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Fractional VP of Sales

What is a Fractional VP of Sales

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The Fractional VP of Sales is becoming a popular and important asset for companies to get ahead in today’s competitive sales market.

A Fractional VP of Sales is a part-time executive who works with a company on a contract basis. Bringing experience and expertise to oversee sales strategy and execution, companies are turning to fractional sales leadership as a flexible and cost-effective solution to meet their sales goals. 

A Fractional Vice President of Sales works with a company to develop, implement, and improve sales strategies to meet their unique needs. They also help to optimize sales processes and ensure that their sales teams are operating at peak performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Fractional VPs of Sales are part-time executives who work with companies on a contract basis to oversee their sales strategy and execution.
  • Bringing a wealth of experience and industry expertise to the table, they help companies to develop and implement new sales strategies.
  • Companies are turning to fractional leadership as a flexible and cost-effective solution to meet their sales goals.

What Is a Fractional Vice President of Sales

Definition of a Fractional Vice President of Sales

A Fractional Vice President of Sales is a part-time sales executive who provides strategic sales leadership to a company on a contract basis.

Typically engaged by small and medium-sized businesses and startups, a Fractional or part time VP of Sales can bring expertise to businesses without the budget or need for a full-time VP of Sales. Working closely with the company’s management team, they develop and implement new sales strategies that align with the company’s goals and objectives.

Significance in the Modern Business Landscape

Maximizing sales with high converting strategies is critical to the success of any company. Many small and medium-sized businesses, and startups, can struggle to achieve their sales goals due to a lack of sales expertise and in house sales leadership.

This is where a Fractional VP of Sales can be of great value on a part time basis. By providing specialist leadership, a Fractional VP of Sales can help a company increase revenue, improve sales processes, and build and hire a high-performing sales team.

Offering a wealth of experience and knowledge, their expertise in sales strategy development, sales process optimization, sales team management, hiring, and developing salespeople can catapult a smaller company’s progress compared with going it alone.

A Fractional VP of Sales can also provide a fresh perspective on sales operations, identifying areas for improvement that may have been overlooked by internal staff.

Why Companies Opt for a Fractional VP of Sales Leader

Hiring a Fractional VP of Sales is increasingly popular as a strategy for businesses to stay competitive in tougher market conditions. These executives work on a part-time basis much like a fractional CFOs and COOs, providing companies with the expertise of a part time VP of Sales without the cost of a full-time employee. The advantages to this flexible arrangement are as follows:

Cost-Saving Benefits

One of the primary reasons companies opt for a fractional VP of Sales is the cost savings. Hiring a full-time VP of Sales can be expensive, with salaries ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 per year, plus benefits and other expenses.

Providing a more budget friendly alternative, a Fractional VP of Sales typically charges an hourly or monthly rate, with companies only paying for the hours worked. This can result in significant cost savings for the business, especially when the workload is not expected to be full time.

Flexible Structure Advantages

Another advantage of a Fractional VP of Sales is the flexibility they offer. Companies can hire a fractional executive for a specific project or a set number of hours per week or month. This allows companies to scale up or down as needed, without the commitment of a full-time employee. 

Niche Expertise Availability

Another excellent reason companies opt for a part time VP of Sales is the niche expertise they bring to the table. Fractional roles like a Fractional VP of sales are often hired due to their unique experience in a specific industry, market, or stage of a company, which is invaluable to growing businesses looking to increase market share. They can provide insights and strategies from a range of experience that a full-time employee may not have, or cannot be afforded on a full-time basis by the company at this time.

Companies opt for a Fractional Vice President of Sales for the cost-saving benefits, flexible structure advantages, and niche expertise availability. Providing companies with the expertise of a VP of Sales without the cost of a full-time employee allows companies to scale up or down as needed during periods of growth. 

fractional vp of sales benefits

Differences Between a Full-Time and Fractional VP of Sales

Commitment Level

A full-time VP of Sales is a full-time, dedicated employee who works exclusively for the company. On the other hand, a Fractional Vice President of Sales is a part-time, contracted team member who works for the company when needed. Not committed to the organization on a long-term basis, they are an ideal fit for periods of intentional sales growth.

VP of Sales Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a full-time VP of Sales can be vast. They are responsible for leading the sales team, developing and executing sales strategies, managing sales operations, and achieving sales targets. Experienced, systematic, and with in depth company knowledge, they also manage sales budgets and ensure that sales teams work efficiently.

A Fractional VP of Sales often has a limited scope of responsibility, although sometimes similar to a full time hire, but are usually focused on the company’s specific short term goals.

part time vp of sales responsibilities

They are responsible for providing guidance and support to the sales team. They may also help in developing entirely new sales strategies and identifying new opportunities. Bringing a new perspective to a company’s sales team, they can invigorate a whole company with new ideas and concepts. 

Here are a list of responsibilities a VP of Sales can take on. A fractional or part time VP of sales can also handle these responsibilities. However, there will be less time for someone who is not a full time VP.

