When the owner of a business makes the decision to sell, he or she is taking a giant step that involves the emotions as well as the marketplace, each with its own set of complexities. Those sellers who are tempted to undertake the transaction on their own should understand both the process and the emotional environment that this process is set against. The steps outlined below are just some of the items for a successful sale. While these might seem daunting to the do-it-yourselfer, by engaging the help of a business intermediary, the seller can feel confident about what is often one of the major decisions of a lifetime.
1. Set the stage.
What kind of impression will the business make on prospective buyers? The seller may be happy with a weathered sign (the rustic look) or weeds poking up through the pavement (the natural look), but the buyer might only think, “What a mess!” Equally problematic can be improvements planned by the seller that appeal to his or her sense of aesthetics but that will, in fact, do nothing to benefit the sale. Instead of guessing what might make a difference and what might not, sellers would be wise to seek the advice of a business broker–a professional with experience in dealing regularly with buyers and with an eye experienced in properly setting the business scene.
2. Get the record(s) straight.
Although outward appearance does count, what’s inside the books is even more important. Ultimately, a business will sell according to the numbers. The business broker can offer the seller invaluable assistance in the presentation of the financials.
3. Weigh price against value.
All sellers naturally want to get the best possible price for their business. However, they also need to be realistic. To determine the best price, a business broker will use industry-tested pricing techniques that include ratios based on sales of similar businesses, as well as historical data on the type of business for sale.
4. Market professionally.
Engaging the services of a business broker is the key to the successful marketing of a business. The business broker will prepare a marketing strategy and offer advice about essential marketing tools–everything from a business description to media advertising. Through their professional networks and access to data on prospective buyers, business brokers can get the word out about the business far more effectively than any owner could manage on an individual basis.
An outsourced or fractional VP of Sales is an expert – experienced in selling and sales management – who can help an organization improve its sales strategies, sales processes, sales tools, and sales systems in order to drive revenue growth. They are a proven sales leader who dedicates a portion of their time each week to a client. They bring a depth of sales management experience and build the sales infrastructure needed to be successful now and into the future. Outsourcing your VP of Sales is often a smart way to bring world-class resources into your organization in a cost effective way.
Perhaps above all, an outsourced VP of Sales is often an ideal solution for companies looking for world class sales talent to help build the sales strategy and infrastructure necessary to achieve the next level of growth.
What Does an Outsourced VP of Sales Do?
Every client engagement is different, so the duties of an outsourced VP of Sales can vary somewhat from one client to the next but often includes the following:
- Developing a sales strategy that supports overall revenue growth goals
- Creating or revising sales compensation plans to optimize motivation and performance that deliver results
- Establishing essential sales goals, relevant metrics, and qualified sales forecasts
- Reporting on and analyzing sales performance
- Selecting, customizing, and fully leveraging a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
- Assisting with or managing sales recruiting, hiring, training, and onboarding
- Documenting and implementing a defined sales process
- Holding the sales team accountable via weekly team meetings, coaching, training, and corrective-action plans
- Assisting management with initial – and often, continuing – oversight of implemented sales management programs
Why Might You Consider Hiring an Outsourced VP of Sales?
Companies hire an outsourced VP of Sales to help improve sales and drive revenue growth. Other key reasons to hire an outsourced VP of Sales include:
- Acquiring deep sales leadership experience for a fraction of the cost of a full-time sales leader
- Gaining an essential outsider’s perspective to create or improve and document sales strategies, plans, processes, and operations
- To temporarily fill a sales management or sales leadership role
- To audit current sales strategies and methods
- To assess sales personnel and help management make key decisions regarding internal resources
- To integrate, adapt, and implement industry best practices
The Bottom Line:
Author Marcel Proust once noted that “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” An outsourced VP of Sales brings fresh perspectives that empower an organization to play to its strengths, overcome its weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and overcome obstacles – all as it drives toward essential revenue goals. What’s more, the financial rewards of using a skilled and experienced outsourced VP of Sales almost always surpasses the initial cost and continues to yield long-term return on investment.
Dave LaBudde is the President of Competitive Edge Sales Solutions, a sales leadership best practices company dedicated to achieving revenue success for its clients by leveraging Sales Xceleration’s turnkey solutions along with 25+ years of sales leadership experience in diverse industries.Read More