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.
Waiting for the best sales talent is never a mistake.
Dan Finnigan recently posted "The Hiring Mistake That's Costing You Money, Time & Talent". Mr. Finnigan wrote:
"Sure, you want the brightest candidates are out there. But the perfectionist notion of hiring only the best can be very dangerous strategy in today's competitive world."
Finnigan goes on to say, "To begin with, common sense says you'll have a much easier time finding average candidates with good potential than you will finding those elusive and perfect purple squirrels."
Ah no... My standards will not allow me to hire "average".
I am willing to do whatever it takes to find and retain the perfect "purple squirrels" on my sales team.
I hope our mutual competitors are reading and following Finnigan's crappy counsel.
Settling for "B salespeople" is expensive.
Ever heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule states that for many events, approximately 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.
The 80/20 rule is very much alive in sales.
There is a profound bottom line impact disparity between the "hyper performers" who produce in the top 20th percentile in the typical sales team relative to the other 80 percent?
From my 25 years of sales experience, I find hyper high performing salespeople outperform by 5-10 times that of the average salesperson and 10-20 times that of the bottom 20th percentile. See the following graphic illustration.
Take a few minutes to do your own math with your sales team. How much more do your top salespeople produce relative to your average and bottom-performing salespeople?
What are you doing to replicate the hiring of your top salespeople?
The Power-Law Distribution and hyper sales performers.
You need understand what I am about to share because it is profound.
Josh Bersin's post - The Myth Of The Bell Curve: Look for The Hyper-Performers shares research conducted in 2011 and 2012 by Ernest O’Boyle Jr. and Herman Aguinis regarding how people perform. They reviewed 633,263 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes in a total of 198 samples and found that performance in 94 percent of these groups did not follow a normal distribution. Performance usually falls into what is called a “Power Law” distribution rather than the bell-curve (normal distribution).
From Bersin's post:
A “Power Law” distribution is also known as a “long tail.” It indicates that people are not “normally distributed.” In this statistical model there are a small number of people who are “hyper high performers,” a broad swath of people who are “good performers” and a smaller number of people who are “low performers.” It essentially accounts for a much wider variation in performance among the sample.
The "hyper high performers" or "alpha sales wolves" create the most value in sales.
Never hire salespeople who do not have the potential to be an alpha sales wolf.
"You are not playing to win when you hire B salespeople." <= [TWEET THIS]
Additional costs of hiring B salespeople.
Hire B salespeople and you will get three additional costly outcomes:
- B salespeople take significantly more coaching time with little return on investment.
- Your alpha sales wolves will lose faith in you.
- B Players will lose your current and future Customers to your competitor's alpha sales wolves.
B salespeople are a coaching time suck.
When you coach B players to try to become alpha sales wolves you quickly realize there are few who are going to make it. Sorry. I have been there - done that myself. You cannot fix broke.
Have you noticed the coaching dialogue is very, very different when coaching an alpha sales wolf relative to a B salesperson? Me too. Alpha sales wolves are profoundly more fun and gratifying to coach relative to the never-gonna-get-its.
B salespeople are far more expensive to coach than alpha sales wolves and significantly less fun.
Your alpha sales wolves will lose faith in you.
Alpha sales wolves are violently allergic to B salespeople and for that matter, B sales managers.
You cannot bullshit an alpha sales wolf. They know if you belong in the same room as them. They can smell how much you "get it".
If you hire and manage soft, your alpha sales wolves will mock you behind your back, avoid you and go over your head to get to the CEO.
B Players will never take your Customers to the next level like your competitor's alpha sales wolves will.
The best, "get it" Customers and Prospects do not want B salespeople making B recommendations to them. Do not even try to bullshit your "get it" Customers and Prospects. It will not work. Your best Customers expect to engage alpha sales wolves. If your competitor has an alpha sales wolf up against your B salesperson, you will lose.
Your future is up to you. It always has been.
Let your competitors hire the B salespeople. Hire and retain only the alpha wolf salespeople - the top 20th percentile.
If you share our passion and commitment for hiring and retaining only the best salespeople, drop us a line or better yet, give us a call. We have a powerful "Moneyball" sales hiring process that significantly increases the odds of identifying top sales talent.