Starting a career in Sales is often like a baptism of fire. Straight in, high expectations, targets to hit, and lots to learn. Some sink, while others thrive straight away and swim. The difference is normally around behaviours – some of which are good, some of which are bad. Talent alone can only take you so far.
Behaviours, values, and mindset are critical in excelling in Sales. But what are the key values and behaviours and which bad behaviours could see you fail?
Being a success in Sales
What do the best performers do?
- They are emotionally objective and focus on the things they can control
- They are resilient, and are able to look at the bigger picture
- They support and help team members
- They take personal improvement seriously
- They are adaptable to all situations
- They accept their weaknesses and spend time working on improving them
- They are not afraid to ask stupid questions
- They compete with themselves rather than with the team
- They are self-reflective and honest with colleagues
- They ask for and act on feedback
- They have integrity
- They are accountable for their own mistakes, successes, training and continuous development
- They use initiative and have a proactive approach
- They view their job as a craft
- They are happy to get their hands dirty when needed
Common traits that lead to failure
On the flip side, why might someone underperform or not enjoy it?
- They may struggle with detail
- They are resistant to change
- They lack resilience
- They have a 9-5 attitude
- They lack initiative
- They don’t understand and can’t keep up with the pace required for Sales
- They regularly under-communicate
- They see their job as a means to an end
- They lack commercial understanding
- They have a high ego
- They have a short-term mindset
- They have only ever experienced success and haven’t had to work to get what they want
- They are easily offended
- They are not that self-aware
- They have limited patience
Aspiring to be better
Alongside those good behaviours and bad behaviours, there are some other areas that significantly impact Sales performance. For instance, do you encourage a positive culture? Are you action-oriented in your approach? Do you push yourself out of your comfort zone? Do you focus on the process rather than the result? People who answer yes to the above are usually really valued team members who are highly coachable and get repeatable, long-lasting results.
However, every salesperson should have aspirations to be better. And aspirational values are important to not only maintain performance but continually deliver results. They go beyond talent alone. Here are some examples of aspirational values:
- Reducing fear of failure and encouraging creativity
- Emphasising wellbeing and positive mindset
- Increasing seriousness to development and meetings
What does this mean in reality?
In reality, all of this translates to being part of a positive, successful team. Teams and individuals who regularly miss targets are often not the best places to work – they drag you down. Teams that have regular training, take wellbeing and Sales burnout seriously, foster internal relationships, implement Sales incentives and healthy competitions, and hire staff who have a lot of the good behaviours above, are generally much more likely to succeed.
So, ask yourself, how many of the positive traits do you think you have? And if you have any of the negative traits, it’s not too late to change. Remember, self-evaluation is an important part of becoming a high-performing salesperson.