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Fractional Sales Management vs Full Time Sales Management

Table of Contents

What’s the difference between full time sales management vs fractional sales management? Many businesses are weighing the pros and cons of fractional sales management vs full time sales management to find the best fit for their sales team and unique situation.

What is Fractional Sales Management?

More than 50% of small businesses have a budget crunch, and many of these companies must find ways to cut back on costs to meet budget restrictions. Fractional sales management is a way to:

  • Hire a high-level sales manager
  • Work with the manager for 5 – 30 hours a week
  • Reduce costs by as much as 50% compared to hiring full time

The word “fractional” means that the manager will provide a fraction of their time for a fraction of the cost. In most cases, these professionals will work 5 – 30 hours a week, as needed.

The hours worked will depend on the responsibilities of the manager and the time of year.

Companies have different priorities throughout the year, and this may mean that the fractional sales management team must work more or less during this period.

Remote work is rising, with 26% of the United States workforce being remote.

The shift to remote work has led to a much higher demand for fractional workers. Less dependence on location also increases the talent pool of fractional experts, allowing small businesses to work with highly qualified sales professionals.

We put together a guide on Fractional Sales Management if you wanted to learn more.

What is Full Time Sales Management?

Full time sales management is different from fractional sales management because these workers are:

  1. Full time employees
  2. Work 40+ hour weeks
  3. Work for one business

In a fractional role, it’s common for the professional to work with many businesses at one time. The compensation is reduced for each business, but the worker earns the same or a higher overall wage than a full time employee.

If you need full time sales help and management, working with a dedicated full time sales management team is often ideal.

Some of the responsibilities of a full time sales manager include:

  • Creating sales plans
  • Identifying goals
  • Managing accounts
  • Recruiting and hiring sales team members
  • Providing training
  • Creating sales battle cards
  • Achieving sales growth and targets
  • Coaching sales reps
  • Evaluate B2B sales tools
  • So much more

Hiring a full time sales manager means that you have access to someone who will work with your business to meet its objectives and put the right team in place to achieve your goals. In contrast, a fractional sales manager will perform the tasks you need most.

Often, companies hire a fractional manager for specific tasks that they are experts in, while a full time manager has more responsibilities. A fractional sales manager can still be responsible for what a full time sales manager would be responsible for, the job title is more related to time commitment and job status.

Fractional Sales Management Vs Full Time Sales Management – Benefits

Every business’s needs are different, and fractional or full time sales management may not fit the needs of every company.

You need to judge the benefits of each type of sales management to find which one is the best choice for your organization.

Fractional

Fractional sales management offers a wealth of benefits for their employers, including but not limited to:

Cost-effectiveness

Businesses must maintain positive cash flow and keep their operations running smoothly. Fractional team members allow you to hire someone who has a wealth of experience and expertise without a full-time commitment.

In terms of return on investment (ROI), hiring one of these key professionals offers you:

  1. A very high ROI
  2. An increase in sales closed
  3. Lower overall costs

Businesses need to have sales managers that can help them operate more efficiently, but taking on the burden of a full time sales management expert is a long-term commitment.

Fractional sales management fills skill gaps and is a budget-friendly option for small and large businesses.

Greater Access to Talent

Working remotely is a benefit that many professionals are seeking. You don’t need to spend time commuting, nor have to go into the office daily. Fractional sales talent has a high talent pool because many of these professionals:

  • Work full time and want to consult to make more money
  • Prefer working from home

You may find it easier to recruit talent when hiring a fractional employee because these professionals do not want or cannot work full time.

Often, the talent from some of the top tech companies in the world are looking for a fractional position to earn extra money and can’t work another full time gig.

Bridge Skill Gaps Easier

Skill gaps, especially in small- and medium-sized businesses, are difficult to fill. Businesses often find themselves in an odd growth stage where they need to fill gaps in their team but cannot commit to a full time hire.

Fractional sales management is the ideal fit because it opens up access to employees that can fill skill gaps yet doesn’t require a long commitment.

The flexibility to fill in skill gaps is much higher with fractional sales management vs full time sales management.

Reduce the Risk of Hiring

Hiring a full time worker comes with an immense risk. A few of these risks include:

  • Commitment to a full time position, even if workload fluctuates
  • Additional expenses on benefits and insurance
  • Immense expense during the hiring period

You’ll also need to train the employee and worry about office expenses. Fractional sales management is on a part-time basis, with many of these professionals working for 20 hours or less a month.

Business risk is reduced thanks to the ability to work with the fractional employee for the number of hours you need per week without worrying about benefits or additional costs.

When benefits and other costs are considered, fractional sales managers are usually less risky and more affordable alternatives than hiring full time.

High Efficiency

Fractional team members are often hired for very specific goals, with clear and concise deliverables. For example, they may dedicate their time to increasing the sales pipeline efficiency, and they won’t be distracted by hiring or other responsibilities that someone who is hired on full time will need to consider.

