Pile of question marks and magnifying glass

A Probing Primer – A Review of Good Question Skills

by Michael J Griffin, Founder ELAvate Sales, MHG Master Sales Trainer for 35 years

“If you can’t ask good questions, you will never be a great sales person.” Jeffry Gitomer
“Good sales people ask great questions.” Adapted from John Maxwell

Let’s review and upgrade your ability to ask great questions by reviewing the different types of probes you can employ to gain customer trust, relevant information, needs to achieve better win-win decisions for you and your customers.

Open Probes
Open probes allow the customer to respond freely, and answer anyway he or she likes. They show respect, build trust and can gain a lot of information. The downside is they may lead to irrelevant information.

What are the reasons for the change in strategy?
What is your perspective on the situation?
Why do you say that you are concerned about……?
Tell me more about…..
Please elaborate more on…..
What do you mean?

Closed Probes
Closed probes direct the customer to a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ a choice you supply, or a single fact. They gain specific information and are normally used when customers are trusting you enough to reveal more detailed information. The downside is they may lead to wrong assumptions on your part or the customer may feel interrogated if you ask too many.

Do you think you can meet the deadline?
Can you get me that information?
When will you start the project?
How many items do you require?
Do you wantto go to Chicago or Shanghai?

Confirming Probes
These probes are to ensure you understand what and why the client has said. They show you are intent on listening or confirm customer needs or requirements.

You need to solve this productivity problem to meet production quota. Am I correct?
You require the delivery to three construction sites, correct?
So what you need is a quick solution but still meet cost constraints. Is this correct?

Collaborative Probes
Sometimes you need the client to “open his/her mind” to collaborate or problem solve without being pushy. Collaborative probes do this very well.

Can we explore how we might…..
Have you considered…….
What if…..
Have you compared…..
Let’s evaluate the alternatives.
If budget wasn’t an issue, how might you solve this problem?

Impact Probes
Impact questions get the customer thinking about the consequences of not changing or implementing a change you are suggesting. They get the customer thinking about the effect of solving or not solving a problem.

What might be the impact of not hiring enough staff?
How might your customer service improve if…….?
What are the effects of poor quality on your company image?
Do you see any consequences of not meeting year end targets?
How do you feel about this situation?

Checking Probes
Checking probes are very useful in cross cultural communication settings or when the client is distracted. They are to help make sure “the customer is on the bus” with you.

How does that sound?
Is that OK with you?
Any issues?
Can we move ahead?
Anything else?

A thoughtful combination of using these probes with customers allows you to be consultative with the customer in a way that you are seen as a problem solver focused on the customer and  his her success. Successful sales people ask great questions!

Have a great week asking great questions!

Michael J Griffin
Founder ELAvate Sales
MHG Master Sales Trainer for 35 years

Posted in Probing Strategies

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

Attitude is everything

The 9 Dimensions of a Great Sales Attitude

by Michael J Griffin, Founder ELAvate!, MHG Master Sales Trainer, John Maxwell Team Founder

Your sales attitude can be the most important factor in your success or failure as a career sales person. Just saying “ a good attitude is important” is clearly not enough. Your attitude spans a number of dimensions that synergize to make you sales super star. Let’s review the 9 Dimensions of a Great Sales Attitude and select quotes to energize you in each dimension.

Winning Attitude
“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” Norman Ralph Augustine
“Attitude is not the only thing, but with all else being equal, it is the main thing.” John Maxwell
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John R. Wooden
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” Billie Jean King
“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” Babe Ruth
“Winning isn’t getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself.” Robert Staubach

Ethical Attitude
“Be humble in your confidence yet courageous in your character.” Melanie Koulouris
“I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.” John Ruskin
“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.” Albert Einstein
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
“Winning is nice if you don’t lose your integrity in the process.” Arnold Horshack

Fail Forward Attitude
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
“Fall down seven times and stand up eight.” Ancient Proverb
“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” Winston Churchill
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison
“Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much.” Joan Collins

Persistent Attitude
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” Vince Lombardi
“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence.” Denis Waitley
“If you have mastered your profession but lack the ability to be persistent, you will not succeed.” Dozie Uzochukwu

Achievement Attitude
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” Robert Schuller

Serving Attitude
“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Life is an exciting business and most exciting when lived for others.” Helen Keller
“Servant leadership propels sales success.” Adapted from Ken Blanchard

