Even though fractional sales management has many benefits, it’s not for every company. Sure, a part-time sales manager can provide most of the benefits of a superstar sales manager for a fraction the cost, but there are some points of note for the model.
The biggest adjustment is losing the “babysitting effect.” For many CEOs, it’s very comforting knowing that Old Stan is down the hall babysitting the sales function and salespeople. He may not be adding much value, but at least he’s at his desk all day. A fractional sales manager is only in the office half a day each week.
By definition, a fractional sales manager cannot do all the tasks which a full-time person can. They are not working every day. However, a fractional sales manager has the talent to accomplish objectives that are well beyond the skill of Old Stan. That is the trade-off. A company that needs skill applied to the sales function, and not just time, will benefit the most. This is most companies. Sales babysitters can only babysit. They can’t close marginal deals. They can’t motivate the team. They can’t manage well. They can only hold people accountable and make sure they work.
Another issue that can creep into a part-time sales management engagement is the speed of implementation. A company with no sales manager or a sales babysitter is not accomplishing any initiatives. The part-time sales manager has the skills needed to create and drive initiatives, but they are not doing it full time. Sometimes the business owner forgets that slow, steady progress is much better than none. Savvy fractional sales managers have learned to remind the business owner that they have gone years without these initiatives, so a few months more isn’t that long to wait for massive change.