When hiring fractional managers, they stay on the task you set for them, allowing for a higher degree of efficiency and quick problem solving within an organization.

However, full time sales management must also be considered because these professionals do have their own unique benefits that they’ll bring to your team.

Full Time

Hiring a full-time sales manager also has its perks. Some of the benefits of bringing on a full-time manager include:

Longer Commitment

One of the most obvious benefits of a full-time sales manager is that they provide a longer commitment. They become a part of your team and have a vested interest in making sure the team succeeds.

It is unlikely that a full-time manager will leave abruptly without notice (although this can still happen). They are committed to leading the team and reaching goals.

Opportunity to Move Up in the Company

A full-time sales manager will have the opportunity to move up in the company. If they are a good fit for the company and are highly knowledgeable and experienced, this will benefit the business in the long term because the manager works for the company exclusively.

Greater Availability

A full-time sales manager will be available 40+ hours per week, which means they may be able to get more tasks done. If a problem or emergency arises, they will be available to assist.

Full-time sales managers are at your disposal if you have a question. Additionally, they will put in the time to ensure that teams are meeting their quotas and goals.

Building Strong Relationships with Teams 

Along with building relationships with their team members, full-time sales managers may also build strong relationships with other teams across the organization. 

Having a good rapport with other members of the organization will be helpful if the manager needs to work with these teams or needs assistance from other departments.

Fractional Sales Management Vs Full Time Sales Management – Cons

While there are many benefits of fractional and full time sales management, there are also some cons to consider when comparing fractional sales management vs full time sales management.

Fractional

The fractional sales management role isn’t perfect. A few drawbacks of fractional sales managers are:

Time is More Limited

Fractional sales managers typically work 5-20 hours per week. Some may work up to 30 hours per week. 

Because their time is more limited, they may not always be available or on-call when you need them. They cannot handle all of the tasks that a full-time person can handle.

For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your fractional manager understands what needs to be done and what they are responsible for.

The Manager’s Term is Limited

In addition to their time being limited, a fractional sales manager’s term is also limited. They work on a month-to-month basis, so there’s no guarantee that you will be working with them for a long period of time.

To be fair, you won’t necessarily get this guarantee with a full-time employee either.

May Be Viewed as an Outsider

Another thing to consider when comparing fractional sales management vs full time sales management is that a fractional sales manager may be seen as an outsider.

Why would fractional managers be viewed as outsiders?

  1. They don’t work as full-time employees
  2. They may not interact with team members as often
  3. They technically aren’t a part of the company’s management team

It’s important to note that a good fractional sales manager will connect with the team and integrate as best as possible so that they don’t feel disconnected from the team.

Fractional managers have their drawbacks, but in many cases, the benefits outweigh them.

Full Time

Hiring a full-time sales manager also has some drawbacks that need to be considered. A full-time manager may be:

Expensive

Hiring a new employee is an expense that goes beyond just salary. But salary is still something that needs to be considered here. Sales managers earn a median salary of $132,290, so this is an additional expense that your organization will incur.

Salary is just one piece of the puzzle. Experts say that the cost of hiring a new salesperson is at least three to four times their salary. Why? Because you must also consider the cost of:

  • Training, including product and service training
  • Management’s time spent on the new hire
  • Lost opportunities and wasted resources 

There’s no way around the fact that hiring a new employee is time and resource intensive. It’s a costly thing for a business, and part of the reason why many organizations prefer fractional sales management vs full time sales management.

It’s More Difficult to Make Changes

When you hire a full-time employee, it can be more difficult to make changes. There may be pushback from your sales manager and other complications that make it harder to shift the department in the right direction.

You Have Less Flexibility

Having a full-time sales manager means that you have less flexibility. If a manager’s performance declines or no longer becomes a good fit for the organization, the cost of replacing the individual can be significant.

For startups and growing organizations, the rigidity of hiring a full-time sales manager can impede growth and innovation, especially if the manager is set in their ways.

Full-Time Managers May Play Politics

As much as everyone dislikes office politics, they are a part of every organization. It’s not uncommon for full-time sales managers to play politics and try to exert their influence or compete for promotions. 

When sales managers play politics, it can be detrimental to the team and other members of the organization as a whole.

Fractional Sales Manager vs Full Time Sales Manager

There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether to choose fractional sales management vs full time sales management. 

Often, fractional sales managers are a good fit for startups and organizations that are growing. They can give businesses access to top-tier talent they may not have been able to afford otherwise. They can also be used as a way to bridge the internal talent gap until the team is large enough to require a full time sales manager or the right hire can be made.

Full-time sales managers may be a better fit if you want a long-term commitment and don’t mind the high expense of hiring a new employee.

Ultimately, weighing the pros and cons of each option will help you make the best decision for your team.

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