Positive Attitude
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Zig Ziglar
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill
“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” Mary Lou Retton
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

Teachable Attitude
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” Meister Eckhart
“It is possible to be confident and still practice humility. Be confident in the success of the teachable.” Russell Kyle
“To be humble is to be teachable.” Richard G. Scott
“Teachability is not so much about competence and mental capacity as it is about attitude. It is the desire to listen, learn, and apply. It is the hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn.” John Maxwell
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” John Wooden

Creative Attitude
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs
“What differentiates sellers today is their ability to bring fresh ideas.” Jill Konrath
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

Paste these quotes on your wall, put them in your handphone. Read and keep focused on your attitude for sales success to get out there and win!

Posted in Attitude, Sales Team

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

Successful people men and women are celebrating a victory

Motivational Quotes From Niti Shah of HubSpot

by Michael J Griffin, Founder ELAvate, John Maxwell Team Founder

Usually at ELAvate we write blogs on sales productivity, skill and process. This week’s blog is different as it will encourage your positive attitude as a sales person.Sales is a tough job. Read on and refuel your drive and persistence as a successful sales person.

1. ”People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar
2. ”Someday is not a day of the week.” -Denise Brennan-Nelson
3. ”Hire character. Train skill.” -Peter Schutz
4. ”Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” -Steve Jobs
5. ”Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman — not the attitude of the prospect.” -W. Clement Stone
6. ”Everyone lives by selling something.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
7. ”If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will.” -Bob Hooey
8. ”The golden rule for every businessman is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” -Orison Swett Marden
9. ”If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” -Napoleon Hill
10. ”The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents.” -Antos Parrish
11. ”Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins.” -Edith Wharton
12. ”Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” -J.M. Barrie
13. ”Without a customer, you don’t have a business — all you have is a hobby.” -Don Peppers
14. ”To be most effective in sales today, it’s imperative to drop your ‘sales’ mentality and start working with your prospects as if they’ve already hired you.” -Jill Konrath
15. ”Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” -Mary Kay Ash
16. ”It’s not just about being better. It’s about being different. You need to give people a reason to choose your business.” -Tom Abbott
17. ”Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” -Andy Warhol
18. ”Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” -Stephen Covey
19. ”Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.” -Gary Vaynerchuk
20. ”Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stressed; working hard for something we love is called passion.” -Simon Sinek
21. ”I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” -Lucille Ball
22. ”I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” -Estée Lauder
23. ”Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” -OgMandino
24. ”The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.” -Bette Davis
25. ”Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” -Brian Tracy
26. ”Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine
27. ”Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” -Robert Kiyosaki
28. ”How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” -Seth Godin
29. ”Energy and persistence conquer all things.” -Benjamin Franklin
30. ”Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” -Julie Andrews
31. ”Grit is that ‘extra something’ that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.” -Travis Bradberry
32. ”Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.” -George Eliot
33. ”The secret of joy in work is contained in one word — excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” -Pearl Buck
34. ”Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” -Dale Carnegie
35. ”Action is the foundational key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso
36. ”The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” -Ayn Rand
37. ”Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” -J. Paul Getty
38. ”The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” -Vince Lombardi
39. ”Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” -Henry Ford
40. ”It is your determination and persistence that will make you a successful person.” -Kenneth J Hutchins
41. ”You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” -Shonda Rhimes
42. ”Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” -Abraham Lincoln
43. ”Done is better than perfect.” -Sheryl Sandberg
44. ”Don’t ask if your dream is crazy, ask if it’s crazy enough.” -Lena Waithe
45. ”The act of doing something un-does the fear.” -Shonda Rhimes
46. “Be poor, humble and driven (PhD). Don’t be afraid to shift or pivot.” -Alex Rodriguez
47. “#1 make good decisions, #2 everything else.” -Rand Fishkin 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Dr. John Maxwell to give you that extra boost to succeed.

48.“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”
 John C. Maxwell
49.“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”  John Maxwell
50.“Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.”  John C. Maxwell
51.“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”  John C. Maxwell
52. “The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying”  John C. Maxwell

Refuel your motivation daily by starting your day with reading and reflection on wisdom writings from the successful people quoted here. Google them, read them and learn from them.

Michael J Griffin
Founder ELAvate
John Maxwell Team Founder

Tagged with:
Posted in sales motivation

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

whistle2

Key questions that will help you be a better sales coach

by GrowthPlay Library

Providing constructive and consistent feedback is an important part of coaching your sales reps to success. Being an effective sales coach and understanding how to give productive feedback and drive success on your teams takes practice.

