How to Develop a Sales Mindset


What is a Sales Mindset?

A mindset is an ingrained set of attitudes and thought patterns held by someone. A mindset generally encompasses a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by a person or a group of people. These assumptions are so established that it creates a powerful incentive within a person or group to continue adopting or accepting prior behaviours and attitudes. This phenomenon is so ingrained that it is often difficult to counteract its effects upon analysis and decision-making processes.

A sales mindset describes the thinking patterns and attitudes a person has towards sales. These mindsets usually enhance a person’s success with sales or hold them back from hunting for new prospects and closing deals. You may have the skills and education needed to be a great salesperson. However, your mindsets relating to sales may be holding you back.

Sales mindsets are like basic instincts or survival mechanisms. They help us understand how a salesperson identifies with their product and sales process, approaches problem-solving and overcomes challenges. 

Mindsets provide salespeople, coaches and managers with a clearer understanding of a salesperson’s development areas. They help improve sales skills by pinpointing self-defeating beliefs and bringing awareness to attitudes that, once overcome, have a significant positive impact on sales performance. 

How to Develop a Sales Mindset

Sales comes down to mind over matter. No amount of sales training, frameworks, or skills development, will overcome a poor sales mindset. We can attribute top sales performance with winning mindsets, so it is crucial to hire sales professionals with the right attitude. There’s also the question of how to develop a sales mindset among your existing sales staff. Can you improve their sales mindset through training? The answer is yes, you can. It’s one of the most effective sales training sessions your team can undertake.

One of the most effective ways to develop a sales success mindset is to identify counter mindsets. These are mindsets that prohibit you from performing successfully. We also call these fixed or closed mindsets and involve things you might say to yourself that freeze your thinking in one position. We form mindsets through prior experiences and emotional milestones. An unfavourable outcome or result from a specific sales task can develop a counter mindset such as self-doubt or self-limiting beliefs. Consider the counter or fixed mindset as it applies to sales. We’ve heard these countless times. Have you noticed yourself saying them too?

  1. Sales is hard.
  2. I can’t sell!
  3. I tried sales once, and it didn’t work.
  4. I don’t like asking people for money.
  5. I will look stupid if a prospect says no.
  6. I’m scared to fail and lose sales.
  7. Will I succeed? Probably not.
  8. I don’t like sales and will never be any good at it.

Learning how to notice the situations that prompt these counter-mindsets will help you address them and develop a sales success mindset.

How to Keep a Positive Mindset in Sales

Sales can often be discouraging when you face multiple rejections in a row. Staying optimistic is challenging. So how do you keep a positive mindset in sales? Here are five things you can do to boost your positive attitude:

  1. Create a vision board to remind yourself of key priorities
  2. Write down your goals and make them visible 
  3. Look at your mistakes as learning opportunities 
  4. Stay up with the latest trends and skills in sales
  5. Become solution-focused to get out of the situation

How to Measure Sales Mindsets

sales competence assessment is the most effective and efficient way to measure sales mindsets. You may have all the skills, experience, and training needed to be a great salesperson. However, there may be something else holding you back from success in sales. A sales competence assessment measures and reports on twelve different mindsets. These mindsets help uncover underlying attitudes and beliefs that are a barrier to sales success. 

These carefully selected mindsets encompass some of the beliefs we listed above, and when scored highly, contribute significantly to sales success. A lower percentage will hold you back from succeeding at particular sales skills, whereas a higher percentage will contribute to sales success. 

The twelve mindsets are clearly defined in the sales competence report and are easy to interpret. Identifying which mindsets could be holding an individual back from their full sales potential allows for precise and in-depth coaching to overcome barriers to positive performance. The twelve mindsets are: 

  1. Conquering: Reaching your full potential by making sure nobody or anything stops you from achieving your goal.
  2. Hunter: Reaching your full potential by wanting to have everything right now
  3. Persistence: Reaching your full potential by using failure as a reason to do better next time
  4. Reading the situation: Reaching your full potential by understanding how others see the world
  5. Logic: Reaching your full potential by following a plan, no matter what
  6. Hunger: Reaching your full potential by never being satisfied
  7. Empathy: Reaching the full potential by connecting with people and gaining their trust
  8. Social Approval: Reaching your full potential by gratifying others’ needs
  9. Taking Control: Reaching your full potential by not being dependent on anyone else
  10. Next Step: Reaching your full potential by continuously thinking about what is next
  11. Finding the Truth: Reaching your full potential by understanding all aspects impacting the situation
  12. Influencing: Reaching your full potential by convincing others

The mindsets identified by the sales competence assessment help recognise specific roadblocks to success in sales. When a salesperson is not performing in a particular area, the mindsets provide a clearer picture of why they are holding back. They also help to develop a clear action plan to improve sales skills by pinpointing underlying self-defeating beliefs.

Sales Mindset Training

Mastering a sales growth mindset is an essential aspect of developing as a successful sales professional. How often have you observed other salespeople and wondered how they consistently make sales while you struggle to get meetings with clients? Or how they seem to sell effortlessly without lacking in confidence? If so, then sales mindset training could be an effective sales development tool to reevaluate your mindset. Approaching sales with the right mindset is a crucial aspect of sales that has helped successful representatives advance their sales careers.

You may have all the tools, techniques or sales skills, but your mindset could be holding you back from realising your potential. Sales mindset training goes far deeper than simply teaching sales skills. Sales mindset training helps salespeople identify self-limiting beliefs that effectively hold them back from performing sales skills and, therefore, from success in sales.

Sales Mindset Coaching

Sales mindset coaching aids in a growth mindset. Sales mindset coaching helps to combat counter mindsets and self-defeating beliefs. Developing a growth mindset will transform all the negative fixed mindsets into positive beliefs to strengthen sales performance. As you build a growth mindset with sales mindset coaching, you find yourself saying things like:

  1. I need to make some mistakes to learn.
  2. How can I change my strategy or find a way to overcome this obstacle?
  3. If I succeed—great! If I fail, what did I learn?

A growth mindset is not an overly optimistic attitude or about setting unrealistic expectations. A growth mindset is about the willingness to learn, improve, and take on challenges. This approach to sales encourages discipline and determination, not the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. Fostering a growth mindset is easier said than done. However, sales mindset coaching is a great place to start. Adopting a sales growth mindset takes discipline, practice and hard work. Having a growth mindset in your sales role will open you up to endless achievement and possibilities.