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The career / business lifer won't happen again - the Fractional CRO/Commercial Director

Sales
Jul 22, 2022
Guy littlejohn interview
Guy Littlejohn
Founder at Facets
Fractional sales man and a ball and chain

Why the career lifer is over -

the rise of fractional sales directors

Short attention spans. We have developed this over the years, consuming content fast and taking the key information, using it to our advantage and moving on.

Sounds like a version of my career before Facets..

Why is this made out to be a negative? We see it in the news (which you shouldn’t read, one of the best things I have done in the last two years), people chatter about it, particularly with kids - everyone has ADHD.

There is a large group of people who have grown with the tech boom (in their 30’s now), who remember fondly dialling into the internet on a Tiny computer and then have the skills to flick between moments using the latest technology easily.

And those that work in sales in that group, have the online / offline skill sets and plate spinning ability to be a Fractional Sales Director. Those that now work in account management roles, were never good at sales so we’re safe to assume that if you’re in sales now and you’re of that age, you’re a golden ticket for businesses.

Looking at it from the other side, boutique or SME businesses have a huge people challenge. As a founder of a B2B business, finding one of these people who lives close to your ego driven (sorry ‘culture hub’) office in Huddersfield or Bath? Your % start narrowing.


Facets have interviewed over 46 people for a Sales Director role in the last 18 months. 7 made our grade but most of them were good as mentioned above. All of them agreed with the Facets model, they could be effective for a B2B business fractionally. They agreed with me - yes all of them - that they could do their current job fractionally.

We have gone back to 12 of them in the last 6 weeks to discuss an option to work with them. They keep their ‘full time’ job and they work with a non competing business, at a time that wouldn’t affect their current role, fractionally. The only possible challenge? Their employers getting the hump. What may come as a surprise is that, if it was solely down to them, they would all say yes, they all feel they have the mental capacity to focus on another SME.

This should be embraced. We have a group of highly skilled individuals who are stuck in the 90’s because of the conforms put upon them by founders who were in their 20’s in the 90’s and therefore are not in that above group.

In 1926, Henry Ford brought in the 40 hour work week. He paid his staff the same as they had been paid working 14-18 hours shifts. The 4 day work week is the 2022 equivalent and I’m 100% behind it. What we can do in 2022 vs the 90’s with technology is scary. We can get more done in a day that people could in a month and this has to be embraced. The skillset of people controlling that technology is also far greater than the people from that era.

Being a remote first fractional sales director / CRO / commercial director (whatever you want to call it) is a skill. For B2B business owners, it’s a golden ticket. Think about that business you aspire to be…the one 8 years older with big clients knocking at their door every month. Open a new tab, look at their commercial team…check them out on LinkedIn or their website..see that person sitting at the top? You can have a lookalike in your business every week.

Go and ask some top sales people who don’t work for your competitors but have the knowledge of your business, the industry you’re in and the nuances of your ecosystem to have a chat.

Sell them what you need; a fractional commercial leader. You’ll be surprised how many say yes.

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