Boost Sales Efficiency with a Fractional Sales Manager

Boost Sales Efficiency with Fractional Sales Manager

The Role of a Fractional Sales Manager in Streamlining Your Sales Process

The business landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Companies face increasing competition and pressure to drive revenue growth. This makes having an effective sales strategy and process more critical than ever. However, many businesses struggle with sales management and leadership. Hiring a full-time sales manager can be expensive, and it’s difficult to find someone with the right expertise. This is where a fractional sales manager can make a major difference.

A fractional sales manager provides experienced sales leadership and management on a part-time, flexible basis. They optimize sales processes, coach teams, and boost productivity – without the high cost of a full-time resource. For startups, small businesses, and companies needing a temporary sales leader, fractional sales management is an innovative solution.

What This Article CoversKey Points
What is fractional sales management and its key benefits– Definition and purpose
– Benefits for businesses, including cost-effectiveness and expertise
– Key differences from full-time or part-time sales management roles
Why companies should consider hiring a fractional sales manager– Cost-effective solution
– Experienced sales leadership
– Increased sales efficiency
– Flexibility in engagement
– Objective perspective
Understanding the responsibilities of a fractional sales leader– Key responsibilities and how they differ from traditional roles
– Coaching and training
– Sales management
– Implementing proper sales processes
When is the right time to bring a fractional sales manager on board– Lack of sales leadership
– Underperforming sales team
– Need for unbiased perspective
– Need for sales coaching and training
What fractional sales management can do to drive sales growth– Improve sales efficiency and productivity
– Increase revenue and profitability
– Develop a sales strategy
– Implement proper sales processes and systems
– Provide coaching and training
– Manage sales team and performance
– Conduct sales performance reviews
Actionable tips for hiring and working with fractional sales managers– Identify your business needs
– Research and vet potential candidates
– Establish clear communication and expectations
The typical costs and ideal timeframe for fractional sales engagements– Day rates for fractional sales managers
– Factors that can influence cost
– Ideal engagement duration

Hiring a seasoned fractional sales manager can optimize operations, enhance coaching, improve accountability, and propel revenue to new heights. Let’s explore how.

What is Fractional Sales Management?

Fractional sales management refers to hiring an experienced sales leader on a part-time, outsourced basis. Companies bring fractional sales managers on board to handle key sales management responsibilities and drive better performance without incurring the high costs of a full-time sales executive.

fractional sales manager typically works remotely on a flexible schedule. They can put in anywhere from 10 to 30 hours per week depending on the engagement terms and client needs. The fractional model provides seasoned sales expertise and leadership on an as-needed basis.

Key benefits of fractional sales management include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – Companies avoid expensive full-time sales executive salaries and benefits. The fractional model has significantly lower costs.
  • Experienced expertise – Fractional sales managers have years of proven experience optimizing sales processes, coaching teams, and boosting revenue.
  • Flexibility – Engagement terms, hours, and duration can be customized to each client’s unique needs.
  • Objective perspective – As an unbiased external advisor, a fractional sales leader brings fresh ideas to improve systems.

The role and responsibilities may vary, but the core focus of a fractional sales manager is driving better sales results. Key differences from full-time sales management roles include the part-time schedule and outsourced consulting nature of fractional engagements.

Now that we’ve defined fractional sales management, let’s explore some top reasons to hire fractional sales leaders.

Why Hire a Fractional Sales Manager?

There are many compelling reasons for companies to hire an experienced fractional sales manager. Key benefits include:

Cost-Effective Talent & Leadership

Hiring fractional provides affordable access to executive-level sales talent and leadership.

  • Avoid expensive full-time sales executive salaries and overhead
  • Customizable hours/scope keeps costs variable and aligned to needs
  • Pay less than 20-30% of a full-time resource’s total compensation

Experienced, Proven Leadership

Seasoned fractional sales managers have deep real-world expertise in all aspects of optimizing sales performance.

  • 7-15+ years optimizing processes, leading complex sales teams
  • Proven track record of repeatable results across diverse verticals
  • Specialized expertise in exactly what most companies need help with

Increased Sales Efficiency

Fractional sales managers analyze processes objectively and drive systemic improvements.

  • Remove obstacles slowing down sales cycles
  • Define and automate key sequences within the funnel
  • Improve interdepartmental handoffs negatively impacting conversions
  • Track lower-funnel performance metrics to isolate issues

Flexible, Scalable Model

The fractional framework aligns with each company’s evolving needs.

  • Customizable hours per week based on budget and requirements
  • Engagement durations flex from 3-12+ months
  • Effort scales up or down as the business grows

Objective Perspective

External fractional sales leaders provide unbiased perspectives on optimizing systems.

