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Sales Wolf Blog

The Real Reason Why Good Salespeople Often Turn Into Mediocre Sales Managers

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

May 25, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Sales managers fail because of you.

Let's assume you did everything right.

You didn't guess in the promotion of a good salesperson to sales manager. You used a valid multi-science sales personality test to ensure the promoted sales manager actually possesses the capacity to do the job well. 


Whether your sales team crushes it or misses by a mile, it is your fault.


If you manage sales managers or are the CEO, YOU are the real reason why good salespeople do or do not make good sales managers. 


The inspiration for this piece is Dave Kahle's recent article, Why Good Sales People Often Turn Into Mediocre Sales Managers shared a sales manager problem that we have all experienced.

"When they become sales managers, they expect all of their sales people to be just as hard driving and achievement oriented as they were.  Unfortunately the reality is that most of their sales people don’t share the same degree of drive and perfectionism that they had.  If they did, they would have been promoted to sales manager.

That means that the sales manager often is frustrated with the performance and attitudes of his charges, and confused as to how to change them."


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Topics: Sales Management

No More Half Measures

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM

I binge-watched the hell out of Breaking Bad.

I stayed up way too late when I shouldn't have.

Now I am sometimes find myself muttering, "Yo, yo, yo."

It's my colleague Joe's fault. 

Like Joe, I dislike wasting time. I am "that guy" who powers up Netflix and watches one or two episodes of a series and then bails.

Prior to experiencing Breaking Bad, I considered the program to be a knuckle-dragging series about someone selling Meth. I was wrong on so many levels. 

Vince Gilligan is a story-telling genius. Every Breaking Bad character is carefully woven into the story for a purpose. Blink an eye and you will miss something essential. Despite the characters making a drug that destroys so many lives, I found myself rooting for Walt, his family, Jesse, and Mike.

The 32nd episode in particular, "Half Measures", struck a nerve with me.

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Topics: Sales Management

Your Company Has a Prospecting Problem

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 14, 2016 4:00:00 PM

How many of your salespeople are really order-takers?

Recently a Client requested sales personality assessment codes to assess sales candidates. In our conversation they shared that they had recently lost a long-term salesperson who left for "greener pastures". He didn't sound particularly upset so I pulled up the departed salesperson's assessment results to see what caliber of sales talent they were. The departing salesperson did them a favor.

I immediately said, "They didn't prospect much did they?"

"Ah. Nope. Sorry to see them go though. They sure knew a lot of people," replied the sales manager.

That is code talk for "They really didn't sell much."

I replied, "But they didn't prospect did they?"

"Not much at all."

If the salesperson wasn't prospecting by adding value to existing Customers and seeking new ones then they were order-taking. Order-takers are sales posers. They look like a real salesperson from a distance. Real salespeople prospect.

Order-takers are very expensive because they soak up a salesperson's base compensation and they miss opportunities to add value to existing and new Customers.

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Topics: Sales Management

Do You Have Your Sales Team's Back?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Dec 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Dear CEO...

Sales management incompetence destroys your sales team's confidence in you.

And you must have their confidence.

Your reputation is directly reflected through the quality of sales management and sales talent under your watch.  

My daughter engages in the highly-competitive, athletic sport of cheerleading competition. If you have observed a cheerleading competition, you have likely seen the choreography and stunting on a competition floor. It is intense. A lot of preparation boiling down to a couple of minutes of intense choreographed stunts and teamwork.

What you may not realize is that a cheerleading competition actually begins with an important safety check prior to the the choreographed stunts. Points penalties due to safety infractions such as jewelry, hair, nails, and glitter can cost a team dearly.

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Topics: Sales Management

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

Just Do Right

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 18, 2015 2:30:00 PM

These are the three most powerful words I have ever heard in leadership.  

I remember the first time I saw Dr. Maya Angelou on Oprah many years ago.  Her soulful words hooked my attention.  Every single time I hear her voice, I stop everything I am doing and I listen.

Recently I saw a video clip produced by Oprah Winfrey where Dr. Maya Angelou shared a secret to living your best life.  You must watch this video.

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Topics: Sales Management

Stop Selling To Never-Gonna-Get-Its

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 8, 2015 3:14:00 PM

Stop the sales madness.

I have been in sales for over 25 years.  If I could go back in time, I would do some things differently.  I would hire the alpha sales wolves, challenge my Prospects and Customers more, and I would never, ever, ever, ever sell to those who do not have the capacity to get what I do.  

The definition of "sales madness" is selling to prospects who will never appreciate nor compensate you for the value you offer and continuing to do it over and over again expecting a different result.

It is time to stop trying to:

  • Sell a solution to prospects who lack the acumen to understand the value your company offers.
  • Get full value for your solution when a prospect will never pay for it.
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Topics: Sales Management, Sales Performance

The Leadership Boom Is Making Sales Managers Stupid

Posted by Chris Young

Dec 17, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Tim Sanders recently penned a piece titled, Is the Leadership Boom Making Us Bad Managers?

Tim writes...  

"Over the last fifteen years, leadership programming has dominated training programs, bestseller lists and conference agendas. No one really wants to write or talk about management, as it lacks the allure of helping others become leaders...
But still, there's something eating away at me: Are we neglecting to train managers on what it takes to manage? Name a best selling book you've read on it lately. How about a general session keynote at a conference on management excellence?" 

I have been concerned about this for some time.

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Topics: Sales Management

Keep Tabs On Your Top Performers

Posted by Chris Young

Dec 5, 2014 11:33:30 AM

Are your top salespeople quietly unhappy? Do you have a star performer outside of sales considering a move where they will be loved more than they are currently?

Tasha Eurich's post titled "Eight Enduring Lessons I Learned From My Clients in 2014" hooked my attention - particularly number 6 - Keep Tabs On Your Performers.  

Eurich offers sage advice that you must hear.  Stop what you are doing and focus on her words.  She shares:

"I am always amazed at how surprised some executives are when star performers leave. Smart executives understand that since their superstars are being actively recruited, they must keep tabs on how they’re doing. You can’t be so removed from their day-to-day reality that it’s a surprise when you learn that they weren’t happy. Also, their resignation letter is not a signal to negotiate. At that point, you’ve already lost them. For your best employees, you have to stay involved in their world. Conduct, or ask their manager to conduct, regular “stay interviews” that head off any retention issues as they arise."

I could not have said it better myself.  


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Topics: Sales Management

Steve Jobs and the Power of Focus

Posted by Chris Young

Oct 16, 2014 12:00:00 PM

 If I am to be the artisan that I intend to be, I must become focused.  Not more focused, but FOCUSED.

Steve Jobs considered Jony Ive to be his "spiritual partner at Apple."  Ive was recently interviewed at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, and he was asked about three life lessons he learned from Steve Jobs, he offered some of the most sage advice that I have ever heard:   

  1. Focus.  Truly focus.

  2. Say, "No," to something that you think is a phenomenal idea.

  3. Stop being vain. Vanity destroys focus.


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Topics: Sales Management

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