Conventional wisdom says that entrepreneurs must be great salespeople to succeed. That’s a tall order, and quite improbable. Entrepreneurs must be experts in their chosen field, but sales isn’t typically their profession.
Like any discipline, salesmanship requires commitment, dedication to self-directed training, and practice. Entrepreneurs simply don’t have that kind of time, nor do salespeople have the requisite time to become technical experts. That’s why they have a symbiotic relationship.
Most entrepreneurs we know don’t particularly like the process of sales, though they perform well in sales meetings. Getting the meeting, running the sales process, and managing the pipeline; those are laborious tasks.
As sales traction builds, the founder is thrust into the role of sales manager by default. That’s an important job, but business owners are often too busy running the company to be an effective sales manager, and the company may not yet be large enough to warrant a full-time sales manager.
That’s when it might make sense to invest in a fractional sales manager which is essentially a part-time sales manager on an as-needed basis. Business owners that invest in a fractional sales manager should expect three things:
- Sales Process Evaluation & Refinement
- KPI Reporting and Pipeline Measurement
- Coaching and Sales Skill Development
Evaluation of salespeople is sometimes added to this list, but that’s really an inherent part of coaching and sales skill development. Investing in salespeople is less disruptive than replacing them, it is far more palatable to both parties, and it builds a mutual sense of loyalty.
We are affiliated with SalesQB, a network of outsourced sales managers throughout the United States. If you run a small business and are considering whether to invest in a fractional sales manager, schedule an initial consultation either with us or with SalesQB.