  • Evaluate current sales processes through a neutral lens
  • Identify issues that internal teams may overlook
  • Provide ideas and best practices from other industries
  • Make changes firmly rooted in data/metrics, not politics

Improved Coaching & Training

Experienced fractional sales managers mentor teams with proven techniques.

  • Hands-on coaching to rapidly upskill sales reps
  • Create playbooks and conduct pieces of training on ideal processes
  • Share strategies used by top performers across industries
  • Help salespeople overcome individual weaknesses with feedback

Proper Sales Management

Fractional sales leaders structurally build out formal sales management.

  • Map out sales territories to optimize coverage
  • Implement structures for opportunity tracking/pipeline reviews
  • Set up metrics-based scorecarding and regular 1:1s
  • Ensure proper systems and operations support are in place

Diverse Skillsets

The best fractional sales managers have multifaceted real-world expertise.

  • Lead generation process optimization
  • Tech stack evaluation and implementation
  • Data analysis identifying trends and performance drivers
  • Team leadership and hands-on selling skills

The fractional sales framework delivers versatile, affordable access to executive talent that drives tangible impact across these areas and more.

Let’s now delve into the crucial role and key responsibilities that fractional sales managers undertake, now that we have briefly discussed some of the numerous advantages.

Understanding the Role of a Fractional Sales Manager

What exactly does a fractional sales manager do day-to-day? Their core responsibilities typically include:

Sales Leadership & Coaching

  • Provide strategic leadership to optimize all sales activities
  • Conduct sales training programs to improve team skills
  • Offer regular coaching and mentoring for individual reps
  • Share proven practices that drove success with other teams

Sales Process Optimization

  • Review current sales workflows and processes objectively
  • Identify obstacles negatively impacting conversion rates
  • Outline and automate sequences to improve efficiencies
  • Implement new tech tools to support faster cycles

Sales Team Management

  • Set expectations and establish performance metrics
  • Ensure proper sales territory mapping and account assignments
  • Oversee pipeline review cadences and oversee forecasts
  • Motivate and inspire team members to hit goals

The fractional framework allows sales managers to focus exclusively on these high-impact responsibilities most relevant to clients. They don’t get pulled into non-core duties that full-time sales VPs must handle.

Fractional sales experts have the experience to immediately implement best practices around coaching, process improvement, team leadership, and more. The role focuses squarely on execution – not strategy – freeing up client sales leaders to focus on big-picture planning.

Now that we’ve clarified the fractional sales manager role, let’s look at the ideal timing for hiring one.

When Should Companies Consider a Fractional Sales Manager?

Hiring sales leadership and management help is not always required – companies must objectively assess when it makes sense. These are some common scenarios where investing in a fractional sales manager delivers real ROI:

Lack of Sales Leadership & Expertise

  • Sole company founder is currently leading sales but has little sales experience
  • Failed hires for VP of Sales or Head of Sales leadership roles
  • Executive team lacks direct modern sales management leadership expertise
  • Need for a proven leader to build out and scale up the sales org without the full-time overhead

Underperforming Sales Team

  • Consistently missing monthly, quarterly, or annual sales targets
  • High turnover costs time and money recruiting new sales reps
  • Individual sellers are missing closing rate or revenue expectations
  • Teams are poorly structured, lack specialized roles, and coverage gaps exist

  • Downward trending sales performance metrics and KPIs over multiple periods
  • Losing customers and orders due to confidence, trust, or competitive gaps
  • Sales tactics, channels, and tech stack choices seem misaligned and ill-optimized
  • Seeking unbiased evaluations to diagnose weaknesses and change approaches

Need for Enhanced Training & Coaching

  • Lack of established sales processes, guidelines, and playbooks for reps to follow
  • Newer salespeople require hands-on mentoring to learn on the job
  • Minimal coaching support results in sellers missing development opportunities
  • Incumbent top performers lacking tactics to replicate success across the team

Fractional sales managers have the versatility needed to address common scenarios like these across diverse industries.

Now let’s explore the tangible impact they can deliver.

What Can Fractional Sales Management Do?

