Fractional Sales Management

Fractional Sales Management – what is it & why you should care

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What is Fractional Sales Management? – Top question from Google

What is fractional sales management? – the short answer

Fractional Sales Management is hiring a part-time Head of Sales who is responsible for sales and growth.  Companies benefit by having an experienced sales leader with a proven track record that they could not normally afford at an early stage of their business lifecycle.

Here’s a more detailed look at the role of a Fractional Sales Manager

1. What is a Fractional Sales Leader?

A Fractional Sales Leader is an outsourced c-level executive that works part time for your organisation.  They are typically very experienced in sales and would be responsible for setting and implementing your sales strategy, sales process and plans. 

A fractional sales leader is a shortcut you can take to grow sales until your business has the revenue and requirement for a full-time head of sales.

The role of a Fractional Sales Manager is in effect that of a Part Time Sales Management. This can vary from days per week to days per month depending on the objectives the client is trying to achieve.

Klozers Fractional Sales Management
Klozers Part Time Sales Managers

2. Which companies benefit most from a Fractional Head of Sales?

Most established companies have the financial resources to hire their own Sales Leadership team, however, many Startups, or small companies in their first 5 years may not.  For most startups sales is critical, yet they simply don’t have the budget to hire anyone with the right experience and credentials. 

In many cases Startups have no one at exec level responsible for sales or the founder may be responsible.  Whilst this can work most founders come from a technical background and have no experience in sales. 

Often Startups will hire entry level sales and marketing people because that is all they can afford, and again, while this can work, there is an enormous benefit to having a more experienced sales leader who can set the sales strategy, sales process and plan.

Other companies that benefit from a Fractional Sales leader are those with a number of full-time salespeople, but not enough to warrant a full-time sales manager.  This tends to be companies with less than 10 full time salespeople, but in reality, this can change depending on the complexity of the industry, company and sales structure.

Hiring Fractional Sales Managers allows the business owner to focus on other areas of the business that affect growth. In most cases business owners are only to keem to offload the typical sales challenges such as sales process development, sales cycle and sales staff.

3. How much does Fractional Sales Leadership cost?

Fractional Sales leadership costs much less than hiring your own VP of Sales because the leader is working part time and not full time.  In some cases your fractional leader may be semi-retired and simply not be interested in a full time role or the Fractional Leader is sharing his time between 3-4 different companies.

An experienced and qualified full time VP of Sales will cost the business a minimum of £60,000 ($90,000).  When you add taxes and benefits the cost increases a minimum of 20% and remember, this does not include commission or bonus payments which the top performers will expect. 

In the same way that there are full time positions for £60,000 and some for £600,000 there is a huge difference in the pricing from different leaders. 

You may be lucky and find a semi-retired Sales Director who will point you in the right direction and make some introductions to his/her network for £2000 per month.

Alternately, if you want someone to scale your business from £1m to £10m in ARR and need them to have a proven track record delivering the latest Inbound and Outbound strategies and sales process you will need to invest more money. 

Some Fractional Leaders in SaaS charge £15,000 per month because of their track record.  It’s not what they charge, it’s what they’re worth.

Our advice as always would be to shop around and find out who is available and what sort of skills and experience they have.

Klozers Fractional Sales Management
Klozers Fractional Sales Manager

4. Day rates for a Savvy Fractional Sales Managers

Whilst it may seem counter intuitive you should avoid hiring a Part time Sales Manager on a Day rate.  This is because you are paying them for their knowledge and experience, not their time. 

In addition to time spent with you and your team, the best Fractional Leaders will give you “Shower Time”.  Shower Time is the time spent on critical thinking, ideas and strategies away from their desk so to speak. 

In the same way that many of your ideas come when you are away from your desk, so will your head of sales.  Paying by the day simply doesn’t motivate someone who is at the top of their game. 

The reality is that companies should hire the best people they can afford at their stage of business, which is why the part time sales management model is gaining in popularity.

5. Sales Performance Factors

Every sales team and every leader should be measured on results and your part time head of sales will help you set relevant KPI’s for the business, your sales team and the fractional leader themselves.

Additional factors you should consider are the responsibilities for your Part Time Sales Management role.  This is typically much more than how to accomplish objectives you have set.

Typically we ourselves have helped most small companies with many time consuming and unglamorous such as one on one meetings, finding and hiring new sales people, sales coaching and all the tasks a full time manager would be responsible for.

Simply put, the best sales leaders will not be held responsible for any results unless they have the authority to hire and fire the people in your sales team as they see fit. 

Whilst this may seem unusual, in reality it is no different to hiring a full time VP of Sales.  It’s also worth noting that your Fractional Sales Leader would only ever look at replacing members of the team as a last resort. 

They know how much time and money it costs to find, hire and onboard good sales people, so retention would always be their plan A. 

Klozers Fractional Sales Management
Klozers Fractional Sales Manager

6. Fractional Sales Model is not the same as Fractional Sales Management

In order to avoid any confusion it’s worth noting that the Fractional Sales Model that most people refer to is not the same as Fractional Sales Management. 

A fractional sales model is often used by property investment companies who sell shares in a property portfolio in return for a share of the rental income. 

This has become popular as the model lowers the financial entry point for investors. 

Rather than have either the funds or the deposit required to buy a rental property, the investor can enter the scheme with a much smaller investment and still receive a return on that investment. 

7. Talk to us

Klozers provide Fractional Sales Management services and our prices are based on the number of sales and marketing people and the outcomes you are looking for.

Our team would love to discuss how they can lead your sales efforts, how much value they can deliver, and the many benefits this service can bring to your business.

Our team a have a wealth of experience and are happy to provide an initial consultation at no charge.

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Author Bio

Iain Swanston has spent over 30 years in B2B sales selling, training and leading teams both domestically and internationally.  In addition he serves as an Associate at Strathclyde University Business School where he has delivered the sales content for the Masters in Entrepreneurship since 2015.

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