Sales Wolf Blog

Eight Management Mindsets Essential To Hiring The Best Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 24, 2015 5:28:00 PM

Do you expect to win every sale?

Your sales team is a DIRECT REFLECTION of your mindset - the way you think.

Do you play to win or not to lose?  You either expect to win every sale or you don't and there are no shades of grey.

If you don't expect to win every sale then neither will your sales team.

If you don't expect to win every sale then you will hire the kind of salespeople who find it perfectly acceptable to lose.

If you don't expect to win every sale and you have a few sales superstars who do, they will leave for a sales team that expects to win.

After being in sales for over 30 years and in sales management for pushing 20, I have experienced a wide variety of management mindsets when it comes to sales hiring. I can engage a CEO and / or sales VP and pretty much immediately identify their mindset about winning and losing.

Nothing influences the quality of a sales team more than management's desire to win.

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Topics: Sales Hiring

How To Turbo-Charge Your Sales Coaching With Candor

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 7, 2015 3:00:00 PM

The best sales manager I ever had.

I would have walked through walls and fire for Steve. When I worked in economic development I had the privilege of working with the best sales manager I ever had. He was seasoned, polished, and expected results. 

Steve knew how to get the best out of me while softening some of my sharp edges.

Two traits I particularly appreciated most about Steve:

  1. He was the real deal. Steve had "been-there-done-that" and what he didn't know, he would improvise and no one else would know it. 
  2. He was candid. I always knew where I stood with Steve - both good and not-so-good. He provided frequent feedback and never sugar-coated it.
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Topics: Sales Performance

Why We Refuse To Offer Client References & Testimonials

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sep 3, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Client references & testimonials are a false God.

References and testimonials are used by salespeople to do what they themselves are unwilling and/or unable to do. Sell.

I would go so far as to say that many salespeople (perhaps even most) use the Client reference & testimonial essentially as a "Hail Mary". 

As a business and property owner, I periodically engage potential consultants. I do not request references for three reasons.

  1. I do not know the acumen of the reference / testimonial provider.
  2. The supposed successful vendor strategy that may have worked for that helpful reference-provider may not work for me. 
  3. The Lake Wobegon Effect. - Only the best references and glowing testimonials are shared.

The need for Client references and testimonials is a very bad sign.

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Topics: Sales Process

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

What Sales Management Must Learn From The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Aug 7, 2015 10:46:00 AM

The key to winning is analytics.

Jill Ellis is the coach of the U.S. World Cup championship team. A recent article from the June 22, 2015 Vice Sports article by Leander Schaerlaeckens sets the tone well:

"In the year since her 
appointment, Ellis has delved deep into advanced metrics, hoping to set her team apart. Some other countries use heart rate and GPS monitors. A few may be using some analytics as well. But none seem to exploit these newfangled tools as extensively as the Americans now do."

I highly recommend reading the entire article. 

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Topics: Sales Performance

What Sales Management Must Learn From Superathletes

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 22, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Superathletes use science and technology to gain a sustainable competitive edge.

The field of sales is ripe with opportunity to emulate what superathletes have been using to gain a sustainable competitive edge. 

Recently, I read, "Faster, Higher, Stronger" How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes by Mark McClusky. McClusky shares fascinating insights into how significant improvements have been made in the athletic world through improved understanding of our bodies and training.

McClusky wrote:  

"What I’ve come to believe is that there aren’t any easy answers to the question of what makes a great athlete— so many factors have to align to give us transcendent performers like Serena Williams and Usain Bolt. But there is a thread that unites our best athletes and teams today, and that’s an increasing focus on science and technology as a way to push the boundaries of human performance." 

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Topics: Sales Performance

You Can Afford To Pay New Salespeople A Lot More

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 15, 2015 2:00:00 PM

The painful truth.

The painful truth is you are burning through far more salespeople than you should be burning through. So are your competitors.

It is destroying your brand.

You, like everyone else, are hiring B and C salespeople thinking you need feet on the street and the worst hires will weed themselves out. This sales hiring "strategy" is a recipe for mediocrity.

Alpha sales wolves produce a multiple of that of B and C salespeople. One alpha sales wolf can produce that of five to ten B salespeople and ten to twenty C salespeople.

The truth is you CAN afford to pay your new alpha sales wolves a LOT MORE than you currently are and you must. Your future depends upon it.

You just need to stop hiring B and C salespeople who destroy your brand more than sell. Use the saved recruiting, sales training, and wasted compensation to increase the base compensation of your new alpha sales wolves. Your sales wolves will love you. Loyalty will increase. And your competitors will be forced to match your high base compensation.

What are you waiting for?

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Topics: Sales Performance

The Critical Sales Training Every Sales Rep Must Have

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The lack of personal accountability is the most costly disease in sales.

Developing personal accountability is the most critical "sales training" you can provide your sales team.

No sales training, regardless of how amazing it is, will make up for a lack of personal accountability. Before you offer sales training, make sure each salesperson is a role model of personal accountability.

There is no more powerful trait your sales culture needs than personal accountability.   

“Salespeople who practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY never blame their manager, the marketing department, the competition’s pricing, their family of origin - or anything else - for their numbers. They simply say, ‘I own my results. No excuses.’” - John Miller - author of QBQ! - The Question Behind the Question

Consider your most recent coaching challenges. How frequently is a lack of personal accountability a contributor to poor sales performance? Salespeople who do not model personal accountability, tend to blame others, play victim, and procrastinate, all of which can be insanely expensive.

What is the lack of personal accountability costing your company?

What are you going to do about it?

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Topics: Sales Culture

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