Over the past decade, there’s been a surge in the number of C-level executives offering fractional executive services. Companies, both large and small, have seized the opportunity to receive the insight, management, and experience of C-suite executives at a reduced rate even if it’s on a part-time basis.
Fractional employment is becoming an alluring career choice for seasoned executives and entry-level workers alike because it offers flexibility without sacrificing too much in terms of income (once combined with their other employment opportunities).
From the company’s perspective, hiring a full-time C-level executive is very expensive, but hiring a part-time CFO, CRO, or CMO can give the company the support it needs at a fraction of the cost.
Fractional Employment of SDR Teams
Fractional work has applications in many settings, including sales development reps (SDRs), or business development reps (BDRs). For the sake of this piece, we’ll use the term SDRs.
As the world continues to recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, companies have found it difficult to hire full-time SDRs. And when companies are able to find full-time SDRs, they still have to deal with a high rate of employee turnover. In addition to the general hiring woes companies face, there’s a flood of talent being drawn to gig work, often in a remote or distributed work environment.
The Benefits of a Fractional SDR Team
Building a fractional SDR team is highly beneficial when a company has a deep talent pool to draw from, a managerial framework that can support a team of part-time workers, and air-tight operations and training that facilitates the rapid onboarding of new employees.
Building a fractional SDR team solves three major problems:
The soaring cost of recruiting and hiring full-time SDRs.
The opportunity cost of full-time SDR turnover.
The challenge of fighting worker burnout and complacency.
It’s Less Expensive for the Employer
Hiring fractional SDRs, sometimes called “gig SDRs”, is typically less expensive than hiring full-time SDRs.
The costs for full-time SDRs can include a more expensive base salary, a bonus structure, health insurance and other benefits, 401K plans, management costs, and more.
While management costs will always exist, fractional SDRs are typically paid a competitive hourly wage with no or few bonuses, health insurance and benefits, 401K plans, and so on.
In fact, we’ve seen companies spend 50% more per full-time-equivalent (FTE) versus hiring Fractional SDRs.
The Impact of a High Employee Turnover Rate Is Mitigated
If Company A has 3 full-time SDRs and Company B has 12 fractional SDRs, which company will be hurt more by losing a team member?
Company A! When 1 person leaves Company A, there’s a 33% loss in opportunity. When 1 person leaves Company B, there’s an 8% loss in opportunity.
By carrying a larger team of fractional SDRs, a company mitigates the loss of one person, offering more stability and consistency.
Worker Burnout Is Easier to Avoid
The job of an SDR is tough. Full-time SDRs are generally expected to make a certain amount of outreach attempts—possibly in addition to fielding inquiries—throughout a typical 8-hour shift.
The workday is usually riddled with rejection, which can take a toll over time—especially for full-time SDRs working 40-plus hours per week.
Fractional SDRs, however, may only work 2–4 hours per day (10–20 hours per week). With these micro shifts, we’ve seen very little evidence of worker burnout or complacency, one of the main causes of employee turnover (SDR, or otherwise).
In addition, we’ve seen productivity (per hour) increase with fractional SDR teams because you get a highly focused 2–4 hours per day from each person. Research shows that the average worker is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes each 8-hour work day.
Conclusion: Building a Successful Fractional SDR Team
To build a successful Fractional SDR team, a company needs abundant access to talented individuals willing to work in a part-time or gig SDR role, effective leadership that can create a supportive work environment that gets the best out of people, and effective training programs and operations to ensure that a fractional SDR is set up for success.
The business world has essentially been forced into accepting permanent gig and part-time opportunities for professionals of all levels, both in-person and remote. Fractional work is here to stay, and companies that embrace these changes and set their teams up for success are sure to reap the benefits more so than the companies stuck in traditional employment models.