Sales Consulting 101: The “Why, When & Who” of Hiring a Fractional VP of Sales

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When sales continue to falter, and it seems you’ve tried everything, a notion eventually comes into view: maybe you should consider using a sales consultant. It wasn’t your first thought, of course. After all, sales have been flat or down for years and you’ve taken advice from friends and family and tried several new things. But no matter what you’ve done, nothing has helped. Then, in one of your late-night Web searches on how to improve sales, you discover some new terms: “Fractional VP of Sales” and “Outsourced VP of Sales”.

Digging deeper into these modern sales consulting concepts, you ask yourself this: “Would bringing in such a part-time or short-term VP of Sales work for our company?” To help you answer that question, it helps to understand why and when you should make that move, and then to discover who might be well-suited to serve your company in that capacity. Let’s take a closer look.

Why hire a fractional VP of Sales?

Experience

A good sales consultant serving as an outsourced VP of Sales should possess many years of experience building high-performing sales teams and overcoming tough sales challenges. Often, these challenges are complex with multiple moving parts – including sales team members with various talents, of course. Because you need someone who can pinpoint the issues and then build the best sales solutions, experience matters.

Time

A fractional VP of Sales works in your business – often part-time each week, or full-time for a limited term of engagement – as your sales leader. During this time, the outsourced VP of Sales will develop a rock-solid sales plan, hire the right salespeople, implement effective sales processes, and manage daily sales operations. This frees and empowers you, the business owner, to lead the organization according to your vision.

Talent

More than just a sales trainer or sales consultant, a fractional VP of Sales should help you build your business. They’ll roll up their sleeves and work shoulder-to-shoulder with you, developing, implementing, managing and refining a customized sales plan to boost profits and achieve your goals. Ultimately, you get an executive team player – for a fraction of the price of a full-time hire.

When should I hire a fractional VP of Sales?

Flat or Declining Sales

If you’re struggling with a sales team that seems to have hit a wall – or worse yet, be going backwards – then it’s time to have a conversation with a fractional VP of Sales. Simple training or one-dimensional approaches often fail, leaving you back where you started. It takes solid sales consulting with big-picture perspective to make real change happen.

Rapid Growth

Rapid growth can be both exciting and frightening. If your business is going well now – great! But do you have a plan to continue that growth? A fractional VP of Sales builds the plan, scales hiring, and ultimately delivers sustainable, long-term growth.

Change of Direction

You’ve decided to add a new product/service and take the company in a new direction. This can often change sales cycles and completely alter the way your sales team should approach a customer. A fractional VP of Sales understands how to recognize those changes and build a plan to achieve success quickly.

Who should I hire as my fractional VP of Sales?

An Experienced Sales Leader

Many business people masquerade as “sales leaders” and claim they can help you. They present themselves as trainers or coaches who “guarantee” results. However, they lack the experience necessary to understand the issues, build a solid plan and be agile enough to change direction when necessary. A good rule-of-thumb is to choose an outsourced VP of Sales with at least 10 years’ experience in sales leadership roles.

Someone with a Solid Methodology

All aspects of the sales plan must be supported by a solid foundational framework. Likewise, once an assessment is complete, a good fractional VP of Sales can articulate their approach and provide you with a plan containing milestones to mark success.

A Builder and Pathfinder

Most importantly, a good fractional VP of Sales comes in and works alongside you to build your business and chart the right path to sustainable sales success. They’ll listen to you, build a plan, and ultimately implement that plan. They’ll hire and manage a sales team to achieve your goals. What they won’t do is deliver a binder of plans and leave you to implement them. After all, your lack of time for oversight and implementation is one reason you hired an outsourced VP of Sales, right?

The Bottom Line:

A sales consultant serving as a fractional or outsourced VP of Sales can help small and medium-sized businesses boost sales and profits for long-term success. So, if you would like to discover how a sales leadership professional can address your specific needs and impact your business, Sales Xceleration is a good place to start. With dozens of licensed Advisors across the nation, there is probably one near you. Click Here to find your nearest Sales Xceleration Advisor, or contact us at 844.874.7253.