Experienced fractional sales managers drive tangible improvements across all facets of sales, including:

Improve Sales Efficiency & Productivity

  • Identify and eliminate bottlenecks slowing down sales cycle speed
  • Implement defined processes for key sequences and handoffs
  • Provide templates, playbooks & tools to optimize daily workflows
  • Help sales reps prioritize the highest-impact activities

Increase Revenue & Profitability

  • Set revenue goals by rep and ensure proper territory/account assignments
  • Build models to predict lead volume needed to hit growth targets
  • Help marketing and product teams clarify target customer personas
  • Motivate and incentivize the team to deliver consistent growth

Develop Sales Strategies & Models

  • Evaluate past performance trends to inform planning
  • Research competitive landscape and market changes influencing approaches
  • Map out multi-channel strategies aligned to each stage of funnel
  • Define ideal sales team roles needed to execute strategies

Implement Sales Systems & Infrastructure

  • Select best-of-breed sales tech stack based on needs
  • Ensure seamless integrations across CRM, dialers, etc.
  • Build educational collateral and onboarding programs
  • Create standards for opportunity tracking and reporting

Provide Sales Coaching & Training

  • Hands-on mentorship for newer sales reps to improve
  • Share proven processes helping top performers succeed
  • Conduct ridealongs and role plays to give tactical feedback
  • Lead regular trainings based on skill gaps noticed

Manage Sales Team & Performance

  • Map out sales territories, ideal account assignments
  • Set expectations and ensure proper onboarding
  • Lead insightful pipeline review sessions
  • Conduct quarterly 1:1s and calibrate comp to targets

Perform Sales Reviews & Updates

  • Pull performance reports and analyze trends
  • Review metrics like call volume, connect rates, close rates
  • Check-in on progress to goals and course correct as needed
  • Present findings to executives with recommendations

Now that we’ve covered the many high-impact areas where fractional sales managers excel, let’s discuss some best practices for hiring.

How to Hire a Fractional Sales Manager

Once leadership decides fractional sales management could benefit the business, follow these best practices to ensure a successful engagement:

Identify Specific Business Needs

  • Document sales challenges and areas needing the most improvement
  • Identify sales metrics needing the biggest lift
  • Confirm key responsibilities for the fractional sales manager
  • Set goals for sales and revenue impact of the fractional leader

Vet Potential Candidates

  • Require 7-15+ years of direct B2B sales management experience
  • Ask for proof of leading teams, and processes, and driving growth
  • Align industry experience to your vertical when possible
  • Check multiple references to confirm capabilities

Establish Communication Standards

  • Outline engagement model covering hours/week and duration
  • Define meeting cadence expectations, response times
  • Set up tracking dashboards/reports for sharing insights
  • Ensure sales tools access and availability when needed

Convey Organizational Vision

  • Share business objectives, culture, and work styles preferred
  • Introduce fractional manager to the sales team
  • Discuss the intended role and scope of this position
  • Set expectations for providing ideas, feedback, or change proposals

Hiring the right fractional sales manager hinges on clearly communicating needs, carefully evaluating experience, credentials, and fit, and establishing frameworks to enable an empowered partnership driving sales growth.

The Cost of Fractional Sales Management

Fractional sales management provides incredible value and sales impact. But what does it cost? Here is an overview:

Fractional Sales Manager Day Rates

The hourly or daily rate structure allows costs to stay aligned to the agreed upon scope of work. Typical ranges are:

  • Associate/Entry Level: $1,500 – $2,500 per week
  • Mid-Level Manager: $2,500 – $5,000 per week
  • Executive/Enterprise: $5,000 – $10,000+ per week

Cost Considerations

Several factors influence fractional sales leader rates including:

  • Hours Per Week: Costs based on average weekly hours
  • Duration: Shorter fixed-duration engagements may have premium rates
  • Industry Speciality: Certain vertical expertise demands higher prices
  • Company Stage: Early-stage startups often pay less than mature enterprises
  • Location: Fractional sales leaders in areas with higher costs of living charge more

Typical 20-30% of Full-Time Cost

Given the absence of equity grants, benefits, and extras associated with FTE sales leaders, fractional sales manager rates often tally to 20-30% of an equivalent full-time resource. The model provides incredible leverage.

For any business seeking experienced sales leadership and impact, fractional sales management delivers outstanding ROI. Costs stay variable in proportion to the scope of hours and responsibilities – quite affordable given the growth potential.

Now that we’ve covered costs, let’s explore typical engagement timeframes.

Ideal Timeframe for a Fractional Sales Management Engagement

Fractional sales executive engagements vary widely from short-term assignments to multi-year partnerships. Ideal timeframes depend on several factors.

Typical Initial Engagement Duration

Most initial fractional sales manager contracts start with a 3, 6, or 12-month duration. This enables:

  • Proper onboarding and business familiarity
  • Enough time to implement initiatives and processes
  • Momentum building with a quarter or two of execution

Shorter 1-2 month trials are rarely ideal. It takes time to make a real impact.

Extension Decisions

Approaching expiration, clients decide whether to:

  • Extend engagement because added value is clear
  • Hire fractional leader into permanent full-time role
  • End engagement because sales are self-sufficient

The best fractional managers aim to build sustainable internal sales capabilities making an extension unnecessary.

