The 9 Step Guide to Sales Transformation: Assess Mindset

Posted: October 25, 2018 | By: Craig Eggleton

In sales, it really is mind over matter. No amount of skills training will overcome a poor selling psychology.

In sales, it really is mind over matter. Too often in the selling arena we are guilty as leaders of focusing on the numbers and activities.  The science tells us that top performing salespeople and sales leaders focus on 3 Critical Conversations 

  • Conversations With Their Customers
  • Conversations With Themselves
  • Conversations With Their Coaches

Integrity Solutions has found that that we can boost sales results by 20% by focusing on Achievement Drive and the inner game of selling.  It’s why hiring people with the right
mental make-up is  critical to developing a high- performance sales team. 

But what sort of mental attitude should sales managers look for when adding to their team?

There’s also the question of the mindsets of your existing sales staff too. Can you improve their "inner-game" through training? 

Answer: yes, you can. Coaching moves the needle for sure with the existing bench if folks have the capacity to change. 

To understand the true nature of this challenge, we must drill deeper than surface skills. We must look at the emotional factors that control eighty-five percent of your people’s ability to sell.

Here’s what it’s taken us many years to discover: Your people’s ability to sell is largely due to an internal congruence of the following key factors:

1. View of Selling

2. View of Abilities

3. Values

4. Commitment to Activities

5. Belief in Product

Let's see Sales Bullpen CSO, Mike Fisher bring this to lifeHere

The 2 Sides of a Positive Sales Mindset

There are two parts to the selling mindset: the will to sell and psychological competencies. The top salespeople rank high across both these aspects.

1. The Will to Sell

Skills, while important, mean nothing if a salesperson lacks the five essential components that fuels a salesperson’s drive to sell. These are:

Desire: Does the salesperson have a strong desire to be the "best" in sales!

Commitment: Are they unconditionally committed to doing everything they can within ethical boundaries to hit their targets? Do they do the difficult things that put them outside of their comfort zone?  

Responsibility: Do they take full ownership for their activities, or  make excuses? Do they blame the economy, the product, the service department, or bad luck?  Or do they say "The buck stops here.  Whatever success or failure is squarely in my control!"

Outlook: How positive are they? Do they have a fixed or growth mindset? A strong outlook goes a long long way in overcoming adversity. 

Motivation: What motivates you and how are you motivated. When interviewing salespeople shouldn't we want to know what and how they are motivated? Not only do companies we work with ask that question by they assess for it.


These “willingness to sell” traits are the foundations of a successful selling mindset. Without them, salespeople are not just ineffective, but virtually untrainable.

2. Psychological Competencies

There are several psychological barriers that can hold a salesperson back and prevent them from being effective. While they are common—especially in sales teams that struggle to hit their targets— they can be overcome.

These barriers include:

Need for Approval: The need to be liked by others. This weakness gets in the way of asking tough questions to advance a sale. According to Objective Management Group, this weakness alone can have a 33 percent impact on a salesperson’s ability to close a sale.

Self-Limiting Beliefs: Selling is about belief. Belief in oneself, the product, the company and the value proposition and price point. Without it, self-limiting beliefs can form, such as “this sales process is ineffective” and “I can’t sell on value”. Even if it’s never verbalized, it can have a massive impact on a salesperson’s psyche. “It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You start to buy into that self-limiting belief,” says Paul. “It then limits the activity you do and how effective you are at it.”

Uncontrolled Emotion: Salespeople who get emotionally involved tend to act erratic and get flustered easily. Their decisions are not always rational, which can cause them to deviate from your sales process.

Money Weakness: Being uncomfortable discussing money, budgets and finance is a major issue for a salesperson. Not only can it prevent them from fully understanding their customer’s needs, but they also tend to discount things and can’t sell on value.

Buy-cycle Weakness: This is the tendency to empathize with people who have a similar buying process to you. If you’re an impulse buyer, you expect others to be as well, which could result being assertive at closing time, and likely to close more and faster deals. Likewise, if you prefer to spend time considering a purchase, you might miss an opportunity to close a sale, as you may think the prospects wants to think it over and comparison shop, resulting in blown out sales cycles and can impact closing by 50 percent.


4 Tips to Overcome a Mindset Weakness in Your Staff

1. Conduct a Sales Assessment: A sales assessment will help identify the type of weaknesses a salesperson has.

2. Determine Whether Skill or Mindset Weakness: Explore why a salesperson didn’t do certain behaviors or activities. Do they know how to do it, or did they avoid it? If they don’t execute on the skills they know, it most likely is a congruence issue. 

3. Coach Through the Barriers: Provide ongoing coaching and guidance to help your team member overcome their weaknesses. Pre-call strategizing and post-call debriefs are a good place to start.

4. Check Your Sales Managers: The mindset weaknesses of sales managers and leaders can in turn affect the rest of their sales team. Self-limiting beliefs and buy-cycle weaknesses, for example, can originate in a sales manager and spread to the rest of their team, i.e. instructing team members not to push to close a sale when in fact they should.

Book Time with a Sales Development Expert

Sales Bullpen and our partners have  helped industry-leading organizations and startups optimize their sales forces. Get in touch with our team and implement the following in your sales organization:

  • Sales Health Check
  • Sales Evaluations for deeper analysis
  • Sales Mindset coaching and training
  • Sales skills training
  • Sales development modules
  • Sales management coaching
  • Sales person coaching
  • Sales recruitment

Thanks for reading the Bullpen BlogContact Craig to give your sales force an edge over the competition.

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