Take a close look at any sales ‘superstar’ and you’ll find grit in abundance. Grit is all about the motivation and ability to keep working towards a long-term goal such as an annual sales target, or a large long term deal.
You might also think of it as mental toughness or high levels of passion. In sales, it also requires high levels of resilience, to a be able to quickly overcoming obstacles or objections along the way, as well as the ability to cope well with customer and management pressure, without suffering from damaging levels of stress.
There is lots of evidence emerging that grit is the essential factor for extraordinary levels of long term success in many fields. It also seems to explain why people of the same intelligence might have drastically different levels of success.
Measure to improve
We now have some good tools, such as the Sales Motivations and Resilience Questionnaire, which can be used to benchmark how ‘gritty’ a sales person is, to explore the scope to develop even further.
Ideally everyone in your team would already have very high levels of grit, but usually we find a wide spectrum in any sales team. Generally levels of motivation are already good, but when we look at ability to cope with pressure and resilience, that is often where the cracks start to show. This is frequently seen as poor close rates, deals sticking in the pipeline, reluctance to make difficult sales calls, low margin sales and eventually burn-out. Often sales people attempt to explain these away by blaming the competition, the market, the products, the service, or in fact anything apart from looking at their own behaviour and performance.
Born or bred?
But the big question is whether these factors are born or bred, then whether they can be developed in a sales person. Undoubtedly our genes and early upbringing are a significant part of the picture. But we now have good evidence that these factors can also be developed in most people, regardless of what they are born with, if we use a specific well researched training program that has been proven to be very effective in these areas.
Can do or will do?
In essence, what grittiness does is moves sales people from ‘Can do’, where they know what needs to be done to be successful, to ‘Will do’, where they enthusiastically put what they know into effect, resulting in higher levels of activity and greater success at every stage in the sales process.
Make them grittier…
If you would like to boost success in your team, perhaps you need to measure how gritty your team currently is and, if needed, make it even grittier.
We can help…