Anyone who just “plays the corporate game” knows that it is not for the faint of heart. Office politics, a who-you-know culture, and a quarterly income mentality can affect motivation and affect your ability to succeed.
I bought my way into this game long before realizing that if I followed someone else’s plan I would never achieve financial security. I based my success on how other executives viewed me, not just on my performance. Gone were the days when quotas were exceeded and rewarded for doing so.
I was tired of participating in the game everyone else was playing. I realized that I had to focus on a different game: one with less competition, less bureaucracy, and fewer rules. I knew I had to go somewhere where I could be rewarded for results, where I could fail quickly and recover with even faster solutions, and where my worth would be recognized. So i did.
A new direction: Fractional Sales Leadership
In the beginning my idea was to do sales training and coaching, but I quickly learned that many see this as a pleasant rather than a necessary need. Sales coaching is often the first position cut off a budget, in part because It is assumed that a business owner can implement the strategies you suggest.
That’s when I noticed the separation: Entrepreneurs didn’t just need a trainer; They needed effective sales leadership to properly build their sales infrastructure and lead the team. All of this needs to be done in a fraction of your estimated time and within your budget.
After some cursory Google and LinkedIn research, my co-founder Chad Meyer and I discovered that no other company was addressing this market. Many had already developed a sub-model in the areas of marketing, finance and other departments, but had not followed it in sales management. We decided to take the jump.
At the time, I was emotionally somewhere between the excitement of creating something new and worrying that it had been tried in the past and there was simply no market for that type of service. We knew we were solely responsible for informing small to medium-sized business owners that they had a choice between sales managers. Letting companies know they had a unique option – one they didn’t even know existed – was daunting, but we felt uniquely equipped for it.
4 Critical Investments for New Leaders
Today, our fractional sales executive business is booming – it’s growing more than 50% annually – and I’m still excited about my decision to leave the American company. Along the way, I learned that I have to spend money to make money. And that goes for you too.
If you want to come up with ideas that could make you millions, you need to be willing to invest in the following areas:
1. Basic principles
Even the basics – especially the basics – need to be invested. We didn’t spend enough time or money on our first website. Where we should have spent $ 40,000 to $ 50,000, we were only spending $ 5,000. These “savings” resulted in inferior basic elements that we had to repeat later. We lost time and money because we didn’t get it right the first time.
That said, you should spend wisely as you start by focusing on the things that are most important to your early success. Investing in software systems, facilities and key personnel will help lay a strong foundation right from the start.
2. Your first take
When evaluating an expense, make sure you also consider your likely return on investment or ROI. We made the mistake of waiting too long to find a manager. After we did this, it was only a few weeks before we realized that she was allowing us to focus on what we did best: leading sales. She concentrated on her area of expertise. Make sure you are investing in the right rental too. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, hiring the wrong person could cost your company 30% of that employee’s first year income.
3. Fail quickly
This is more of a mental investment: accept the risk of failure to the full. Know the faster you fail, the faster you can iterate and recreate. The longer you hold on to the idea of being right, the longer you stand on your own path. When I realized I had lost myself in my sales career before starting my own business, I knew I had to make the leap and find something meaningful. When you feel like you need something more, watch out for this train and dive in.
4. A mentor or an advisory board
In the first few years we had a lot of head litter about what was possible; We accidentally restricted our business. Our eyes were opened when we hired an advisory board made up of experts from various disciplines. They challenged us to think differently, to dream bigger, and to go ways that we had not considered. To build a great advisory board, make a shortlist by asking people in your network for recommendations. Look for people who have recovered from previous mistakes and do your best to include people from different backgrounds.
Success is wonderful, but even better when you master a challenge. When you are ready for the challenge of your life – and unlimited potential for income and success – it may be time to set up your own business. Just be ready to invest in yourself and your decision.
Mark Thacker is President of Sales Xceleration, a company that specializes in evaluating and implementing sales strategies, sales processes, and sales execution to drive growth. Mark has a 33 year history of sales leadership and success in various industries.