our Contact Us form.
We are part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.