Ideal Total Length

The most effective partnerships see a fractional sales leader engage for:

  • 6-12 Months: Long enough to establish processes before handing off
  • 1-2 Years: Extending through at least 4 seasonal business cycles
  • 3+ Years: Fractional manager joins leadership team scaling 10X+ growth

Aligning to Business Life Cycle

Ideally, fractional sales management engagements align with the client’s business stage:

  • Seed Stage – 6-12 Months
  • Series A to B – 1-2+ Years
  • Growth Stage – 2-4+ Years
  • Mature Company – Shorter duration projects

Proper matching of timeframes allows clients to maximize value from fractional sales executive partnerships across all stages of the business lifecycle. Absent extenuating circumstances, engagements shorter than 6 months seldom move the needle enough relative to the ramp-up effort required.

The typical successful tenure ranges from a single year to multiple back-to-back annual renewals. But every situation differs – the shared goal remains driving self-sustaining sales excellence within a company over time.

Let’s wrap up with some concluding thoughts on fractional sales management.

Conclusion

The business world moves faster than ever – making sales efficiency and revenue growth more important than ever. Yet many companies struggle with establishing strong sales leadership, processes, and teams.

This is where a fractional sales manager comes in. As we’ve explored, seasoned fractional sales executives provide cost-effective expertise and leadership that drive tangible improvements.

Key benefits fractional sales management delivers include:

  • Increased sales productivity and performance
  • Enhanced training, coaching, and motivation
  • Optimized sales processes and workflows
  • Objective assessments and unbiased recommendations
  • Structured sales leadership and management

Common situations where fractional sales leaders make the most impact include high-growth startups needing to professionalize sales, struggling teams missing targets, ineffective leaders, lack of coaching/training, and more.

The fractional model offers a versatile, affordable way to strengthen sales – without the costly tradeoffs of full-time positions. For any business seeking to maximize revenue growth, a fractional sales manager may be one of the highest ROI investments possible.

The proof is clearly evident in the results.

FAQs

How do fractional sales managers compare to sales consultants?

Fractional sales leaders differ from typical consultants in that they provide strategic leadership, hands-on execution, and accountability. They don’t just advise, they also bring ideas to life through timely operational leadership initiatives. This leads to a faster impact and higher ROI. The fractional manager acts as a member of the executive team – but external and flexible.

What are the pros and cons of fractional vs full-time sales leaders?

The clear pros of fractional sales leadership include cost savings, unbiased expertise, flexibility, and scalability. The cons mainly revolve around the lack of complete constancy a full-time resource provides and typically shorter durations of engagements. However, fractional often makes more sense for most growth-stage organizations than the higher fixed costs and longer-term commitments of traditional department heads.

What qualifications should companies look for most in a fractional sales VP?

The top traits to examine are hands-on leadership experience driving complex sales teams, track record of process improvement and quota achievement, data-driven strategic planning approach, coaching skills elevating individual player performance, ability to motivate and build consensus, and communication style adaptability suitable for your culture.

After a fractional project concludes, how are improvements sustained?

The best fractional managers aim to build self-sufficient and self-improving sales capabilities within client companies. This includes comprehensively documenting processes, training internal teams to perpetuate systems, achieving buy-in across the org, and collecting data to identify issues early before backsliding happens. They lead clients to operational excellence. Eventually, good leaders become less necessary as the flywheel momentum strengthens. But getting there requires exactly the leadership fractional sales managers offer.

What factors most influence the duration needed for fractional sales engagements?

Major drivers include current sales team skill level and existing processes in place, company growth stage life cycle, economic landscape influencing business urgency, seasonal business cycles required to properly evaluate and calibrate efforts, culture, and pace of operational change adoption, as well as budget available. The duration must allow enough runway for an empowered fractional leader to properly diagnose, influence, implement, and cement impactful changes. This can take months or quarters before seeing ROI.

Take Action

Get started today and take action to receive the assistance of a Fractional Sales Manager.

If you see your business facing any of the sales challenges explored in this article, Leapper provides experienced fractional sales managers ready to drive solutions tailored to your situation.

Our team of fractional executives has decades of combined expertise leading data-driven growth across diverse industries. We deliver the experienced leadership, operational excellence, and sales motivation needed to achieve your revenue goals.

  • Contact Leapper today to discover how our data-driven fractional sales leaders consistently unlock growth in bottom-line sales revenue.
  • You can also learn more about the specialized fractional sales management capabilities we offer by visiting the How Does It Work page we call Leapper’s Way.

Our team looks forward to learning about your business and discussing how Leapper can strengthen your sales engine. The first step begins by reaching out to see how we can potentially partner and help raise your sales revenue. Call us directly (855) 510-2177.

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