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Time and Priority Management.

Time and Priority Management is the fifth essential competency every Sales Wolf must master.

After grad school and a stint as a commodity trader, I worked in economic development for the State of North Dakota (1998-2000). It was a beautiful sales grind. 

Imagine selling the impossible.

Immediately after being hired, I set out to accomplish two things.

  • I minimized attending nonsense meetings.
  • I put into place a strategy to essentially multiple my sales efforts. I identified the best site selection consultants and flew out to meet and develop relationships with them.

I was maximizing my time.

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How would you define your company culture? Your sales culture?

Often, a company’s culture consists of a carefully-contrived paragraph of corporate speak that does not actually say much. Think of most company’s vision or mission statements.

Companies frequently believe they can similarly “set” their culture and, well, that’s that. The resulting, carefully-curated “culture” most certainly does not accurately represent the day-to-day relationships and tone of the organization.

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The level of quality within your sales talent is one of the only factors that can dramatically alter the success of your organization. Use a hiring scorecard and strategic recruiting to find, attract, and retain Sales Wolves. Surround them with Sales Wolf Managers.

Then everything is easy from there, right?

Not so fast.

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Depending on the length of your sales career to date (as well as your title), you have probably either initiated or solicited sales coaching. Most typically, sales coaching occurs when a salesperson (or team) demonstrates clear deficiency in sales activity or performance.

Sales coaching is typically a reactive step, rather than proactive. More often than not, organizations solicit sales coaching as a futile attempt to turn around a low-performing salesperson or team.

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The quality of your sales talent is one of few elements to profoundly impact the long-term success of your business.

Yet, few organizations have the recruiting structure in place to attract, identify, and ultimately hire Sales Wolves -- high achievers.

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I spend a great deal of time writing about Sales Wolves.  What defines a Sales Wolf. How many organizations lack them or once they have them, fail to nurture and retain their Wolves.

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When a person is purchasing a sports car, they do not go to the dealership and randomly test drive every single car on the lot until one feels right. They do not test drive a minivan, nor a SUV. They go directly to the sports cars. Why? Because they came to purchase a sports car! To test drive other vehicles would be a WASTE OF TIME.

Yet in the sales hiring process, we have all kinds of inefficiencies for God only knows what reason. I believe this is due to disorganization, lack of business acumen and power intoxication. What gets measured gets improved. Most sales hiring is done in a very ad hoc manner.  

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Is your mindset one that is reactive or proactive?

For most CEOs and sales leaders, turning around a sales team is a reactive, futile effort that occurs ONLY when the sales team is floundering or dragging the company under. In most reactive sales team turnaround instances, the effort is futile because the mindset that got them to floundering / dragging the company under is what ultimately keeps the doomed company on track to destruction.

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You only have one chance to do this the right way.

Building your sales team will define the short- and long-term success of your business. You only get one shot. When your company is founded or when a new business unit is first set up, assembling a team of Sales Wolves is critical.

But here is the sobering truth: Few organizations do it well.

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Few decisions impact a business model more than the quality of sales talent hired to represent a company.

It happens all the time. Sales hiring managers predicting strong sales performance from a candidate who later performed poorly.

This train wreck is easy to avoid.

The candidate positively lit-up multiple biases that the sales hiring manager was unaware were being lit up. The hiring manager should be selecting sales hires based on the merits of their background, education, experience, and sales personality match.  

If only the egos of those involved in the sales hiring process were hedged by a data-driven sales hiring strategy.

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