Customer Experience News & Trends

3 measures of sales success

Two organizations devoted to improving performance, The Sales Activator and Nightingale-Conant, recently collaborated on a study of 2,500 sales organizations to determine the three most common issues leading to sales failure or success.

Here they are:

1. Attitude

Salespeople who focus on issues, think short-term or are reluctant to change report average or below-average sales. Those who look beyond issues toward solutions, think long-term and show a readiness to change reported the best results.

Tips for attitude adjustment:

  • Visualize success
  • Think about how to turn obstacles into opportunities for growth
  • Envision the steps necessary to reach goals, and
  • Ask for advice on how to solve issues.

Questions to ask:

  • Do I have a generally positive attitude about what I do? How do I demonstrate this?
  • Do I welcome new challenges, experiences, opportunities and pursuits?

2. Belief

Whatever you believe you can do, you will. And whatever you believe you can’t do, you won’t. If salespeople don’t see themselves providing value to their prospects and customers, they’ll tend to approach them in ways that won’t appeal to the customer’s genuine business needs. Salespeople who display a positive, dynamic belief system to their customers are more likely to establish mutually fruitful relationships with customers.

Tips for belief adjustment:

  • Think about specific beliefs you hold that act as impediments to achieving a specific goal
  • Believe that ideas are dynamic and evolving
  • Frequently question and challenge beliefs, and
  • Say aloud, “If I continue to do what I have always done, I will continue to get the same results.” Then ask yourself, “Am I happy with the results I’m getting?”

Questions to ask:

  • Is my belief system configured in such a way that I maintain resilience in the face of disappointment?
  • Do I spend more time on my sales “image” or on my ability to connect with the customer?

3. Emotional intelligence

Low producers tend to exhibit impulsive responses and in-the-moment behavior. Top salespeople are aware of their moods and emotional state. They make a commitment to step back and consider the results of their actions before responding or acting.

Tips for emotional intelligence adjustment:

  • Discover your emotional hot buttons, inflexible tendencies or counterproductive strategies, and study techniques for managing them
  • Before meeting a customer, think about potentially controversial or emotional issues that might arise, and decide how to deal with them calmly and effectively, and
  • When faced with a problem, seek a way, not the way, to solve it.

Questions to ask:

  • Do I foster an atmosphere of emotional intelligence with my customers?
  • Do I consider new information objectively, or do I slot it immediately into one of my “belief files.”

Adapted from “Championship Selling,” by Tom Blake, Tom Hodson & Tony Enrico. Blake is president and CEO of Optime International, a sales training and consulting firm based in Toronto, and Hodson and Enrico are executives with Optime International.

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