  1. Developing and executing sales strategies.
  2. Managing the sales team.
  3. Setting and tracking sales goals and targets.
  4. Building and maintaining client relationships.
  5. Analyzing market trends and competitors.
  6. Overseeing sales budget and forecasting.
  7. Implementing sales training and development programs.
  8. Negotiating and closing major deals.
  9. Collaborating with other departments (like marketing and product development).
  10. Reporting on sales performance to the company’s leadership.
  11. Identifying new market opportunities.
  12. Ensuring customer satisfaction and retention.
  13. Streamlining sales processes and operations.
  14. Leveraging data and analytics to inform sales decisions.
  15. Participating in industry events and conferences.

Cost Implications

Hiring a full-time sales manager or VP of Sales can be expensive for a company. Paying an executive level, full-time salary, with benefits and other employee-related costs can be risky for new or growing businesses.

In contrast, a Fractional VP of Sales is a more cost-effective option, as by paying by the hour or by the month, can help a company to set a budget for the service during a set period of time.

It is important to note however, that a Fractional VP of Sales may not be able to provide the same level of commitment as a full-time employee.

The main differences between a full-time and Fractional VP of Sales are their commitment level, time constrained responsibilities, and cost implications. Companies should consider their specific needs and budget before deciding which option is best for them.

Key Responsibilities of a Fractional VP of Sales

The key responsibilities of a Fractional VP of Sales can often, but not always, be divided into three main areas:

  • crafting and refining sales strategies,
  • building and mentoring sales teams, and
  • setting sales targets and metrics.

Below are examples of an engagement that a Fractional Vice President of Sales might take on.

Crafting and Refining Sales Strategies

One of the primary responsibilities of a part time Vice President of Sales is to analyze the company’s current sales strategies and identify areas for improvement. This involves conducting research, analyzing sales data, and working closely with other departments to develop new strategies that align with the company’s overall goals, once the shortcomings and opportunities are identified.

The Fractional VP of Sales must also be able to refine existing sales strategies to make them more effective. This may involve making changes to the sales process, identifying new target markets, or coaching and training the sales team.

Building and Mentoring Sales Teams

Another important responsibility of a Fractional VP of Sales is to build and mentor sales teams. This can involve recruiting and hiring new salespeople, training them on the company’s sales processes, and providing ongoing coaching and support to help them achieve their individual or team sales targets.

The part time VP of Sales must also be able to identify areas where the team is struggling, providing targeted training and support to help them improve. This can involve providing additional training on specific sales techniques, or working with individual salespeople to help them overcome their specific challenges.

Often time consuming and neglected by business owners, reviewing sales calls and scoring them for quality and improvement can be included in the responsibilities of the Fractional VP of Sales. By hearing how salespeople perform during their customer interactions, an experienced sales leader can help improve the conversion rate at different stages of the sales process.

Setting Sales Targets and Metrics

The Fractional VP of Sales can also be responsible for setting sales targets and metrics that align with the company’s overall goals. Goal setting is much more nuanced than simply choosing a new target.

An expert evaluation of sales targets  involves analyzing sales data to identify trends and opportunities, setting realistic sales targets, and developing metrics to track progress towards those targets.

They must also be able to communicate these targets and metrics to the sales team effectively, providing ongoing feedback and support to help them achieve their goals. This process can include providing regular performance reviews, setting up incentive programs, or developing new sales strategies to help the team meet their targets.

A Fractional VP of Sales can play a critical role in helping a company to dramatically improve their sales performance. By crafting and refining strategies, building and mentoring sales teams, and setting aligned targets and metrics, they can help companies achieve their sales goals and drive growth and profitability.

Fractional VP of Sales Services

A fractional VP of Sales can offer a range of services to businesses, particularly those that need high-level sales leadership but aren’t ready or don’t have the resources to hire a full-time executive. Here are some key services a fractional VP of Sales can provide:

fractional vp of sales services
  1. Sales Strategy Development: Crafting comprehensive sales strategies tailored to the company’s market, products, and goals.
  2. Sales Process Optimization: Analyzing and improving the sales process for efficiency and effectiveness, including lead generation, qualification, and conversion strategies.
  3. Team Building and Training: Recruiting, training, and developing a high-performing sales team. This includes identifying skill gaps and implementing training programs.
  4. Performance Monitoring: Setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track the sales team’s performance and progress towards goals.
  5. Market Analysis and Expansion: Conducting market research to identify new opportunities and strategies for market expansion.
  6. Sales Technology Implementation: Advising on and implementing sales technology tools and CRM systems to streamline sales operations.
  7. Customer Relationship Management: Developing strategies to improve customer engagement and retention.
  8. Revenue Growth Strategies: Identifying and implementing strategies to increase revenue, including upselling, cross-selling, and new market penetration.
  9. Mentorship and Leadership: Providing mentorship to sales team members and acting as a strategic advisor to the company’s leadership.
  10. Negotiation and Deal Closing: Assisting in key negotiations and helping close major deals.
  11. Forecasting and Budget Management: Developing sales forecasts and managing the sales budget.
  12. Crisis Management: Offering guidance on managing sales-related crises or downturns.

By hiring a part time VP of Sales, companies can benefit from experienced sales leadership without the commitment of a full-time executive, making it a cost-effective solution for growing businesses or those in transitional phases.

