Known as the ‘toughest hire’ for scaling companies, VP of Sales hires are not only difficult to get right, but also cause the biggest headaches for the company when they go wrong. But, what if you could get all the benefits of an excellent sales leader without the hiring costs and risks? This is what an interim and fractional VP of Sales can achieve.
Interim and Fractional VP of Sales: the common results
No matter if your ARR is £1 million or £10 million, you need a sales leader with the skills and experience suited to your current needs and trajectory. From people and processes to data and technology, a VP of Sales should be able to make an impact across the sales function. The same goes for an interim or fractional VP of Sales.
An interim VP of Sales works full-time for a few months. A fractional sales leader works part-time on a rolling basis. Although working for ‘less’ time than a full-time VP of Sales, interim and fractional sales leaders can take on all of the same tasks, either diagnosing an issue and creating a plan (i.e. redefining the sales structure) or acting on a pre-agreed brief (i.e. building the sales team). What’s more, by focusing on a narrower set of outcomes than the broad remit of a full-time role, interim and fractional sales leaders can act fast and achieve quicker results.
Here are five common results an interim or fractional VP of Sales can achieve.
Restructure the sales pipeline – Left unattended or mismanaged, sales pipelines fall into disrepair with potential leads falling through the cracks. Interim and fractional sales leaders are pipeline engineers. From reframing ICPs based on personas and pain points to studying relationships between leads and qualified opportunities, interim and fractional VP of Sales can reinvigorate the pipeline with new ICP opportunities, improving efficiency and reducing the sales cycle.
Devise a coherent commercial strategy – As companies scale, the gap between C-level generals and frontline salespersons widens. An interim or fractional VP of Sales can bridge the gap between strategic direction and strategy implementation. Coming in with an objective perspective (unburdened by previous strategies or ways of working), a fractional or interim VP of Sales can create a clear commercial strategy, which is suited for your next 12 months and unites the thoughts and actions of the board and SDRs.
Implement new sales processes – Scaling is all about repeatable processes and repeatable results. Whether it’s increasing the number of customers or boosting average revenue per customer, an experienced interim or fractional VP of Sales can implement sales processes which produce the metrics you need to get to the next fundraising stage. This includes a structured sales process covering KPIs, SQL definitions and pipeline principles to help onboard new sales reps quickly.
Improve sales team performance – The chicken or the egg of sales: are sales stagnating because of poor team performance or is the team performing badly as sales are stagnating? Getting the most out of AEs and SDRs is crucial to scaling success and interim and fractional VPs of Sales can help them fire on all cylinders. Whether it’s teaching new skills or developing new routines, mentoring the existing sales leaders or instilling team-wide confidence, a fractional or interim VP of Sales can arrive as a short-term sales commander, channel the sales team’s focus and get reps consistently exceeding monthly targets.
Make external hires – Making effective sales hires is a specialist skill. Do you prioritise region, energy, skills or cultural fit? Are you looking for experience selling in target markets or experience selling software? An interim or fractional VP of Sales can act as recruiter-in-chief, analysing your needs, preparing a hiring plan and building an impactful sales team. What’s more, they can also help companies hire their full-time replacement by advising your search, interviewing candidates and enabling a seamless transition.
Great VPs of Sales unlock your company’s revenue potential and accelerate your scaling journey. With the fractional and interim model, companies can now access all the benefits of an excellent VP of Sales without the costs, risk, long-term commitment or stress (even more important in the current climate).
At Scalewise, we have a wide network of interim and fractional sales leaders with experience from seed to Series C. For example, when Arctic Shores took a sales growth hit post Series A, Scalewise matched Arctic Shores with a seasoned VP of Sales. Working three days per week (over an eventual six months), the VP of Sales reset Arctic Shores’ sales plan, channelled the sales team’s focus and increased the run rate by 100% in just one quarter.
To find out more about interim and fractional VP of Sales, check out our Definitive Guide to Interim and Fractional Leadership.