The Power of Mindset in Driving Resilience

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It’s no secret that a career in sales is not always easy. Modern sellers must be able to navigate changing business environments, evolving buyer preferences, and challenging organizational expectations.

Resilience is a critical behavior for salespeople to hone; when sellers are resilient, their abilities are not defined by a single event or circumstance. They can recover quickly and face obstacles with confidence. Resilient sellers are more likely to maintain a positive attitude in difficult situations and rebound quickly after a setback, leading to better performance and positive business impact.

Resiliency pays off: resilient sales organizations are 58% more likely to achieve their goals, have better employee satisfaction, and experience lower turnover. Enablement can help develop sellers’ resilience capabilities and equip them with the tools to perform at their best, no matter the circumstance.

Prioritizing Mindset as a Key Competency

Sales reps often have to perform under high stakes, and the emotions and attitudes a rep brings to a conversation can affect their behaviors, activities, and outcomes. As a result, mindset can impact rep performance and, therefore, critical business objectives: organizations that take the time to address employee mindset were four times more likely to rate their change programs as successful. With a strengthened mindset, sellers can be more positive and, ultimately, more resilient.

“How we show up depends on how we think and what we think,” said Carole Mahoney, founder of Unbound Growth. “Those things become our mindsets, which then become our behaviors, which become our results.”

A seller’s mentality impacts their resilience. If a seller is negative or fearful, it can affect their ability to be tenacious and persevere through the ups and downs of the sales cycle. On the other hand, when sellers are positive and steadfast, it can help them push past a ‘no’ to ultimately get a ‘yes.’

“How we think about things has a massive impact on the results we get because just by thinking in a certain way, we get different ideas, different actions, different results,” said Mark Rhodes, motivational speaker and author of “Think Your Way to Success.” “It’s exactly the same in sales, how we’re thinking about every conversation, we’re going to have every call, every discussion with a potential client. That is all mindset driven.”

Shifting a seller’s outlook from negative to positive is no small task–but enablement can play a key role in developing initiatives aimed at building confidence and positive mindsets to boost resilience.

Gain Stakeholder Buy-In for Mindset Development

Because a mindset is a softer skill, it can cause mindset development initiatives to take a backseat to other focus areas of training, such as product and hard skills.

“Too often, people discount positive thinking and mindset as a soft skill, but I am always saying to people it’s an essential skill,” said Rhodes. “Whenever people are not achieving the results [they want], it’s because they’re not taking effective action. Usually, it’s down to mindset.”

Executive buy-in can boost the chances of success of enablement initiatives – so it’s important to get their input and support before launching programs. Enablement should include stakeholders in early conversations to understand their needs, wants, and expectations and tie mindset and resilience to key business results.

After understanding stakeholders’ priorities, make a business case for mindset development that reflects their goals. For example, if executives are worried about pipeline generation, explain how when reps are resilient, they have more selling up-time because they recover faster, leading to more pipeline activity and ultimately more sales. Particularly for programs where leaders may be more skeptical about the tangible benefits, like mindset, it is essential to clearly draw the correlation between the program and top business priorities when asking for support.

Enablement can also encourage executive leadership and other stakeholders to engage in mindset development and resilience training themselves. In fact, training that focuses on creating a proactive (rather than reactive) mindset can help the overall organization anticipate and navigate change.

When leadership engages with programs related to mindset development, it can also help demonstrate its importance to reps. When leadership is resilient and has a growth mindset, they can also be powerful role models for sellers, which can result in additional reinforcement and understanding.

Coaching for Resilience

Coaching is a critical way to translate mindset into behavior change to bring resilience to life. Enablement can help prepare sales managers to coach reps on specific needs and challenges to improve their mindset in overcoming obstacles.

First, enablement can prepare coaches to uncover behavioral indicators that might be influenced by mindset. For example, coaches can lead reps through self-discovery exercises to help reps identify their weaknesses or pain points for themselves so that they can recognize opportunities for improvement. Prepare coaches for this step by providing them with potential questions to ask, such as what the rep believes their current strengths and weaknesses are or how they prepare for an important call.

“Coaching creates behavior change – it’s not just your sales manager going in and telling reps what they should do,” said Mahoney. “You’re challenging their behaviors; you’re helping them apply the knowledge they’ve learned in their day-to-day execution.”

Once reps have acknowledged areas for improvement, enablement can prepare sales managers to coach specific behaviors that boost resilience. For example, coaching reps on objection handling can improve confidence and help them more gracefully resolve potential concerns. Coaching can also help reps avoid potential obstacles before they arise so that they can sense potential hesitations and proactively address them so that they can confidently be one step ahead.

“Coaching is all about helping somebody be really comfortable and confident about what they need to say and do in order to do their role effectively,” said Rhodes.

Enablement can prepare sales managers to help sellers apply mindset changes to behaviors. Great coaches can reinforce the importance of mindset and its role in resilience, allowing salespeople to see the far-reaching effects.

Investing in developing sellers’ mindsets is a business imperative in the modern selling environment. Enablement can build initiatives that build reps’ resilience, allowing them to better navigate the ups and downs of selling and perform at a high level more consistently. When sellers have the right mindset, obstacles can transform into opportunities.

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