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Sales Wolf Blog

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: Hiring Salespeople

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: Hiring Salespeople

Your Assistant Is No Longer Welcome Here.

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 26, 2017 6:00:00 AM

It's a well-known fact: a good assistant is worth their weight in gold.

The value of a good assistant is maximized when they complete the tasks they are most-qualified to handle.  

However, there is a fine line between utilizing your assistant and having your assistant do your job.

Let's discuss a few scenarios.

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

If You Keep Hiring Sales Losers You Are Going To Get Fired

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Aug 30, 2015 11:30:00 AM

The quality of salespeople you hire are a DIRECT reflection of you.

Poor-performing salespeople destroy reputations. When you hire low-performing salespeople...

If you are the CEO, you look like you are not paying attention to essential details. 

If you are the VP of Sales, you look inept. Your alpha sales wolves will respect you less.

If you are HR, you look incompetent.

If you are the Sales Manager, you look like a pushover and your alpha sales wolves will respect you less.

Who you hire or allow to be hired directly impacts your reputation. You can blame others all you like, but in the end, the bad sales hires fall on your shoulders.


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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

Why You Need A Signed Candidate Risk Waiver

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Aug 26, 2015 10:00:00 AM

A signed candidate risk waiver = accountability.

The purpose of a defined sales hiring process is to create predictably good sales hiring outcomes. Unfortunately not everyone follows the defined sales hiring process. 
And that is a serious cost to the bottom line.
The solution to the problem is a "candidate risk waiver". A candidate risk waiver is a document signed by the person(s) making the final sales hiring decision that acknowledges that the sales candidate being hired is an unacceptable risk of becoming a low performer.

Ideally the candidate risk waiver is signed by the the CEO, VP of Sales, HR and the sales hiring manager.

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

Why Smart CEOs Are Actively Engaged In Sales Hiring

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Aug 13, 2015 5:00:00 PM

CEOs are actively engaged in sales hiring because the cost of a single bad sales hire can be hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.


Who in your company has the authority to sign a company check for $500k to $2.5m?

Very few people have the authority.

Yet in many companies sales managers and human resources professionals are essentially writing checks of this size every single time they make a bad sales hire. 

While no typical sales manager nor human resources professional can actually write and sign an actual check of this magnitude, they are instrumental in hiring salespeople who can easily cost hundreds of thousands if not millions when they fail to perform.

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

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

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

The 8 Critical Skills That Make Don Draper Don Draper

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 14, 2015 4:30:00 PM

Sales personality is everything.

After assessing thousands of salespeople and comparing their assessment results with their sales performance I have hard evidence that sales personality is everything.  The best-of-the-best salespeople are wired to sell and they significantly outsell their peers.

How To Know If You Are Hiring A Don Draper Salesperson sets the stage for what is written following.

The interview alone is not enough to predict future sales performance, nor is a history of past sales results. You are not able to consistently identify a Don Draper salesperson; human bias and territory differences cloud the data too much.  
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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

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