Opportunity reviews and sales calls are two areas where you can make a great impact as a sales coach. Here are some key questions to use in both of those areas that will help garner positive results:

Opportunity Questions to Ask

1. What stage of the buying process are we in?

Each stage may require different messaging and handling. Sellers should have a solid understanding of what buying stage they’re in.

2. What are the customer’s largest technical and business problems?

Understanding the business problem from the customer’s point of view is crucial to effectively communicating value.

3. What are the economic buyer’s top positive business outcomes? 

The salesperson needs to understand the success factors for the key decision makers.

4. What are the technical buyer’s top required capabilities?

The technical buyer can stall a purchase before the decision is made if they don’t feel the solution will meet their needs. Sellers must maintain awareness of buying influencers at every level and adjust messaging accordingly.

5. Which of our differentiators are part of the decision criteria?

This question helps the salesperson maintain focus on the key elements that will drive the sale.

Sales Call Questions to Ask?

1. What was the ratio of speaking to listening?

If your salespeople are doing most of the talking in their conversations, you have a great opportunity to coach them on better discovery.

2. Did they adjust their message to the buying audience?

Good listening should lead to audible-ready responses to the buyer’s stated needs.

3. Did they ask open-ended, two-sided Discovery Questions? 

Good questions lead to better understanding of the buyer, and therefore a better ability to meet their needs.

4. How well did the salesperson implicate pains and uncover requirements before discussing solutions?

This is a critical component in order to create and capture value for the customer.

5. How well did the salesperson attach solutions to the buyer’s biggest business problems?

Being able to synthesize customer insight and attach a differentiated solution to the buyer problems will help drive the sale and preserve margins.

Posted in Sales Coaching

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

kpi-key-performance-indicator-business

Leading Sales Productivity KPI’s: Keys to Accelerating Sales

By Michael J Griffin, Founder ELAvate Sales!

It is amazing how many large companies with B2B sales teams do an incomplete job of measuring both Leading and Lagging Sales Key Performance Indicators.

A Quick Review:

Lagging KPI’s are history. Driving your car, the kilometers you have driven are history, how far you have travelled. Monthly sales revenue, gross profit per deal and sales rep turnover are lagging and history as you cannot change these numbers to boost the past month’s revenue. Most companies do a decent job measuring these KPI’s.

Leading KPI’s are those that impact the Lagging KPI’s. When driving a car, your speedometer gives you a leading indicator of the time of when you will reach your destination. Your fuel tank gauge tells you do you have enough fuel to make it to your destination. In this case these two leading indicators can determine when you reach the lagging indicator: Arrival at your destination. For sales success, the best leading KPI’s are ratios. Think about the driving example. The ratio of “kilometers per hour” determines when you will arrive at your destination.

Effectively coaching your B2B sales team on leading KPI’s can greatly enhance your sales team success to exceed revenue and gross profit targets. Here are my favorite leading KPI’s for B2B sales. Employ them to practice Dr. Maxwell’s Law of Victory “ Sales Leaders find a way for the Sales Team to Win.” Coach on sales leading KPI’s and lead your team to win!

  • Prospecting calls or correspondence/day
  • New leads into the pipeline per week or month
  • Sales calls/visits per day or week
  • Joint coaching calls per salesperson/ month
  • Pipeline growth per rep or team per month
  • Win Loss Ratio per month
  • Sales Predictions versus Actual for 3, 2 and 1 month
  • Monthly Sales Manager Interviews for new reps per month
  • Average Ramp up time per new Sales Person
  • Training or Learning Hours per Sales person per month or quarter

Getting these KPI’s into a Sales Team or Sales Coaching Scorecard and tracking them monthly support sales team success by ensuring the sales manager is actively coaching his/her team to win.

Why not pick 2-3 of these Leading KPI’s and begin measuring them in July? Make sure you relate to your sales people that you are measuring these KPI’s to coach for their success and not to “beat them up.”

Have a great second half of the year coaching your sales team to win!

Michael J Griffin
Master Sales Coach for ELAvate Sales
MHG AchieveGlobal

Posted in Sales Coaching

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

istockphoto-WOW

75 Key Sales Statistics That’ll Help You Sell Smarter in 2019

from HubSpot Blogger Aja Frost | Introduction by Michael Griffin

This is a very interesting read. As I read it, I reflected on my personal sales activities and my coaching of my sales team. Read on…….., Reflect, and Rejig your sales priorities and processes.