The Rising Trend of Fractional Leadership

Fractional sales leadership is a growing trend in a market where securing expertise, particularly in sales, without committing to a high priced staff member can make all the difference to the bottom line. Sales departments are often the most critical part of a company, and hiring the right leadership can make a significant impact on the success of the business.

Fractional sales leaders bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. They can help companies develop and implement effective strategies, train sales teams, and improve overall sales performance. Fractional sales leaders can also provide valuable insights into the latest industry trends and best practices, helping companies stay ahead of the competition.

One of the primary benefits of this approach is flexibility. Companies can hire fractional leaders on a project-by-project basis, allowing them to scale up or down as needed. This arrangement is particularly useful for startups and small businesses that may not have the resources to hire a full-time executive.

The rising trend of fractional sales leadership is an overall positive development for businesses looking to improve their sales performance. As the business world continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more and more companies turn to fractional leadership as a way to stay competitive and drive growth.

Tips to Effectively Work with a Fractional VP of Sales

how to work with a fractional vp of sales

When working with a Fractional VP of Sales, it is important to establish a strong working relationship to ensure that the company’s sales goals are met. Here are some tips to help effectively work with a contracted sales leader:

Setting Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations is the key to ensuring both parties are on the same page. The fractional VP of sales should be given a clear understanding of the company’s sales goals, targets, and expectations. This will help the VP to develop a plan of action tailored to the company’s needs. The company should also be clear about what they expect from the VP of sales regarding the results they want to see, the expected timeline, and the resources that will be available.

Regular Communication

Regular communication is critical to the success of any working relationship. A company and their chosen Fractional VP of Sales should establish a regular schedule for check-ins and updates. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner. It is also important to establish clear lines of communication and chain of command. 

Embracing a Collaborative Approach

Collaboration leads to the greatest success when working with a Fractional VP of Sales. The VP of Sales should be seen as a partner in achieving the company’s sales goals, rather than an outsider. The company should be willing to work collaboratively, providing support and resources where needed, to help ensure that it is able to achieve the company’s sales goals and targets in a timely and effective manner.

In conclusion, working with a Fractional VP of Sales can be a highly effective way to achieve the company’s sales and growth goals much more quickly than going alone. By setting clear expectations, establishing regular communication, and embracing a collaborative approach, the company can ensure that the VP of Sales is able to achieve the desired results.

When to Consider Hiring a Full-Time VP of Sales Over a Fractional VP

When it comes to scaling a business, hiring a VP of Sales is a critical decision. This person will be responsible for leading the sales team, driving revenue growth, and developing a sales strategy that aligns with the company’s goals. However, not all businesses are ready to hire a full-time VP of Sales. In some cases, a Fractional VP of Sales may be a better fit. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when deciding between a full-time and Fractional VP of Sales.

Business Growth Considerations

One of the main factors to consider is the stage of your business’s growth. If your company is in the early stages of growth, a Fractional VP of Sales may be a more cost-effective option. This person can help you establish a sales process, build a sales team, and generate revenue without the high cost of a full-time VP of Sales. On the other hand, if your business is experiencing rapid growth, a full-time VP of Sales may be necessary to manage the increased complexity of sales operations, and be more cost effective on a full time basis. 

The Complexity of Sales Operations

Another consideration is the complexity of your sales operations. If your sales process is relatively simple, a Fractional VP of Sales may be sufficient. If your company has a complex sales process, multiple product lines, or a large sales team, a full-time VP of Sales may be necessary to provide the leadership and direction needed to manage these operations effectively.

Long-Term Strategic Planning

It’s important to consider your long-term strategic planning. If you’re looking to build a robust sales organization that will drive growth for years to come, a full-time VP of Sales may be the best option. This person can help you develop a long-term sales strategy, build a strong sales team, and provide the leadership needed to execute on that strategy. However, if you’re looking for short-term sales results or need to conserve resources, a Fractional VP of Sales can provide a welcome injection of expertise to fuel your growth. 

The decision to commit to a full-time VP, or contract with a Fractional VP of Sales depends on several factors.  The stage of your business’s growth, the complexity of your sales operations, and your long-term strategic planning all affect this decision. 

Part Time VP of Sales Recap

A Fractional VP of Sales is a viable option for companies that wish to improve their sales process without committing to a full-time VP of Sales.

The Benefits of a Fractional VP of Sales

There are several benefits to hiring a Fractional Vice President of Sales. Firstly, it is a cost-effective solution for companies that cannot afford a full-time VP of Sales. It also allows companies to bring in an experienced sales professional with industry expertise who can provide valuable insights and strategies to improve sales processes and conversions. A Fractional VP of Sales can also help companies, however small, to scale their sales efforts without having to hire a full sales team.

Evaluating Needs and Making Informed Decisions

It is important for companies to evaluate their needs before making a decision to hire a Fractional Vice President of Sales. Companies should consider factors such as their current sales process, their sales goals, and their budget. They should also consider the experience and expertise of any Fractional VP of Sales they are considering hiring, to ensure they can provide the level of growth or extensive strategy that they need to catapult their business forward.

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