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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: 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

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: Sales Selection

Are Top Salespeople Born or Made?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 13, 2017 11:45:00 AM

The short answer is, "Both."

The best salespeople are born AND made.

I have been in sales for 40 years. I have sold door-to-door as well as complex, long sales cycle solutions.

Throughout my career as a salesperson, VP of Sales and the last 17 years as a consultant, I have had the privilege of engaging many truly amazing Sales Wolves. We call the best salespeople, those who consistently sell in the top 20th percentile, "Sales Wolves".


Despite my extensive sales hiring experience, you would perhaps think I should have perfected the ability consistently identify top salespeople by merely shaking their hand and a brief interview, right?

Wrong.

Human bias usually leads to poor sales hiring outcomes. 

It much more than a handshake and brief interview to consistently identify and hire Sales Wolves.  

Consistently hiring the best salespeople requires a commitment to solid hiring process, a Job Benchmark, a hiring scorecard and a valid sales personality test to ensure only the Sales Wolves get hired.

 

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Topics: Sales Selection

The Painful Truth About Your Sales Recruiting

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Mar 14, 2017 7:30:00 AM

You do not have enough resources committed to sales recruiting.

The painful truth is you do not have enough resources committed to sales recruitment.

The painful truth is your competitors could turn sales recruitment into a winning strategy if they really wanted to.  

Until you maximize your sales recruitment strategy, you will not be growing as quickly as you could and should.

Sales recruitment must become your moat.

Your competitive advantage must be the identification, hiring and retention of top sales talent.

Win this battle and you will win the war.

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Topics: Sales Selection

What You Must Do When a Salesperson Is Terminated

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 19, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Now is the time for reflection and pain. 

Somewhere or perhaps everywhere, you screwed up. You could ignore the circumstances and hope history does not repeat itself or your can choose to learn from it.

I recommend learning from it.

The termination of a salesperson impacts far more than the bottom line. 

Behind every termination you will find a human being that you somehow failed.

You owe it to current and future salespeople to learn from your mistakes.

You owe it to your shareholders to learn from this experience.

You owe it to your Customers.

Let's get started.

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Topics: Sales Selection

Which Is More Important in Sales - Talent or Tenacity?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Mar 24, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Bob was my third and worst hire ever.

In 2000 I was responsible for building the sales team for an online learning start-up.

Bob was my third hire. He was a referral from a trusted and respected friend. Bob interviewed well, said all the right things, and had glowing references.

As we grew the business over the first six months, Bob did absolutely everything I asked of him and more. 

Everyone loved Bob.  

There was just one problem. Bob could not sell online training software. He had the same sales training and far, far more coaching than the rest of the sales team. 

Bob had tenacity in spades but lacked talent. He was not credible with key decision-makers.

Unfortunately, I hired Bob before I discovered the power of multi-science sales personality testing. In fact, my failure in hiring Bob is one of the reasons why I began my quest to identify the best sales personality testing available to improve the sales hiring process.

I know you are wondering... If Bob had just hung on a little longer, would he have redeemed himself.The truth is if Bob continued to try to sell online training software for the next 100 years, he would never ever catch those that actually could.  

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Topics: Sales Selection

The HBR Advice You Need Your Competitors to Follow

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Feb 4, 2016 9:00:00 PM

Astonishingly mediocre advice.

In their February 1, 2016 article on HBR - Hiring Star Salespeople Isn't the Best Way to Grow, Frank V. Cespedes and Jacco van der Kooj argued:

"You see Pareto’s Principle applied to sales all the time — the top 20% of a sales force produces 80% of a company’s revenues and margins — and it’s applicable in a variety of sectors. In B2B contexts, for example, rep performance in similar territories often varies by 300% between top and bottom quintiles, and in retail stores selling productivity typically varies by a factor of three to four.  So it’s no surprise that a company’s usual response to stalled growth is to hire more stars. 

There are a few problems with the hire-stars approach, however. First, there are only so many stars to go around since everyone is fighting over the same candidates.  Second, even if you do manage to hire stars, their unique skill sets may not be easily portable."

Rather than focus on finding and hiring top sales stars who are few and far between and may not work out anyways, the authors suggest, "If companies want to scale, they need to improve their sales processes.

That, my friends, is mediocre advice. This is sound advice for average companies who accept second place.

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Topics: Sales Selection

The Ugly Truth: The Real Costs of a Bad Sales Hire

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 19, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Hiring costs are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Ask most people about what a bad sales hire costs and they immediately fixate on the hiring costs including recruitment, training, and onboarding compensation. 

Most CEOs and those in sales management will quickly spout hiring costs and stop there.

While certainly expensive, for the most part hiring costs are fixed. They are "one and done".

Those who are data-driven understand that a bad sales hire represents far, far more than one-time sunk hiring costs.

A bad sales hire represents a permanently-damaged future revenue stream.

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Topics: Sales Selection

The ROI of Hiring Only the Best Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

If you replicated your best salespeople, how much would you increase sales?

Chances are the sales increase would be significant. What are you waiting for?

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. 

Twenty percent of all salespeople reap eighty percent of all sales results.  

In fact, the top 20th percentile of all salespeople typically outsell a MULTIPLE of that of the rest of the sales team. We often see 20th percentile salespeople produce 10-20 TIMES that of an average salesperson. 

 

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Topics: Sales Selection

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