Sales Prospecting Statistics

1. More than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, you’re not alone.

2. HubSpot Research found 72% of companies with less than 50 new opps per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals, compared to 15% with 51 to 100 new opps and just 4% for companies with 101 to 200 new opps.

3. Gong’s data science team analyzed 15 months of data and found average salespeople made far more calls in the last month of the quarter than the first two. And the success rate of those “eleventh hour” calls were usually lower than any other month. Devote time to prospecting each and every day. You should be prospecting just as much on the first day of the month or quarter as the last.

4. Almost six in 10 buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call.

5. More than half of prospects want to see how the product works on the first call.

6. One in four buyers want to discuss budget, authority, and timeline. This indicates that buyers are less concerned with the qualifying topics salespeople are usually most interested in:

7. 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process, when they’re first learning about the product.

8. 60% want to connect with sales during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched the options and come up with a short list.

9. 20% want to talk during the decision stage, once they’re decided which product to buy.

10. It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer.

11. Only 24% of sales emails are opened.

12. Nine in 10 companies use two or more lead enrichment tools to learn more about prospects.

13. Seven in 10 B2B buyers watch a video sometime during their buying process. Use that to your advantage, and send them a customized video.

14. Videos about product features are most popular, followed by how-tos and professional reviews.

15. At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.

16. 77.3% of respondents said their company provides at least one quarter of their leads.

Sales Follow-Up Statistics

17. An analysis of more than 2,200 American companies found those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even 60 minutes.

18. Drift tested the response time of 433 companies. Only 7% responded in the first five minutes after a form submission. More than half didn’t respond within five business days.

Sales Email Statistics

19. The average person deletes 48% of the emails they receive every day. This task takes them just five minutes.

20. The vast majority of prospects want to read emails at 5 and 6 a.m. (Who knew there were so many early birds out there?) Use an email scheduling tool — like the one in HubSpot Sales – to send your message at the perfect time.

21. Here are the most effective words to put in your email subject line:

  • Demo
  • Connect
  • Cancellation
  • Apply
  • Opportunity
  • Conference
  • Payments

22. And the most ineffective words to use in your email subject line are:

  • Assistance
  • Speaker
  • Press
  • Social
  • Invite
  • Join
  • Confirm

23. According to Boomerang’s analysis of 300,000 emails, an all caps subject line hurts response rates by approximately 30%.

24. Subject lines with three to four words get more responses than shorter and longer ones.

25. The Boomerang team also found messages written at a third-grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.

26. The more you write, the less likely you are to get a response. Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? Between 50 and 125 words – or around the length of this paragraph.

27. Don’t just provide information — request some, too. Emails that contain one to three questions are 50% likelier to get replies than emails without any questions.

Sales Call Statistics

28. According to Gong’s analysis of 519,000 discovery calls, there’s a clear relationship between the number of questions a rep asks and their chances of success. In other words, if you want your discovery call to go well, make sure you’re periodically posing questions to the buyer.

29. Asking 15-18 questions over the course of your discovery call is only marginally more effective than asking 7-10. Aim for 11-14, Gong found.

30. Wondering what to ask? Questions about your prospect’s business pain points and objectives are closely tied to a won deal.

31. And when should you ask these questions? While average salespeople ask most of their questions at the beginning of a call — usually because they’re moving through a checklist – great ones space their questions evenly throughout the meeting. This makes the conversation feel like a natural back-and-forth rather than an interview.

32. Top performing salespeople are up to 10 times likelier to use collaborative words and phrases than low-performing ones. With that in mind, default to “we,” “us,” “our,” and “together” over “you,” “I,” “me,” and “your.”

33. The most successful reps use terms that inspire confidence, such as “certainly,” “definitely,” and “absolutely,” five times more often than low performers.

34. 41.2% of salespeople said their phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal.

35. Research from Gong reveals these are the worst words for your conversion rates.

  • “Show you how”: Drops close rates by 13% when used more than four times during a single call
  • “Discount”: Decreases close rates by 17%
  • “Contract”: Hurts close rates by 7%
  • “Free trial”: Lowers likelihood of securing next steps by 5%
  • Your company’s name: Harms close rates by 14% when used four-plus times in one call
  • “Competitor”: Makes you less likely to get next steps or close
  • “Million,” “billion,” “trillion”: Large quantities are too abstract, so they harm close rates

36. Gong.io analyzed over 100,000 connected outreach calls and found successful salespeople talk for 54% of the call, while unsuccessful salespeople spent only 42% of their time speaking

37. The use of collaborative words had a positive impact on the calls and using “we” instead of “I” increased success rates by 35%.

