How to inspire sales confidence

How to inspire sales confidence

Coming back from holiday, we are facing a different business environment than before. Cost inflation, higher interest, decreasing net spendable incomes, uncertain economic and financial outlook all have an impact on business. Revenues are good but profits are under pressure. 

Customers are keen to keep costs and prices low, promoting cheaper own labels and demanding value for money pricing for branded products in an effort to keep their consumers from switching to cheaper competitors.


We are almost entering the last quarter of the year. For most companies, this is the last opportunity to make the year budget. We need our teams to be as confident as possible to help them hit their targets in this volatile business environment.

As a sales leader, what can you do to inspire sales confidence? Basically by focusing on 3 areas: Preparation, Process and Practice



Develop a growth mindset:

  • Create an environment of openness and transparency where risk-taking is not only accepted but actually encouraged
  • Accept failure and view it as an opportunity to learn and prevent them in the future
  • Be open about your own challenges and risks and how you deal with them and make your team feel comfortable doing the same
  • Create a learning environment and encourage team members to develop themselves continuously. Spend training, coaching and mentoring time with your team.

“A good leader will define, monitor and review business development objectives, but also personal development objectives”

  • Acknowledge and reward individual and team successes to encourage others to take initiative and risks as well.

Help the team to plan and prepare customer visits:

  • Update their 7Cs of knowledge base, develop insights and identify quick wins and aces.
  • Convert those into customer-oriented, action-driven SWOTs for your strategic customers to uncover mutual operational and strategic business opportunities.
  • What Aces (USP’s) does our proposition offer and how would they tie into our customer’s needs. What value would they create for both?
  • Define power questions that will maximize the quality of the responses, the interest of the customer and minimize objections.
  • The objections to be expected and the potential responses.
  • The initial negotiation position, walk away, shopping and currency list including value of the proposition, tactics, power and cost-benefit analysis.


Encourage your team to follow a clear value-based selling process which will help them to follow all necessary steps to create mutual value for them and their customer:

  • Engage the customer: develop with your team the right storyselling pitch that will provide them a seat at the buying table
  • Explore the situation: train and coach them advanced conversation skills, which will allow them to uncover the customer’s priority, business and personal needs and challenges
  • Establish the interest: show ways to qualify and quantify the impact of the proposition on the customer’s business
  • Explain the proposition: teach them how to design and sell a commercial proposition that creates mutual value for all parties involved
  • Emphasize key benefits: show the team how to think, speak and emphasize benefits maximizing the buyer’s desire to buy
  • Execute next steps: help them to identify, select and use their preferred type of closure in order to lead success

“A process brings routine, logic and clarity to the selling and negotiation process, eventually maximizing effectiveness and efficiency for all parties involved”

Repeat the same for a collaborative negotiation process, potentially following the selling:

  • Explore: help them using similar advanced conversation skills and tactics to uncover  the customer’s stake in the ground, walk away position, shopping list and currency list.
  • Propose: define the company’s stake in the ground, walk away and initial trade to open the negotiations.
  • Trade; show them ways and/or help them to develop value-creating trades, optimizing cost of currencies versus value of shoppings.
  • Close: similar to the selling close.


  • There is no better and safer way to build competency than roleplaying. Very few commercial people like it, but team’s practicing roleplays regularly perform significantly better.
  • Encourage your team to come up with the most challenging customers and situations and practice those with a roleplay. Let other team members observe and critique the roleplay for their understanding and learning
  • Alternatively in a very targeted way, roleplay parts of the selling and/or negotiation process. I.e. the effectiveness of power questions or how to respond to objections.

“A process brings routine, logic and clarity to the selling and negotiation process, eventually maximizing effectiveness and efficiency for all parties involved”

On the job:

  • Use every contact opportunity to train, mentor and coach your team members based on their real experiences in the market.
  • Get team members to share good, bad and ugly customer interactions during meetings and facilitate learning conversations.
  • Encourage team members to define 2-3 personal development areas and to review and update those following every customer interaction.


  • Advise team to use good opportunities and links for self-learning, i.e. by subscribing to the blueprint Tips, Tricks and Reminders Newsletter

Successful sports coaches are constantly reviewing processes, spend most of their time preparing their teams for the next match and have them practice on a regular basis. Everything to help them win!

What do you do to inspire your team’s confidence?  

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