When I share my story with sales management and sales leadership professionals – in other words, with people like you – something surprising often happens. We discover a common bond. Sure, we might have had many similar experiences by being career sales professionals and accomplished sales executives; but the bond I’m really talking about goes deeper than that. This bond, this connection, this kinship manifests itself when we discover we have one important personality trait in common: we like to fix things.
Okay, let me be more specific: We like to take an underperforming sales organization, help it reach its potential, and then we like to move on to our next great sales management challenge. Yes, indeed, I’m a “fixer,” and proud of it! Chances are you’re a fixer, too, but like many career sales executives testing the waters of sales management consulting, you haven’t yet learned how to use this fact to your advantage. Or maybe you’re simply bored, burned out, unfulfilled, and in a sales management rut you can’t seem to escape. If that’s the case, maybe my story can help you get a better “fix” on how to approach your own next chapter. Here goes…
How I Learned That I Like to “Fix Things”
I suppose there comes a point in just about every sales professional’s life – especially those who have risen to VP of Sales – when it’s time to take stock. When it’s time to ask tough questions. When it’s time to be honest with yourself. For me, that time came just before I decided to embark upon a post-corporate career as a sales management consultant. You see, at that point I was still evaluating where I was in my professional life and what I wanted next. I had accomplished much in the corporate world – rising through the ranks, landing promotions, and taking on new responsibilities – only to have corporate changes leave me uncertain of my place and unclear about my career trajectory. I would change jobs, find new opportunities and challenges elsewhere, tackle those challenges and get bored again, only to experience the same corporate burnout, over and over.
At first, I thought I was merely caught in a new kind of sales career life cycle. Shorter tenures. More demanding work. More stressful environments. But then my wife Pam said something that surprised me. She observed that every three years, if I didn’t experience significant change, I “blew things up” so they would become interesting again. While many of these three-year cycles often involved a promotion or a change that was beyond my control due to mergers and acquisitions, I had to admit that Pam was fundamentally correct. It was often because of me. I was the one “blowing things up” (meaning I was disrupting the status quo after fixing the main problems in the sales organization), so I could embark upon a new and challenging path. So I could stay motivated. And keep challenging myself. And continue to help sales organizations that were truly in need of my expertise!
It was a truth I hadn’t seen for myself because I didn’t have the perspective my wife did. But once she laid that revelation on me, it became abundantly clear: I was a fixer who thrived on getting in, getting out, and doing important work in between.
Getting In, Getting Out, and the Important Work In Between
Armed with this new knowledge about myself, it was clear my best career path was to become a sales management consultant and a fractional time sales executive, usually as an outsourced VP of Sales. This worked for me because I like to “fix things,” finding fulfillment and motivation in the challenge of helping small and medium-sized businesses boost sales and optimize their sales organizations. And when I accomplished that work, client after client, it was only natural to move on to the next challenge.
As it turns out, I’m not really hard-wired to spend years-on-end in a corporate setting. Rather, I thrive on making a significant difference and then making an exit, handing the reins to a full-time sales management executive who can steer the ship I helped put back on course.
Finding Fulfillment in an Advisor Role
Serving as a consultant or Advisor to businesses in need of part-time sales management leadership has been financially rewarding, but, more importantly, it has been personally and professionally fulfilling. Our licensed Advisors at Sales Xceleration agree: sales management consulting allows us to be challenged and valued. Our deep sales management experience and expertise help us solve critical problems and put our clients on the path to sustainable sales success. And because it is our mission to put manageable and proven sales systems in place and then hand the reins to someone else – often a full-time VP of Sales – for ongoing sales management, we don’t get bored. We don’t feel undervalued or underappreciated or underchallenged. Rather, we feel fulfilled and blessed!
And then we repeat this cycle with other clients in need. That’s our model: serve clients by getting in, doing the important work they need (by fixing things) and getting out. In fact, we aren’t meant to have long-term engagements; our mission is to help companies solve organizational sales problems and implement sustainable sales systems so they quickly outgrow the level of time and service available from a fractional sales leader. Simply put, if a company needs the services of one of our sales consulting Advisors for too long, we haven’t done our job.
The Bottom Line:
That’s my story. And it’s the story of the international team of Advisors at Sales Xceleration. We’re fixers. That’s our common bond. So, if you are a sales leader who’s bored, burned out, and feeling like you need frequent new challenges and opportunities to serve businesses in need of your sales management expertise, let’s connect. Learn more by clicking here, or you can contact us today at 844.874.7253.
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