38. Using “Did I catch you at a bad time” makes you 40% less likely to book a meeting, while asking “How are you?” increases your likelihood of booking a meeting by 3.4X.

Social Selling Statistics

39. 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.

40. Four in 10 reps have recently closed two to five deals directly thanks to social media.

41. Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.

42. Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.

Sales Productivity Statistics

43. HubSpot Research’s survey of salespeople revealed more than half rely on their peers to get tips for improving. 44% looked to their manager, 35% to team training resources, and 24% to media.

44. Nearly six in 10 salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it.

45. Only 7% of top performers report pitching, while 19% of non-top performers pitch their offering.

46. Salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects. They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.

47. Around three in four organizations use classroom training as their primary way to train salespeople.

48. High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones.

49. Sales professionals with three to four years of selling experience spend 50% more time on training than those with two years or less and 110% as those with five years or more — probably because rookies aren’t sure if they’re going to stay in sales and veterans don’t believe they need to develop further.

50. Sales development reps use on average six tools.

51. The most popular sales tools include CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence.

52. Here are the top ways to create a positive sales experience, according to buyers:

  • Listen to their needs (69%)
  • Don’t be pushy (61%)
  • Provide relevant information (61%)
  • Respond in a timely manner (51%)

53. The biggest challenges today’s salespeople face:

  • Establishing urgency (42%)
  • Getting in touch with prospects (37%)
  • Overcoming price objections (35%)

54. The top sales priorities are:

  • Closing more deals (28%)
  • Improving sales funnel efficiency (18%)
  • Improving sales technology (11%)

55. Google found nearly half of all buyers are millennials.

56. And calling high might not be the best strategy anymore: While 64% of the C-suite has final sign-off, 81% of employees not in the C-suite influence purchasing decisions.

57. Almost half of deals are lost because of budget. 25% are marked closed-lost because of timing. Lack of authority, time to review, and urgency are the third, fourth, and fifth most common reasons, respectively.

58. Budget is the most common reason stronger sales opportunities fall apart.

59. A study of sales development organizations from 900+ companies found the average SDR performs 94.4 activities a day, including social, call, voicemail, and email touches.

60. These activities led to an average of 23.1 appointments set and 72.3% of these appointments become opportunities passed to sales.

61. An average of 12.5 opportunities are accepted per month and 29.3% are closed.

62. A survey by sales strategist, Marc Wayshak, found that 41.2% of respondents said the phone is the most effective sales tool.

63. Only 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quota last year.

Referral Sales Statistics

64. 84% of buyers now kick off their buying process with a referral.

65. Nine in 10 buying decisions are made with peer recommendations.

66. 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they know.

67. After a positive experience, 83% of customers would be happy to provide a referral. But salespeople aren’t asking — just 29% of customers end up giving a referral.

68. About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.

Sales Career Statistics

69. Forrester predicts one million sales reps will be out of a job by 2020.

70. Total compensation for SDRs is on average $72,000.

71. Most SDRs spend around 2.8 years in the role and require 4.1 months to ramp.

72. OTE for an AE is $115,000.

73. The typical AE spends 2.7 years on the job and takes 4.7 months to ramp.

74. One in four salespeople majored in business. The second most popular major? The degree of life. 17% never attended college.

75. Only 39% of salespeople intended to go into sales.

Are you surprised at what you’ve learned, too? Numbers might not tell the whole story, but they certainly illuminate many aspects of it. Keep checking this page for updates. As new data comes out, Aja will add it to or update his the list.

After reading this list, what might you change in your sales approach or sales coaching to meet or exceed your sales targets?

 

Posted in Sales Coaching, Sales Process

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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15 Questions that will help you drive sales initiative results

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As a sales leader, one of your biggest contributions to transforming your sales force is reinforcement. If you want to change behaviors in your sales team, you need more than a two-day training. Your salespeople need to approach their coveted opportunities in a way that demonstrates your solution’s value and its differentiation. You need a shift in mindset, one that influences the design, development, delivery and reinforcement of your new sales methodology and your sales transformation process.

