Training Techniques to Build Resilience
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Resilience is a vital, perhaps overlooked, trait that can set sales professionals up for success in the long term. According to a recent Gallup poll, U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, and a staggering 83% of employees suffer from job-related stress. Building resilience can help professionals avoid burnout and keep employees engaged with their work.
The ability to bounce back from setbacks, handle rejection, and adapt to changing circumstances, especially in today’s business climate, is crucial for achieving lasting sales success. While resilience is often seen as an innate quality, it can also be nurtured and developed through effective training and a daily practice promoting work-life balance.
“The trap that many organizations fall into is that they try and change people’s skill and behavior without changing their underlying belief system, and then they wonder, six months later, why it’s failed,” said Ian Mills, CEO of Transform Performance International. “The reason it’s failed is that they haven’t changed the person’s attitude, mindset, or way of thinking.”
Below, explore how enablement can bolster resilience among sales teams and how to cultivate a daily practice of personal non-negotiables to empower reps and help them thrive in the face of challenges.
Nurturing a Growth Mindset
Enablement can play a significant role in helping to cultivate a growth mindset among sales reps. By emphasizing the belief that skills and abilities can be developed through dedication and effort rather than being fixed traits, developing a growth mindset through training encourages individuals to embrace challenges and persist in the face of adversity.
“[We can show] salespeople that they can be resilient in a way that they can bend with the change,” said Anita Nielsen, sales performance coach and author of Beat the Bots. “It doesn’t have to break them. It doesn’t have to diminish whatever their value was and whatever it was that they were doing in their day-to-day business. [Adversity] changes it but doesn’t break or end it. It’s more a matter of navigating around [that change] and figuring out how to take this moment and make it something they can grow through.”
A growth mindset empowers salespeople to view setbacks and rejections as learning opportunities, allowing them to bounce back quickly and continuously improve their performance.
Building Confidence and Overcoming Rejection
One of the most prominent challenges sales reps face is rejection. As this can hinder resilience, training to anticipate and react accordingly to handle rejection effectively can help bolster confidence. Enablement can deliver training programs that directly target skills to overcome rejection, like objection handling, critical thinking, and rational decision-making. For example, consider leveraging role-playing exercises, presenting real-world scenarios and examples, and working with managers to coach reps on how to navigate difficult conversations.
“Because sales coaching is individualized and inclusive when offered on that one-to-one basis, you can easily identify areas of improvement and ensure that no team members fall into the cracks,” said Annelie Girard, sales enablement manager at PlayPlay. “That is because self-discovery is not easy, so coaching will allow you to look closely at how every sales rep uses your resources. You can then provide an individualized solution, such as direct feedback and role play to reinforce the right behavior that leads to success.”
By honing critical skills to overcome rejection, enablement can help reps navigate complex sales cycles and seize opportunities, even in high-pressure situations. The ability to think critically and make sound decisions under pressure enhances sales performance and boosts confidence and resilience.
Adapting to a Changing Buyer Environment Through Microlearning
The sales landscape is constantly evolving. With shifting needs and expectations, reps can benefit from staying ahead of the curve and being ready for the knowledge, skills, and urgency to adapt. Microlearning can deliver training that breaks down topics or skills into bite-sized, digestible modules or lessons that provide sales reps with quick, actionable, just-in-time learning.
“Being spontaneous is great, but having a plan in mind helps us get further with baby steps and helps us build our blocks,” said Sonia Pupaza, field enablement manager at Camunda. “If we could plan some small bites of learning into our everyday life, it would get us further than blocking only two hours for one day at the end of the week. Those small chunks of time build your long-lasting habits of learning something new every day, rather than those two hours just because you have to.”
By delivering information in small, focused doses, microlearning helps improve knowledge retention. Regular exposure to short modules reinforces key concepts and skills, leading to better long-term retention and application of the learned material. By incorporating interactive elements, such as quizzes for example, reps can have a more dynamic learning experience that specifically meets their needs or challenges that they’re facing at the moment. This can enable reps to apply what they’ve learned in real-world situations and provide flexibility in ensuring that the training aligns with their unique needs in a complex buying environment.
Cultivating Daily Habits of Resilience With Non-Negotiables
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being and productivity as it can help build resilience in a sales rep’s day-to-day. Achieving this balance is often something that needs to be practiced, and it can help to set clear boundaries and commit to non-negotiables every day that align with one’s unique values.
Start by identifying the activities or aspects of life that are most important outside of work. It could be spending quality time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies or interests, engaging in physical exercise, or simply having quiet time for reflection and relaxation.
Once these priorities have been identified, integrate them into a daily routine as rituals or habits that support work-life balance. For instance, designate a specific time slot for exercise or meditation in the morning, establish a technology-free period to connect with loved ones in the evenings, or set aside uninterrupted time for pursuing personal passions. These non-negotiables should be treated equally as work-related commitments throughout the day, ensuring they are easily protected. To achieve this effectively, it can be helpful to write down the non-negotiables broken up by the time of day and reflect on how each activity helps or hinders one’s performance and attitude throughout the day.
A positive mindset is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth and can help bolster resilience. It can help to develop daily non-negotiables that nurture a positive attitude and ultimately develop self-awareness, manage stress, and foster a positive outlook even amid challenges.
Resilience is a critical attribute that enables sales professionals to thrive in a competitive and demanding industry. Training can be pivotal in developing and nurturing resilience by fostering a growth mindset, building confidence, incorporating microlearning opportunities, and cultivating a daily practice of meeting non-negotiables. Through comprehensive training programs focused on building resilience, organizations can empower their sales teams to overcome challenges, embrace change, and achieve long-term success.
Download the Non-Negotiables Worksheet below.