Leveraging sales success

Leveraging Sales Success

There’s little doubt that winners behave differently then losers. It’s easily observable in sports and sales.

Let’s take a look at some specific behaviors and then explore how to leverage initial success to achieve future wins in sales.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter provides some insights in her book Confidence, where she explores the behavior of winners in the world of sports.  We have translated five of her observations to the world of sales.

  • Resistance to Setbacks. Winning often produces a type of energy and resilience to persist after setbacks. Winners sometimes play on even while injured, lifted by a kind of winners’ high.  If some early wins can be achieved by sales people, it makes it easier to press on when faced when tough situations in the next account.
  • Receptivity to Feedback. Winners are more likely to voluntarily discuss mistakes and accept negative feedback. Because they are confident about the possibility of winning, they see practicing as a route to a positive outcome.  This is great news in sales because it provides a foundation for sales coaching.
  • Focus. Sport winners learn how to keep the eye on the ball and sales winners focus because they’ve had the experience of knowing what it takes to close and implement a sale.
  • Team Spirit. Winning as a team makes it easier to respect and listen to one another.  Winning teams maintain high aspirations and act generously toward each other.  In sales this is a big deal because team selling is becoming increasingly important.
  • Self-determination. As Kanter points out “Winners have more control over their own destiny. Why tamper with success? Losers get attention of the negative kind. They are encumbered with help.”  Enough of that, and losers spend their time in meetings instead of practicing and improving performance.

Sales managers need to help sales reps leverage the positives outcome from early wins. This is a particularly important when launching a new product or for a new sales rep. Winning provides a halo that makes everything seem to glow. Glowing is nice, but more importantly it can translate into increased sales if reinforced and managed.

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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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