Before an outsourced sales consultant becomes an outsourced sales consultant, three feelings typically bubble to the surface: 1) disillusionment with working in the corporate environment, 2) a desire to travel less and spend more time with family, and 3) an aching need to work with purpose and make a difference for others. Many experienced sales professionals in their 40s and 50s think scratching that career itch means going back to square one and giving up the professional and financial status they’ve attained. Truth is, however, if you are an experienced sales professional, it is possible to craft a satisfying and lucrative future without sacrificing everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Here’s how:
You Are Not Alone
“People want to be significant and make a difference in this world,” said Dean Niewolny, CEO of the Halftime Institute, as reported in Business News Daily. “They’re saying, ‘There has to be more to life than sitting in this office every day and hoping I get the next raise or promotion.'” Niewolny added that “folks are looking at careers differently at midlife. They want a job, but they really do care about leaving a legacy.”
Indeed, you are not alone if you find yourself eventually wanting more from your career. More satisfaction, more fulfillment, more opportunities to make a difference by helping others. To achieve these goals, however, you’ll need to make a few shifts:
The Mindset Shift
The first factor in moving toward a more fulfilling later sales management career is changing your mindset. Rather than feeling trapped in your current professional situation based on financial needs and your perception that you have limited options , open your mind to the many new opportunities available. You don’t have to publicly announce you are dissatisfied and feeling stifled with your situation, but you do have to admit it to yourself. You can then open your eyes to professional possibilities that are probably right around that corner you just turned.
Keep this in mind, too, as you expand your horizons: you don’t have to abandon your expertise in order to take a new path. You’ve worked hard for many years selling, leading and achieving as a corporate-level sales professional. You’ve been battle tested in some pretty high-stakes sales situations – winning a lot, losing a few, but learning from all you’ve done. That accumulated wisdom has tremendous value as you move forward to the next chapter in your professional life.
Changing your mindset, then, is the first step in gaining more professional and personal satisfaction. Next, you’ll need to shift your perspective about the very nature of the marketplace itself.
The Market Shift
When you’ve dedicated years, perhaps even decades, to working in the corporate environment, it’s easy to think the entire business world operates the way the “big guys” do, with highly focused salespeople, lucrative compensation plans, constant travel, living and dying by your next sales forecast, and so on. But the truth is there is a different world out there waiting for you – the world of the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) – where non-salespeople are thrust into selling roles, compensation plans incent incorrect behavior, and sales forecasts aren’t based on any metrics.
Whereas some larger corporations have revenues and assets larger than the gross domestic products of many smaller nations, SMBs collectively make up a significant part of American and international economies. In the United States, for example, SMBs account for 99.7% of U.S. employer firms, according to the Small Business Administration. What’s more, in a typical US metropolitan area, there are approximately 50,000 businesses with annual sales between $500k and $50m. The market is huge and the need for outsourced sales consultants is still largely untapped.
The Career Shift Toward Making a Difference
Individually, SMBs typically serve smaller markets while operating on limited budgets and with less specialized staff members. And while they could certainly benefit from many of the same strategic and tactical advantages employed by the larger corporations, they are in no position to implement them. In fact, 80% lack basic sales structures, processes and tools to effectively compete!
For example, they probably can’t deploy a larger sales team to help them grow market share and revenue because that would require oversight and management that currently may fall in the hands of the business owner who is already stretched too thin. And while they probably could benefit from the use of a CRM, they lack the time and expertise to determine the best one for their needs and then customize and use it to gain actionable data. What’s more, when it comes time to hire or replace sales staff members, the SMB often makes bad moves because they simply don’t have the time and expertise to recruit, hire and onboard the right personnel for the organization.
Reasons like these are why the SMB market is both lucrative and fulfilling. Outsourced sales consultants and executives – typically serving SMBs either part-time or in limited-term engagements – often find that their wisdom and expertise make a huge impact. Their input can positively affect (or even save) the livelihoods of workers in these businesses. By helping these smaller companies survive, thrive and learn how to take control of their futures, an outsourced sales consultant truly makes a difference for others.
No matter how disillusioned and frustrated you might be working in the large corporate world, it is possible to chart your course toward a more satisfying and lucrative future making keen use of your sales and leadership acumen. All it takes is a fresh mindset, an awareness of the SMB market opportunity, and a willingness to make a difference for others in that market space.
At Sales Xceleration, we know these opportunities exist in serving small- to medium-sized businesses. We’ve taken lessons learned in the larger corporate world, adapted them, and made them available to our licensed Advisors. And we’ve watched with pride as our Advisors serve – and in many cases, rescue – these smaller businesses while acting as outsourced sales consultants and executives. We’ve done it, they’ve done, it, and you can do it, too.
To learn more about Sales Xceleration, contact us today at 844.874.7253.