Sales Wolf Blog

What Sales Management Must Learn From Superathletes

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 22, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Superathletes use science and technology to gain a sustainable competitive edge.

The field of sales is ripe with opportunity to emulate what superathletes have been using to gain a sustainable competitive edge. 

Recently, I read, "Faster, Higher, Stronger" How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes by Mark McClusky. McClusky shares fascinating insights into how significant improvements have been made in the athletic world through improved understanding of our bodies and training.

McClusky wrote:  

"What I’ve come to believe is that there aren’t any easy answers to the question of what makes a great athlete— so many factors have to align to give us transcendent performers like Serena Williams and Usain Bolt. But there is a thread that unites our best athletes and teams today, and that’s an increasing focus on science and technology as a way to push the boundaries of human performance." 

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Topics: Sales Performance

You Can Afford To Pay New Salespeople A Lot More

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 15, 2015 2:00:00 PM

The painful truth.

The painful truth is you are burning through far more salespeople than you should be burning through. So are your competitors.

It is destroying your brand.

You, like everyone else, are hiring B and C salespeople thinking you need feet on the street and the worst hires will weed themselves out. This sales hiring "strategy" is a recipe for mediocrity.

Alpha sales wolves produce a multiple of that of B and C salespeople. One alpha sales wolf can produce that of five to ten B salespeople and ten to twenty C salespeople.

The truth is you CAN afford to pay your new alpha sales wolves a LOT MORE than you currently are and you must. Your future depends upon it.

You just need to stop hiring B and C salespeople who destroy your brand more than sell. Use the saved recruiting, sales training, and wasted compensation to increase the base compensation of your new alpha sales wolves. Your sales wolves will love you. Loyalty will increase. And your competitors will be forced to match your high base compensation.

What are you waiting for?

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Topics: Sales Performance

The Critical Sales Training Every Sales Rep Must Have

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The lack of personal accountability is the most costly disease in sales.

Developing personal accountability is the most critical "sales training" you can provide your sales team.

No sales training, regardless of how amazing it is, will make up for a lack of personal accountability. Before you offer sales training, make sure each salesperson is a role model of personal accountability.

There is no more powerful trait your sales culture needs than personal accountability.   

“Salespeople who practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY never blame their manager, the marketing department, the competition’s pricing, their family of origin - or anything else - for their numbers. They simply say, ‘I own my results. No excuses.’” - John Miller - author of QBQ! - The Question Behind the Question

Consider your most recent coaching challenges. How frequently is a lack of personal accountability a contributor to poor sales performance? Salespeople who do not model personal accountability, tend to blame others, play victim, and procrastinate, all of which can be insanely expensive.

What is the lack of personal accountability costing your company?

What are you going to do about it?

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Topics: Sales Culture

Let Your Competitors Hire The B Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 8, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Are you wolf class or are you soft?

You either play to win or you do not.

You are either competitive or you are not. 

When you hire a B salesperson you are not playing to win. Only soft sales managers hire B salespeople.

Playing to win and settling are mindsets.

Notice what I very carefully said. Playing to win and settling are mindsets. They do not mix.

Which mindset do you manifest in your sales team? Again, you cannot have both. You either are playing to win or your are accepting the status quo which is settling. Your salespeople will accept the mediocrity that you settle for. 

Playing to win is the only mindset that gets consistent results.  

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

You Don't Need More Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jun 30, 2015 6:13:00 PM

You need better salespeople...

Ask most sales leaders how to increase sales and you will hear, "Hire more salespeople."  

Sometimes the obvious way is not the best nor easiest way.  

We recently had an electrician wire our new patio. When he arrived, I proudly showed him the flexible conduit I had buried under the stamped concrete last summer. He politely shook his head and said, "That was a great idea in theory but unfortunately that particular conduit is difficult to work with."

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Are You Prepared For The Coming Hurricane In Sales?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

May 26, 2015 12:30:00 PM

"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen." - Jim Lovell

You either get performance analytics or you don't.

Folks, there is a coming "hurricane" in sales. It is called "performance analytics".  Performance analytics is going to be a game changer of epic proportions. Most people are using some level of performance analytics currently. It's just not likely to be the depth and breadth necessary to remain competitive.

You can either dramatically improve your performance analytics now and shape your future accordingly or you can be permanently chasing competitors who have. 

 

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Topics: Sales Performance

Are You Making Your Salespeople Fat and Happy?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

May 21, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Everyone has a price where they become fat and happy.

I fondly recall when my wife and I first worked after college.

Do_not_overpay_your_salespeople

Twenty years ago, in our last year of full-time school, we worked nights and weekends to make ends meet. We made $15,000 that year. Shortly after graduating, we moved to Richland, Washington and quickly found ourselves making several times what we had the previous year with one third of the effort.  

What was the first thing that we did? We cut back on the number of hours we were working.

We had become fat and happy.  

 

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Smart Companies Never Ever Lay Off Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

May 13, 2015 4:34:00 PM

Never hire the kind of salespeople who may need to be laid off in the future.

You know what scares the hell out of me? Mediocrity.

I have seen way too many good companies half ass their sales teams when they are drunk with success. During the heady times companies often enjoy, I see salespeople hired blindly based on gut decisions. Later, when a speed bump or a giant pothole comes along, all hell breaks loose.

"Always hire salespeople as if the worst is headed your way in a year." [Tweet This]

When the economy and/or your industry falters, you do not want to be slogging through salespeople you wished you had never hired.

 

Companies end up laying salespeople off when:

  • The economy falters. Usually the bottom performers go first, then the next tier, etc.

  • Their business model falters. Business models falter when the product / service / branding mix is out of alignment with what Customers need and want. Business models also falter when your competitor is winning the best sales opportunities that you should be winning. When your competitor wins the best sales opportunities not only do you lose, but they really propel their business model.  
  • They make poor sales hiring decisions.
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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

The Best Sales Candidates Already Have Jobs

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

May 11, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Recently, I heard a frustrated CEO proclaim on a conference call, "We need to focus on laid off salespeople from the following companies..." He proceeded to name several of the top technology companies.

I saved the CEO from embarrassment and called him back to share the bad news.  I told him that with rare exception hiring someone else's laid off salespeople is not good sales hiring strategy.  While this strategy will get the occasional star performer, they will be few and far between.  Hiring another company's layoffs will mostly hire someone else's retreads and losers.  

The best sales candidates already have jobs and are not applying.

 

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

8 Signs Your Sales Culture Has A Candor Problem

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 27, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Lack of candor destroys sales potential.

The lack of candor in sales teams scares the hell out of me because I see so frequently and the costs are profound.

I cannot count the times I have walked into a sales team knowing they know precisely what is holding them back yet they are powerless to do anything about it because no one has the guts to say or do anything about it. 

Dictionary.com describes candor as the quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness. 

The best boss I ever had knew how to praise me when I did well and let me have it when I missed the mark. I never wanted to disappoint Steve. The best in sales management are candid about the potential of their sales team. They tell it like it is even when it is painful.  

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Topics: Sales Management

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