8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Ways to Change The Attitude of Your Sales Team

Consider the following three ways that the attitude of sales team members can be gently re-directed without drastic changes to your business.

Rhys Metler

The prevailing attitude of sales team members has a quantifiable impact on your sales team’s numbers. If that attitude is not where you would like it to be, it’s best to act quickly to change course before negativity becomes a permanent feature in your sales team’s environment. Consider the following three ways that the attitude of sales team members can be gently re-directed without drastic changes to your business.

Change Attitude of Sales Team: Alter the Team’s Perspective

If the attitude of sales team members reporting to you needs an update, many times all that is needed is a better understanding of the business environment and the sales team’s role in it. Sales people who are solely focused on getting contracts signed can lose sight of your organization’s place in the industry and overarching goals, and how the behavior and results of the sales team impacts those frameworks. The resulting misunderstandings can damage morale and provide a platform for negative attitudes. Open up the lines of communication so that your sales people can understand the “hows and whys” of what needs to be accomplished by:

  • Dedicating individual coaching time to each sales person
  • Making it clear that sales people have an open forum with you at any time to discuss questions or concerns
  • Encouraging sales people to take advantage of your organization’s seminars and training opportunities

Change Attitude of Sales Team: Focus on Team Building

Despite how it is often portrayed in popular media, sales is not an “every man for himself” occupation. Divisions within your sales department that prevent sales people from thinking and acting like a team, however, can fuel that perception and gradually shift the attitude of sales team members towards the negative. Put the focus back on the positive by implementing regular team building activities that help the people on your sales team reconnect with their peers. These activities can include:

  • Team meetings to discuss successes and collaborate on solutions to shared problems
  • Role playing between sales people and managers to develop an appreciation for different approaches and perspectives
  • Half day or full day functions with active team building and coaching seminars led by professional sales coaches

To generate ideas on activities that your sales team will respond to, it can be helpful to solicit your sales team’s opinions on an individual basis. Many of your sales people have probably had positive experiences with one or more coaching opportunities, and may have completed team building exercises in past roles; these insights based on past success can help you decide what is available and best for your team.

Change Attitude of Sales Team: Reinforce Positive Attitudes with Recognition

Behavior that is recognized and rewarded is more likely to be repeated than behavior that goes unmarked. For sales people who thrive in the spotlight, recognizing what they do right can make all the difference in prompting an attitude change. When you are trying to steer the attitude of sales team members, remember that your acknowledgment costs you nothing but can be as valuable to a sales person as a financial incentive. Promote regular recognition through:

  • Acting quickly when recognition is due; the closer recognition is provided to the action that prompted it, the more meaningful it tends to be perceived
  • Granting public acknowledgment in front of peers, other managers, or clients when appropriate
  • Providing written appreciation in e-mail or handwritten notes so that sales people can refer back to that positive reinforcement when needed

The solutions available to help change the prevailing attitude in the sales team’s environment are dependent on your organization’s concerns and budget. However, in determining which avenue to take to improve the sales team’s attitude, you should also weigh the costs of doing nothing; frequently, inaction will cost more in the long run than even a seminar that at first appears prohibitively expensive.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.