Most sales organizations have gone through their fair share of sales enablement programs. A lot of your reps and front-line managers probably approach any new sales training with a bit of cynicism. Your job as a sales leader is to set the stage for success. Think of the training sessions you’ve sat through in your career. Which ones fell flat? Which ones made a lasting impression? What made the successful ones change behaviors?

Ensure your next sales transformation initiative is worth the money. Evaluate your organization’s ability to succeed with these 15 key questions.

Your Organization’s Background

  1. How successful were past sales enablement projects?
  2. Why were some more successful than others?
  3. How do recent organizational changes align with this project?
  4. How do recent executive changes align with this project?

Your Priorities

  1. What are the critical few corporate initiatives your organization is undertaking right now?
  2. What is the priority of this project compared to the other initiatives?
  3. What other sales enablement initiatives will be competing for resources?

Your Process

  1. How engaged are senior leaders in the major project events?
  2. What are your success metrics?
  3. Who will own, adopt and update project deliverables?
  4. What is the communication plan for needed changes and inspection?

Your Success

  1. How have the project outcomes integrated into the management cadence of your front-line managers?
  2. How are managers enabled to reinforce, inspect, coach new processes?
  3. How are you gathering and documenting success stories?
  4. How are you celebrating those who succeed among your team?

Remember the key to successful adoption of any sales strategy is a mindset, rather than a single action. The right mindset—or the wrong one— will affect reaction to design, development, delivery and reinforcement of any initiative. Do the work on the front end to drive success. This due diligence will ensure you improve revenue and create measurable results.

Posted in Sales Strategy, Sales Talent

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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21.5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You are in a Sales Role

By Michael J Griffin, Founder ELAvate, Master Sales Trainer since 1980!

Here are 21 questions you can ask yourself and check to see how well your career and life is going in your sales job. Just answer Yes or No for each question and then reflect on this personal assessment for your life and career.

  1. Do you enjoy meeting and persuading people or customers to change for the better?
  2. Are you an “evangelist” for your product or service and believe in what you sell?
  3. Is the company you work for align with your ethics, values and integrity?
  4. Are you goal focused on the daily activities that lead to my sales success?
  5. Are you a Hunter (closing new accounts) or Farmer (expanding existing accounts) sales person?
  6. Am I able to deliver consistently and on time the promises I make to my customers and sales manager?
  7. Do I see each new day full of opportunities to grow as a person and professional?
  8. Is helping others be more successful part of my personal sales persona?
  9. Does my sales job stress or invigorate me on a daily basis?
  10. Do I have a Sales Manager who trusts me and makes solid effort to coach me for sales success?
  11. Do you prospect daily?
  12. Can you articulate clearly your company/product story and how it supports customer success in less than a minute?
  13. Do you research and prepare for every sales call?
  14. Do you have a sales call objective and back up objective that is measurable and observable for every sales interaction?
  15. Do you ensure your emails, proposals and quotations are world class and error free by proofreading?
  16. Are you able to celebrate other sales people’s success and learn from them?
  17. Are you gracious and polite to gatekeepers and influencers in your accounts?
  18. Do you have adequate quantity time for your spouse, kids, and friends?
  19. Are you able to exercise at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes a session?
  20. Can you leave your HP and messaging alone when with family and friends or on weekends? (Or – Might your kids say they have to compete with your HP and messaging time?)
  21. Are you in the right job, with the right boss, the right product, and right work environment

21.5 Are you getting at least 7-8 hours sleep at least 6 nights a week?

These questions may help you have a sales career of world class excellence but get you to factor in enough margin for family, health and friends. May the questions also motivate you to make changes in your life and sales career that lead wholesome success in your life.

Have a Great Week!

Posted in Sales Role

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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One Size Fits All ? Not in Sales!

Wikipedia describes “One size fits all” as a description of a product that would fit in all instances. The term has been extended to mean one style or procedure would fit in all related applications. Many sales managers seem to have this paradigm when hiring and assigning sales people to prospects and existing accounts.

Our CSO Insights Research in our last ELAvate Sales Blog identifies four areas on how to boost B2B sales team productivity and revenue. The advice was:

  • Improve Lead Generation – Align Marketing and Sales Processes
  • Close More New Accounts –Hunt more!
  • Expand Existing Relationships – Farm existing accounts!
  • Improve Win Rates – Align competence for Hunting and Farming

The middle two CSO Insights clearly call for sales people who can hunt new accounts and those that can farm and expand existing accounts. Aligning your individual sales people’s competence and motivators will lead to the last point “Improve Win Rates.”

