Choices. In our professional lives, we begin with a seemingly limitless array of possible careers. As we explore our options, we find one or more that may be suitable. Eventually, we find a path that suits us, one that seems a good and comfortable fit for our skills and aptitudes and interests. And so it is for most sales professionals who embark upon a corporate career of escalating responsibilities and success. But then what? What happens when the corporate ladder fails to elevate you where you really yearn to be?
For Sales Xceleration’s licensed Advisors – sales leadership consultants who typically serve small to mid-sized businesses as fractional Outsourced VPs of Sales – stepping away from the corporate grind has led them instead to a place where they make a difference and find the rewards of working with passion and a sense of purpose. What does that mean? Well, we questioned a handful of Advisors about why they chose to become fractional sales leadership consultants with Sales Xceleration. Here’s what they had to say:
Question 1: In general, what did you find intriguing and appealing about the fractional sales leadership consulting opportunity?
Freedom. Flexibility. Autonomy. Self-determination. These were all common themes as our surveyed Advisors answered this question. Of course, these answers imply that these sales leaders did not enjoy these job characteristics in their corporate roles.
Another common theme was the ability to spend more time with family. This goes along with greatly reduced travel time and the flexibility to schedule work hours and block out time for family visits and events. One Advisor noted that being a fractional consultant makes it possible to easily block out time twice a week to spend with his grandson.
The client experience also factored into answers to this question as well. For example, an Advisor noted that he “enjoys the sheer variety of SMBs” he works with. He added that he “can take 30 years of experience and help drive results.” This speaks to that element of feeling as if you are truly making a difference. Yet another Advisor stated he appreciates “the ability to really have an impact on my clients.” This Advisor added that the Sales Xceleration platform is one “that allows me to continue to be viable (at my desired pace) into my later years.”
Question 2: What do you see as the primary advantages of fractional sales leadership consulting when compared with corporate sales executive roles?
Answers to this question took on two perspectives: 1) that of the benefits to the client, and 2) that of the benefits to the Advisor.
For example, one Advisor observed that clients can benefit because “SMBs have access to a successful OVP of Sales at a fraction of the price of a full-time employee,” while “on the other side of the coin, [Advisors] get to engage in a much nimbler way than in previous [corporate] roles.”
Another Advisor stated that he “can schedule my work around my life and not the other way around.” While he admitted to still working a lot of hours, he noted this was his choice, and he has noticed that his “efficiency has skyrocketed” since he no longer spends so many “hours on unnecessary corporate meetings.” Escaping the corporate monolith resonated with another Advisor, too, who prefers “helping people rather than working in a big machine.”
Client benefits that were noted in the survey responses included getting the services of a sales leadership professional at a fraction of the cost of a full-time VP of Sales and not having to pay benefits.
Question 3: What was your “tipping point” that made you say goodbye to the corporate world and become a fractional sales leadership consultant?
Frustration and disillusion with the corporate environment and its norms ranked high among “tipping points” for Advisors surveyed.
One Advisor responded that after more than three decades in corporate America, he realized his “entire focus was centered on cost take-out initiatives and improving cash flow as opposed to growing top line sales.”
Another noted that he had merely grown tired of being a “commodity.” This is a common frustration with many Advisors we’ve engaged over the years. They don’t feel respected or valued anymore, despite their significant achievements and contributions to corporate success. Working with SMBs, however, their direct connection to the success of the smaller organization and its people are clear and rewarding.
Other tipping points? These are just some of those mentioned:
- “Lack of corporate investment in sales and marketing” despite a “massive push for growth year over year.”
- “Way too much talk and very little action” in a “lather-rinse-repeat system.”
- “Getting huge growth targets and working 70 hours a week in the machine” without corporate investment support.
- Being “sick of traveling all over the country and even overseas.” (This Advisor noted logging “100,000 airmiles in 8 months” the previous year.) Similarly, another Advisor decried the fact that his corporate employer would not permit him to work remotely, thus drastically reducing time at home with family.
These issues and more provided the “nudge” needed to explore fractional sales leadership consulting and the Sales Xceleration alternative.
Question 4: What made you choose to become a fractional sales leadership consultant with Sales Xceleration?
All of the above factored into considering the benefits of fractional sales leadership consulting. But what made surveyed Advisors choose the Sales Xceleration opportunity rather than going it alone?
Said one Advisor: Sales Xceleration makes it possible to build an individual brand with the “flexibility to run my practice as I see best.” The Sales Xceleration opportunity was also cited for its “founder vision, core values, purpose, talented Advisor team, and access to phenomenal resources.” These resources include “support, tools,” and “a proven process for success with examples of others who have succeeded.”
The Bottom Line:
We often speak about how the Sales Xceleration fractional sales leadership consulting opportunity provides a rewarding way to make a difference while working with passion and purpose. We talk about how being an Advisor helps sales leaders regain the respect they deserve and recharge a career of achievement that their corporate employers took for granted. And we frequently mention the importance of reduced travel and spending time with family. But it’s especially nice to hear not only these realities echoed by those living the opportunity, but also their personal perspectives with some occasionally surprising personal and professional benefits from the choice they made.
To learn more about the fractional sales leadership consulting opportunity with Sales Xceleration, click here or contact us at 844.874.7253. We’ve got answers to your questions and look forward to connecting you with our strong network of Advisors.