Building a Resilient Sales Culture

Posted by Chris Mott on Tue, Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:03 PM

How quickly do your salespeople bounce back? How vulnerable are they to a prospect's supportive, then suddenly non-supportive, words and actions? Can they separate "themselves" from day-to-day events?

Salespeople and sales managers must be resilient. Insuring they have and develop the tenacity, grit, motivation and capacity to recover from rejection is part of building a vibrant sales culture.

Real time coaching - mainly pre-call strategy and post-call debriefing - will help. By resetting a salesperson's call objectives and expectations, you prepare them for the prospects pushback and lessen the impact of being surprised. When you break down a call and show the salesperson what led them to the outcome they reached and how they could have achieved a better outcome you help them prepare for the next prospect interaction.

Be relentless with your encouragement and offer to help but allow them to make mistakes. Resilience comes from "living to fight another day" and recognizing through this that sales is full of ups and downs, left turns and right turns, happy and grumpy prospects and that they can avoid being sidelined by this emotional rollercoaster.

Creating a resilient sales culture requires that you acknowledge the frustration, discouragement and anxiety your people face each day and allow them to voice it. Too often we expect them to be tough and "just deal with it". While ultimately true, our marching orders are frequently conveyed in a way that sounds like this.

I'm not suggesting you conduct therapy, but helping a salesperson get past an unnecessary worry requires honesty. Resilience requires flexibility, in this case flexibility by you the CEO and your sales managers to invest the time your salespeople need from you.

Topics: discouragement, over achievement, closing percentage, booking appointments

Recession Insures Greater Competition- Sales Professionals Beware

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 @ 14:08 PM


Frank Belzer's post about Chinese work ethic and competition highlights something most people don't want to think about. The competitive landscape has changed forever.

Putting aside the impact of increased globalization, and the rise of China and India, America's challenges with the deficit, tax and monetary policy and unemployment just to mention a few:  they aren't going away anytime soon.

People are smarter and more cautious, armed with information which may well be inaccurate.  Witness the healthcare debate, under tremendous pressure to make the "correct decision", fearful about losing their jobs and feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.

Competition comes in many forms and from different places. It's direct or indirect, external and internal, foreign or domestic, price based or value based and outside your control or self-inflected. Success will be more difficult to achieve than ever before and, like the economic situation, this won't change anytime soon. 

I'll leave you with some questions to ask and find answers to:

  • How do prospects and customers see you, as vendors or someone of higher value?
  • Do you and your company position yourselves as advisors and, if so, do you act the part?
  • Do you know specifically what your competition does better than you?
  • Are you doing everything you can to impact the sales process even when you are not in control?
  • How has your value proposition been affected by the economy?
  • Are you mentally and emotionally tough enough to fight through these changing conditions to ultimately prosper?

Topics: sales culture, sales management, discouragement, declining sales, chris mott, sales resistance

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