The sales landscape has been evolving rapidly in recent years – making it increasingly challenging for reps to engage prospects, find the decision maker, and ultimately win deals and increase sales for their companies. Ten years ago, over 50% of sales reps were making their quota. In 2020, however, only 43% of reps were able to meet their mark. Today, 38% of sales are lost to no-decisions – a staggering increase from the 17% in 2010.
What is causing a higher rate of rep failure, and how can sales leaders find a solution to the problem? According to a survey from the RAIN Group, 91% of sales reps said their biggest challenge was getting their buyers to notice them. With all the noise in a digital world, it is harder than ever to distinguish yourself from competitors and earn much-needed attention from your buyers. However, by embracing a high-performance mindset, sales leaders can help their teams find success in any economy.
The Mindset of a Top Sales Performer
Our mindset is defined by the thoughts we generate in our minds, how we interpret reality, and how we function cognitively on a psychological and physical level. The mindset of the bottom 20% of reps is focused on survival – obtaining a base level of production to stay afloat. The middle 60% are focused on meeting their quota, while the top 20% of reps will be focused on mastery of their craft. These top 20% are embracing the high-performance mindset that sets them up to win consistently.
When we go inside the mind of a top sales performer, we will see that they view challenges as opportunities, and do not shy away from change. They will take responsibility and respond to problems with the ability to overcome adversity. Top performers also have a strong desire for self-improvement and are focused on mastery of their skills so they can become greater than any obstacle they encounter.
As a sales leader, you also need to act as a mindset leader so you can help your bottom and middle performers achieve greater levels of success. This means you must lead with a high-performance mindset to set the tone for your sales team. Top sales performers want to work in an environment with people who are motivated by success, purpose driven, and enlightened. It is also important to understand the importance of empathy in today’s workplace – do not underestimate the impact of thoughtful feedback. Leading with a high-performance mindset is crucial to creating an environment that enables peak performers to not only succeed, but to stay with your company for the long term.
The Profile of a Top Performing Sales Rep
So, how do you find and recruit top performing reps with the mindset that will help them achieve victory? Top sales reps often possess the following qualities:
How to Curate a High-Performance Mindset
To win in sales, especially in an adverse economy, you and your team need to create the right mindset for success.
In a recent session at the virtual Sales 3.0 Conference, “Motivating Through the Madness,” Victor Antonio, host of the Sales Influence podcast, discussed the importance of the adjustment mindset. It is important to accept that not every strategy will work for your company. The way you react to failure is what creates a high-performance mindset. When something doesn’t work, instead of taking a negative approach and saying, “This never works,” or, “I’ll never be able to learn this,” ask yourself, “How can I improve?” or, “How can I learn this new skill?” It takes 10,000 iterations of a skill to obtain true mastery, and learning from those failed iterations is what creates the high-performance mindset.
While it’s true that top-performing sales teams are made up of talented individuals who possess the right set of skills, behaviors, and tools to drive sales growth, the importance of mindset cannot be ignored. Sales leaders who want to consistently achieve success should focus on finding, recruiting, and developing team members with a high-performance mindset.