One size does not fit all in B2B sales. For example in ELAvate, I am a hunter and enjoy closing new accounts, and, Manish, our India director, is a farmer and aspires to expand existing customer relationships.

Chally Group has clearly identified the competencies sales managers should hire and nurture for Hunters and Farmers to improve win rates and drive revenue growth. Let’s look at each most important competency cluster that is required for each. Interesting to observe which competences are skill and which are motivators.

The Farmer – Key Competencies

Maximizes Results by Managing Account Planning- Motivation

Driven Increase Business with Existing Accounts – Motivation

Willingness to Work the System for the Customer- Motivation

Commitment Educate the Customer – Motivation

Promotes Customer Relationships through Soliciting Feedback – Motivation

Respond to Customer at any time – Motivation

Top Farmer Competencies involve strong motivations!

 The Hunter – Key Competencies

Effective Networking – Motivation

Problem Solving – Skill

Qualifies Accounts with Effective Probing – Skill

Commits Time and Effort to Acquire Accounts – Motivation

Closes Through Incremental Steps – Skill

Opportunistic – Motivation

Top Hunter Competencies are 3 motivators and 3 skills!

Isn’t it amazing the Top Competencies for Hunters and Farmers are very different! There is no overlap!

The first take away from the Chally B2B research is attract, hire and coach hunters and farmers differently focusing on the competence and motivations that drive sales for each type of sales person.

The second take away is to interview and hire for the key motivations that the farmer or hunter enjoys and train and coach B2B selling skills and key account process.

The third take away is to align and assign B2B leads and key accounts to the appropriate sales person. Making a farmer hunt is very stressful experience, and making a hunter farm is very boring one.

Explore the expanded competencies for the Hunter – New Business Development Profile by clicking here.

Gain insight into the expanded competencies for the Farmer – Account Management by clicking here.

Then do some reflection on each of your B2B sales people and determine where they will excel best – as Hunters or Farmers!

Contact me if you require more explanation on aligning your sales people to the type of sales environment they thrive in, and watch your win rate climb!

Have a great second quarter exceeding your sales targets!

Michael J Griffin

Founder ELAvate!

Master Sales Coach and Trainer

Posted in B2B Sales, Character, Sales Talent

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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Sales Revenues are Up – Sales Performance is Not

CSO Insights Global Sales Productivity Research

Research Review by Michael J Griffin

Last week at the Microsoft Indonesia Innovation Conference,  I presented the latest sales research from CSO Insights a division of MHG, the largest sales consultancy and training company in the world. The main message is customers are transforming the B2B sales landscape making it imperative that sales people up their knowledge, skill and processes to meet ever demanding customer needs. Only 23% of B2B customers believe that sales people are their first “go to” for information and solutions of their business problems! So it is not surprising that sales people on average are only achieving 47% of their projected sales revenue.

B2B customers are telling us that they want 4 behaviors from the sales people they interact with:

  • Understand my Business well
  • Be an Excellent Communicator
  • Focus on Help Post Sale
  • Give Insights, Thought Leadership to Support My Success

Secondly, CSO Insights was able to identify gaps in sales processes that are putting a lid on sales people productivity. The solution to these gaps is across four sales process areas:

  • Marketing and Sales must get out their silos and align their processes to generate leads and prospects.
  • Improving key account planning and opportunity management leads to closing more accounts and increasing revenue from existing accounts
  • Focus on increasing revenue from hunting new accounts. Farming isn’t enough.
  • Improve Forecasted Win Rates by more effective coaching your sales people.

CSO Insights has created a  summary of their B2B sales research findings “Selling in the Age of Ceaseless Change” that you can download here.

An infographic of called “Four Keys to Unlock Sales Growth” visually addresses the 4 sales process gaps and advice on increasing B2B sales productivity by focusing on improving these sales process areas. You may download it here.

The 1st Quarter is over. How is your sales revenue against plan? Read these two insightful CSO Insights research documents and learn how to drive sales performance for the remainder of 2019!

Have a Great Week!

Michael J Griffin

ELAvate Sales Productivity Consultant

MHG Sales Trainer

Posted in Sales Forecasting, Sales Performance

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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