In my role as a fractional VP of sales, I often see business owners wait too long to bring on a sales manager. As things get busy they find it tough to stay dialled into the sales function. How do you know when it’s time to bring on a sales manager?
How to Know When to Hire a Sales Manager?
Let’s take a look at the different scenarios your business may be facing in relation to hiring a sales manager.
When Sales are Up
Although it may seem counterintuitive, a good time to consider whether or not you need a sales manager is when your sales are up. There are many reasons for your sales to be up. Perhaps the market is buoyant because of the geopolitical, global landscape shifting in your favour. Or maybe your products and services have improved, leading to a boost in sales.
Whatever the reason, the question you should consider is whether you are positioned to maximize on this up market from the perspective of your sales capacity. Capitalizing on an up market can put your company in an advantageous position for future growth and longevity.
Having a sales manager on board to lead your salespeople and manage the numbers can help you build out your sales process infrastructure to capitalize on the immediate-term up market and build a foundation that will weather down market storms.
When Sales are Down
When your sales are taking a nosedive it is an obvious time to consider hiring a sales manager. If your sales are down but you’re confident that it’s not a direct result of market or product issues, it may be that your sales process is weak or underdeveloped and needs some attention.
A sales manager can help by distilling what to do and in what order to establish a robust, repeatable sales process that will allow you to reach your sales goals reliably and predictably. Plus, having an expert on the team to worry about the sales process will free you to work on the other strategic aspects of your business that you are best positioned to handle.
When You Don’t Know Where Your Sales are Trending
Not knowing which direction your sales are trending in is a sign that you have been pulled in other directions within the business and have been unable to devote the focus you need to the sales function.
A sales function can drift for several months with inbound revenue requirements being satisfied by existing customers. If you’re not paying attention, several quarters can drift by before you realize that you’re not bringing on enough of the new customers you need to expand your reach and revenue.
In this case, bringing on a sales manager who can watch the dials, read the reports, and work with your salespeople to course correct as necessary will allow you to focus on the other needs of the business with the peace of mind that the sales function is in capable hands.
No matter what stage your business is in, be sure to assess your sales to determine whether it might be time to bring on a sales manager before it’s too late. If you’re not ready to bring on a full-time sales manager, there are several benefits of an outsourced sales manager as well.
If you need assistance thinking through whether a fractional sales manager could help you grow your business and achieve predictable, steady revenue growth, please contact me and I’d be happy to discuss this further.