Sales Wolf Blog

Where To Incorporate Sales Personality Testing In Your Hiring Process

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Nov 5, 2015 5:15:00 PM

The two primary issues with typical sales personality testing.

  1. Too few companies are currently using sales personality testing. The result is many companies are making hit and miss sales hiring decisions.
  2. Sales personality testing is often viewed as an expensive luxury. The result is good salespeople are often missed due to poor interviews and human bias while low performers get through.

Assess all qualified candidates and do so early.

For the most consistent sales hiring outcome, incorporate a valid sales personality test as early as possible in your hiring process. Ideally, once your sales candidate has met the baseline qualifications of education and experience in your sales hiring scorecard, the next step is to assess them.

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Topics: Sales Hiring

Past Sales Performance Is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Oct 22, 2015 6:45:00 PM

A typical financial investment prospectus will contain the following warning.

Past performance does not necessarily translate into future performance.

The message is clear. Be discerning. Do your own homework.

Salespeople should come with a similar warning. I have hired a number of salespeople in my career and advised many Clients over the past 20 years. Some worked out well. Some were complete bombs.

All had what appeared to be solid resumes.

This is an important reference post that you will want to print, share, and incorporate into your sales hiring process.


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Topics: Sales Hiring

The "New" Killer Sales Interview Question You Must Ask

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Oct 14, 2015 9:45:00 AM

"Whether You're Qualified Depends on How You're Quantified."

I just read about the following interview question in an HBR article, "How do you measure how you’re improving your biggest weakness?”

What do you think?

Punchline - The best salespeople self quantify.

A recent HBR article by Michael Schrage - Whether You're Qualified Depends on How You're Quantified goes granular on an interview question that I shared in my July 2014 blog post - Hire the Best Salespeople With Three Powerful Interview Questions.

We have recommended variants of this particular question be asked in sales interviews for several years.

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Topics: Sales Hiring

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

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