How to Improve Sales Success

Top performers and high achievers share an attribute that separates them from the ordinary. They have a goal orientation. Sales is no different. A goal orientation that drives attitudes and behaviors is fundamental to the top 1% of sales professionals.

Griffin Hill customers know that two essential elements for success are a will to succeed and a system for doing so. The top 1% of performers apply their will to succeed by setting and achieving goals. Setting and achieving goals becomes increasingly meaningful to sales people who regularly measure their activity and results. A sales person keeping track of call statistics can tell you how many dials it takes on average to actually reach a suspect, and how many suspect calls it takes to get a real prospect. They can tell you what percentage of needs audits actually result in a close.

Without measurement there is no foundation for honest goal setting. It follows that if you want to improve sales success, if you want to be a top performer, if you want to be among the elite achievers, making measurement a part of your daily regimen is essential. Once you know your numbers, it is a simple matter to engineer your way to sales success.

The simple process of assigning points to steps in the sales process helps Griffin Hill clients to become master goal setters. Sales people can set goals to improve productivity, enhance sales skills, and secure more closes and higher revenue. All three categories of measurement; productivity, proficiency, and performance outcomes are essential if you want to join that elite group of performers at the very top.

Some good productivity measurements worth tracking include total number of points earned (where points are awarded for advancement of an opportunity in the sales process) and active cases counts (defined by the number of prospects with whom you have an actual next scheduled event). A good measure of skill would be the close/needs audit ratio. Imagine what would happen if you improved your skill and closed 10% more of your needs audit opportunities. Some great performance outcome metrics include number of points to close and revenue per point.

Sometimes people get anxious about being measured. The truth is measurement is the only sure road to improving personal productivity, skill and results. Measurement is the solid foundation of honest goal setting. The attribute that separates the top 1% of achievers from everyone else is their goal orientation. They choose a system that will get them to the top and they exert their will to improve productivity, proficiency and performance outcomes. You can do it too.

How to Enhance Sales Skill and Success by Listening More

Salespeople are courageous. They can talk to anyone. Salespeople have the gift of gab. They can talk about anything. The ability to initiate contact and make connections on a diverse set of topics is a highly valuable skill. Perhaps even an essential skill for a good salesperson. But this gift of gab is not enough if you want to be great.

Sales are made and/or persuasion occurs, when the sales professional is listening, not when she/he is talking. The great sales person knows how and when to listen. Just think about Griffin Hill’s sales process. It is six simple steps or routines: case open, needs audit, solution presentation, adapted solution presentation, closing interaction and fulfillment and follow-up. Good sales professionals are skilled at making connections in the case open routine. They are superb presenters making them effective at the solution presentation. Great sales people possess the same skills but they are also exceptional listeners. It is the listening skill that makes a professional stand out from the sales crowd and THAT is the domain of the needs audit.

In the needs audit, the prospects shares ideas, opinions and possibilities. A sales person skilled in the needs audit creates a guided discovery experience for his/her prospects. The prospect discovers needs, wants, issues and solutions. The process creates a desire–a hunger, for a solution yet to be offered.

Developing that kind of skill isn’t an accident or a quirk of nature. It takes work. It takes practice. It requires guidance from a skilled coach over time. As you work to develop better status quo and problem queries, consider some talk-time/listen time guidelines. In the case open the sales person will talk 90-95 percent of the time. During the needs audit however, the skilled professional will only talk 15-30 percent of the time, using talk time to guide the thought process of the prospect.

Listening doesn’t simply mean being quiet while someone else speaks. For the sales professional, listening includes being able to ask meaningful questions, seeking clarity about observations made by prospects and creating epiphanies of value in the process.

Some use the gift of gab to stand out. The very best know how to listen and learn. THEY are outstanding.

How to Turn on the Money Machine

Everything about the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™ is designed to put the odds of success in the favor of our clients’ sales teams. It has a simple process of six steps—Case Open, Needs Audit, Solution Presentation, Adapted Solution Presentation, Closing Interaction, and Fulfillment and Follow-up. For each step in the sales process there is a set of plays that can be created, practiced, evaluated and improved using our Scorecard™ metrics. Griffin Hill coaches act as wise guides to assist in the creation and execution of plays. Process, Plays, Metrics and Coaching work together to complete the system of success proven by our clients for three decades.

Because the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System is so effective at helping our clients to rapidly improve results, we call it a money machine—it simply cranks out new customers and higher revenue. When our clients thoughtfully yield to the system and adhere to its principles, it continues to do its job. Sometimes sales people become complacent in their success and forget to turn on the money machine. Additionally, sales people who are new to the system can become overwhelmed with its completeness. It feels so big they aren’t sure where to start.

If you have a money machine you would be smart to turn it on. For that reason we teach our clients six simple steps to a successful sales call. These six steps are the switch to turn on your money machine. Even if you aren’t yet using the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™, these six steps will help improve your sales results.

  1. Define your objective. Thinking about your stage in the sale will help you define your objective. Is this a first contact? If so, then your objective may be simply to stimulate interest and schedule an appointment or get permission to learn more about the suspect’s goals and priorities. Are you at Needs Audit? Then the goal might be to test your hypotheses, learn about the prospect and cause the prospect to discover the value of doing business with you. Is your scheduled meeting a solution presentation? You want to be clear about your call to action close. Where you are in the sales process will help you to define your objective for the sales call.
  1. Ask yourself what plays are available? Based on your objective you can choose the interaction plan that will stack the odds in your favor. The Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System guides our clients to think about the most effective flow of the sales call. Skilled sales people will have a full play-book of options.
  1. Choose the right plays. Based on the specific client, that client’s needs, wants and personality, choose the plays that you think will be most effective.
  1. Practice. For sales people who are more experienced in the Integrity Sales System™ this may be a simple mental run through. For those new to the system practicing in the mirror or into a recorder is very helpful. Practice insures smooth and professional delivery. It helps build confidence and confidence is contagious. Your prospects catch it from you!
  1. Do It. Execute the sales call the way you have practiced it.
  1. Evaluate. By evaluating yourself after every sales call you can eliminate common errors, be more consistent with skillful execution and improve your performance every day. Continuous improvement is one of the goals of the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™.

There it is, the switch that will turn on the money machine for you. Whether you are new to the system, experienced or flying without a net (not using the system is a dangerous choice for a professional), these six steps will improve your sales results. Your commitment to every step on every sales call will improve your results even faster. Six Steps to a Successful Sales Call. Give it a try.

Six Step Sales Call PDF