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Sales Wolf Blog

Chris Young - The Rainmaker

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A Productive Rant About Leadership and Organizational Development

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 16, 2021 10:00:00 AM

I have a healthy respect for the ideas of Simon Sinek (and other leadership gurus like him). A clearly well-spoken and self-described optimist, Sinek without question is passionate. While his ideas are not particularly original, they are sound (in the appropriate context) and when incorporated into the operating system of a business or organization, can be fire.

Being the shrewd marketer Sinek is, he has distilled his ideas into powerful sound bites that stir emotion in many - many who are disillusioned and disengaged.  

It is the impact of Sinek’s sound bites that I am most concerned about. Just check out one of the many leadership quote machines on LinkedIn. Sinek’s quotes are a yard light to many providing hope.

And while I cannot pretend to know what Sinek’s motivations are, I have to wonder. Is it to sell books and speaking gigs? Or is it to make a difference in the world in a similar vein that he suggests leaders should aspire to?

While hope alone is not a sustainable strategy, there is much power in personal accountability.

And everything should be viewed within the proper context.

Organizations are complex entities, just like the people they are comprised of. It takes more than sound bites like "people leave managers, not companies" to shape sustainable performance. And while Sinek is right, organizations must start with why, he is seemingly woefully incomplete in his perspective.

Organizations must start with a why, who, and a sound strategy.

In this post, I will share what it really takes to succeed as a leader: maximizing your organizational performance. You can achieve a high state of performance when you align talent management, performance management, and culture to create performance synergy.

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Topics: Leadership and Organizational Development

When salespeople fail to live up to the culture code

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 24, 2019 8:53:00 AM

How would you define your company culture? Your sales culture?

Often, a company’s culture consists of a carefully-contrived paragraph of corporate speak that does not actually say much. Think of most company’s vision or mission statements.

Companies frequently believe they can similarly “set” their culture and, well, that’s that. The resulting, carefully-curated “culture” most certainly does not accurately represent the day-to-day relationships and tone of the organization.

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Topics: Sales Management, Sales Culture

Types of Sales Wolves: The Hunter Sales Wolf and the Farmer Sales Wolf

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 16, 2019 9:01:00 AM

The level of quality within your sales talent is one of the only factors that can dramatically alter the success of your organization. Use a hiring scorecard and strategic recruiting to find, attract, and retain Sales Wolves. Surround them with Sales Wolf Managers.

Then everything is easy from there, right?

Not so fast.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Sales Strategy

Why sales coaching is ineffective and what to do about it

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 10, 2019 8:50:00 AM

Depending on the length of your sales career to date (as well as your title), you have probably either initiated or solicited sales coaching. Most typically, sales coaching occurs when a salesperson (or team) demonstrates clear deficiency in sales activity or performance.

Sales coaching is typically a reactive step, rather than proactive. More often than not, organizations solicit sales coaching as a futile attempt to turn around a low-performing salesperson or team.

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Topics: Sales Culture, Sales Training

What Sales Wolves Deliver

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 4, 2019 8:45:00 AM

The quality of your sales talent is one of few elements to profoundly impact the long-term success of your business.

Yet, few organizations have the recruiting structure in place to attract, identify, and ultimately hire Sales Wolves -- high achievers.

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Topics: Sales Selection

Is the ideal sales team comprised of all Sales Wolves?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Feb 26, 2019 7:59:00 AM

I spend a great deal of time writing about Sales Wolves.  What defines a Sales Wolf. How many organizations lack them or once they have them, fail to nurture and retain their Wolves.

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Topics: Sales Selection

Sales Wolves Do Not Always Interview Well

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Feb 6, 2019 8:31:00 AM

When a person is purchasing a sports car, they do not go to the dealership and randomly test drive every single car on the lot until one feels right. They do not test drive a minivan, nor a SUV. They go directly to the sports cars. Why? Because they came to purchase a sports car! To test drive other vehicles would be a WASTE OF TIME.

Yet in the sales hiring process, we have all kinds of inefficiencies for God only knows what reason. I believe this is due to disorganization, lack of business acumen and power intoxication. What gets measured gets improved. Most sales hiring is done in a very ad hoc manner.  

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Topics: Sales Selection

Listening - The ESSENTIAL selling skill for order-takers.

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Oct 5, 2017 7:15:00 AM

Long story short.

If you are like me, you are never satisfied with the status quo.

And chances are you do not do well with "happy talk".

"Happy talk" is what well-meaning sales authors, consultants and training "experts" espouse to the masses. Their target audience is salespeople - the majority of which shouldn't be in the noble profession of sales.

They mean well.

Sales pundits share pithy boring statements like, "Listening is the ESSENTIAL selling skill for salespeople."

If real salespeople - Sales Wolves - engaged Prospects who POSSESSED the capacity to care about their salesperson's value proposition, the world would be a better place!

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Topics: Sales Training

Private Equity's Huge Sales Miss

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 21, 2017 6:45:00 AM

Long story short. 

Private Equity (PE) Firms are failing to optimize their sales teams from the very beginning of ownership.

It seems that PE Firms fail to grasp that the Net Present Value (NPV) of every acquired portfolio company is a DIRECT REFLECTION of the quality of their sales talent - both salespeople and sales management. 

Objectively-measure sales talent potential.

Every portfolio company sales team should be measured to provide the appropriate catlayst to allocated resources to address deficiencies. 

What gets measured gets improved.

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Topics: Sales Selection

Why most salespeople cannot sell value.

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Long story short.

Most salespeople cannot sell value because they lack key "sales personality" elements that drive them to understand and sell value.

If salespeople lack the capacity to understand value, they will be unable to sell it.

Long story.

My statement, "Most salespeople cannot sell value" may be viewed as bold and perhaps overly-harsh by some.

It is the truth.

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Topics: Sales Selection

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