There’s an important sales leadership lesson embedded in “Juicy” by Biggie Smalls. It’s the line “I like the life I live ‘cause I went from negative to positive.”
Focus in on the “negative to positive” part. Everyone has days at work where they struggle to overcome negative thoughts. But few people hear “no” as often as a salesperson. It might be an outright “no” delivered in person, over the phone or in an email. Other times, it’s more subtle — the prospect simply ignores the salesperson.
All those denials create a memory bank of failures and breed negativity.
The next time the rep is in a similar situation, they recall their missteps, mistakes and lost deals. This depletes their confidence, and the salesperson begins to question their own capabilities.
It takes a lot of mental fortitude for a salesperson to stay buoyant in these circumstances. As a sales leader, you have the power and responsibility to shape your team’s mindset. You can take them from negative to positive.
6 Ways Sales Leaders Can Positively Motivate Their Teams
1. Get to know each other
Getting to know individuals on your sales team makes them feel valued. It clues you in on how to keep them motivated, too.
Bonuses won’t incentivize everyone
Some people prefer verbal praise in a group setting. For others, this is a nightmare scenario. They’d rather have a private note from their sales manager recognizing their hard work instead.
Don’t guess what people will respond to
Ask each salesperson on your team what motivates them and how they prefer to receive feedback. Tailoring incentives and praise based on individual preferences will help keep everyone on track to hit their numbers.
2. Ask people to record small daily wins
An encouraging email or great conversation is quickly buried by defeat. Make your team remember their wins by having them record what goes well during their day. In your one-on-one meetings, ask to hear a few recent successes.
This gives you a chance to celebrate their success and reinforces what has gone well for the salesperson. If it’s a notable success, ask if you can share it during the next team-wide meeting.
3. Set aside time to celebrate
I don’t just mean sales wins — celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. Gathering strengthens team bonds. It’s another opportunity for people to get to know each other.
In the case of work anniversaries or milestones, it shows your employees you value their hard work and are aware they play a direct role in the company’s overall success.
4. Create a Peak Performance Mindset
Telling people “Be positive” won’t change a person’s mentality. Through training, like Peak Performance Mindset workshops, salespeople see how to gain control over their thoughts. They’ll identify strengths and opportunities for growth.
Mindset-specific training helps them reach quotas and personal goals because they improve:
- Overall well-being
See What People Think About Mindset Training
5. Hit pause
Contrary to what you may think, downtime makes your employees more efficient. For years, studies have consistently shown that breaks increase productivity, improve focus and decrease stress.
When you let people hit “pause” during the workday, they have a chance to clear their heads. This “planned downtime” reduces stress and increases happiness. Along with making short daily breaks a habit across your team, you could:
- Regularly hold team lunches where you actively avoid talking about work
- Spend an afternoon volunteering as a team
- Go to happy hour together
- Head to a community or sporting event
- Have a space in the office set aside for games or snacks
6. Make it a game — not a competition
A winner-loser framework is established when you set up a competition that pits salespeople against each other. Instead of incentivizing individuals, get everyone invested in a goal by turning a team goal into a game. Tell them if they accomplish X, Y will happen.
Here’s how it could play out. You tell the team that if the company hits its overall sales quota for the quarter, everyone gets an afternoon off. Or you go for a team lunch at a nice restaurant. You could think outside the box, too, and pick something goofy — like saying you’ll show up at the office in a ridiculous costume.
What Happens When Sales Leadership Focuses on Mindset
When sales leaders push out pessimism, they build happier, healthier, more successful teams.
1. Salespeople hit goals
Focusing in on mindset gives your team a mental blueprint for success. Salespeople who have a positive inner dialogue, can set crystal clear goals and maintain internal focus stop seeing sales obstacles. They’re adaptable, determined and often come up with innovative solutions that propel them toward goals.
2. You defeat imposter syndrome
Not everyone has a disposition to dispel negativity on their own. Hearing positive reinforcement roots out pessimism and defeats imposter syndrome.
3. People put in extra effort
An American Psychological Association poll found that 93% of people who felt valued at work were motivated to do their best work. Of those who responded, 88% said they’re engaged throughout the workday.
4. You retain employees
Respondents who didn’t feel valued were more likely to leave the organization. Half said they planned on looking for a job within the next year.
Only 21% of employees who felt valued planned on looking for a new opportunity. If you want to keep your top sales talent, they need to have your respect.
Evaluate Mindset When You Hire Sales Leaders
Positivity trickles down from the top. Whenever you hire a sales leader, you want someone who has an optimistic outlook and is capable of positively influencing your team. At ProActivate, we do this for our clients through a customized qualification process. We combine skillset, mindset and simulation evaluations to offer the most qualified working and winning professionals. They don’t need to go from negative to positive — they already possess the right mindset to lead a team that’s ready to win.