The mind is a powerful thing. The way you think about a particular goal or task can have an enormous impact on the outcome. Take sales, for example; a salesperson’s success is 80 per cent attributed to their mindset.
Mindset plays an equally important role when it comes to following a sales process.
“Your mindset can derail your sales process,” says Paul O’Donohue, SalesStar Founder and Group CEO.
“For example, a self-limiting belief might be ‘I don’t need a sales process’. If you have the mindset from the beginning, then you’re not going to adopt an effective sales process. So, first and foremost, you need to be thinking that ‘in order to succeed, we need to have a sales process’, and this attitude needs to be implemented from top down.”
If members of your sales team have a negative opinion towards your sales process, for example it doesn’t mirror what they actually do in the field, they will be more likely to make mistakes or skip parts of the process altogether.
Here are some key ‘red flags’ that could suggest your sales staff have a mindset problem when it comes to your sales process.
Your staff may have negative, insecure or self-limiting thoughts about some or all of the sales process, for example “I hate cold calls” or “I’m terrible at making presentations”. If they have more than ten self-limiting thoughts, this usually derails the sales process. Encourage your staff to write down their self-limiting thoughts so you can work through them together.
Need for approval
When a salesperson’s need to be liked is stronger than their desire to close a sale, this can cause problems.
“People who have a high need for approval don’t like asking the tough questions or make the customer feel uncomfortable in any way,” says Paul.
“But if your salespeople don’t ask the tough questions, then they can’t build value, and they therefore lack a strong value proposition to close the deal. This can lead to stalled sales or margins being eroded.”
While salespeople should always be professional and approachable, sometimes they need to ask difficult questions. They can’t afford to be held back by the need for approval or the fear of confrontation.
Salespeople should take steps to avoid becoming emotionally involved in the sales process. When their emotions enter the fold, they may make decisions based on personal opinion as opposed to rational thought.
“When you get emotionally involved, logic can disappear,” says Paul.
“Following the process is led with your left-brain – logical thinking – and strong emotions such as anger or love should be avoided.”
Creating a positive mindset about the sales process starts at the top – with you, the sales manager.
We encourage you to adopt the mindset that a sales process can produce powerful results – so long as you’re prepared to give it the attention it deserves. Don’t let assumptions that it ‘just works’ get in the way of real-world evidence to the contrary.
The good news is, once you’ve established a robust sales process, the rewards are enormous. Staff tend to be happier, more focused and work better as a team. Productivity increases across the board, and keeping the pipeline full becomes less of a challenge. Put mindset under the microscope today to start reaping the benefits.
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