Realistic Optimism Strengthens Your Sales Strategy


Realistic Optimism Strengthens Your Sales Strategy

“Fake news” is also pandemic in today’s world – including in the sales strategy world!

It’s easy for your sales managers and salespeople to get all worked up by all the “fake news” they hear. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the pandemic, politics, or…financial concerns from prospects or clients – it’s everywhere.

“Fake news” is the kiss of death to a successful sales growth effort. What can we as leaders do to get a firm grasp on getting rid of this pandemic?

It often drives pessimism and negativity. Or, it drives bloated sales pipelines. In reality, these are made up of hyped-up sales hopes.

Reality is critical for every sales manager and salesperson when they plan their sales strategy. Real facts are the foundation of optimism and of making a positive difference.

The Success Mindset Analysis is one tool that can be helpful to get that dose of sales reality…and sales optimism. 

Realistic Optimism Positively Impacts your Sales Strategy

In this series, we’re talking about the question I ask leaders to ask themselves, as well as their sales teams, when they are looking for breakthrough solutions…

“What might I do to make a positive impact?”

Let’s discuss the final phrase of our question (For the first in this series, read my article: Secrets to Improving Territory Sales Reviews (And Getting Breakthrough Results)“…to make a positive difference.”

This phrase sparks optimism – a realistic optimism that’s built on truth, on reality.

The goal of the Success Mindset Analysis tool is to help the sales manager and salesperson get an accurate understanding of realities, both external and internal. This truth helps them to build realistic optimism so that they can be continually asking themselves, “How might I make a positive difference (In my account, with my client, etc.)

Watch this video clip from my keynote at the Economic Times Sales Strategy Virtual Summit (India): Optimistic Mindset

Let’s walk through this process together.

Breakthroughs: How to Increase Sales 

How do your sales managers and salespeople know that they are in a breakthrough season?

Here are a few clues…you’ll hear them say…

“Things are going great!”

(And, the sales scoreboard and pipeline agree!)

“I’m feeling jazzed – my success and my work feel deeply rewarding.”

(And, the sales scoreboard and pipeline agree!)

“It feels like the rock is rolling down the hill effortlessly.”

(And, the sales scoreboard and pipeline agree!)

This breakthrough happens when the internal strengths, skills, and capabilities intersect with external opportunities (upper-right quadrant).

Some will coast when they experience success. However, like any great sporting legend will tell you, the key to their longstanding success was that they never slowed down before the finish line. They kept the momentum.

So, when your sales manager and salespeople are in a breakthrough season, ask them this important sales coaching question, “How might you leverage your success…for even more success?”

Optimism is an activating force. It invigorates us when we face overwhelming obstacles. It helps us envision a promising future and pursue compelling goals. ~ Danita Bye, Millennials Matter Click To Tweet

I recently coached Kyle, a Millennial salesperson. He says that one of his areas of breakthrough is the amazing customer loyalty he experiences from current clients.

My question to him, “How might you leverage your outstanding customer loyalty in pursuing even more new accounts?”

Top tip: Leverage optimism…for even more success.

Frustration: Sales Growth Opportunity

Often, the sales manager or salesperson sees incredible external opportunities. Then they’re not getting the sale and become frustrated. (That’s the upper left-hand quadrant.) To them, it feels as if they’re pushing the rock up the hill…and just can’t get to the top.

Kyle’s biggest frustration is that his clients mine him for creative ideas. And, they use his pricing as leverage to negotiate with his competitors!

With strategic sales coaching, Kyle now realizes that his internal weaknesses are negatively impacting his effectiveness.  This is especially common in a highly competitive selling scenario.  Kyle is committed to working on his Need for Approval and Buy-Cycle Weaknesses. He realizes that he will be more effective when he strengthens his Consultative Selling skills.

Top tip: Identify and address weaknesses to turn frustration into opportunity.

Battles: Leadership Development Coaching Turns Battles into Breakthroughs

Other times, your sales manager or salesperson is facing a massive external threat. A new, tough competitor. Or, a tough competitor that got even stronger with a new product or service. Or…well, the list could be endless.

What’s distinctive about this quadrant, is that the sales manager or salesperson has faced threats like this before – and succeeded. Yes, they had to work hard, battle, be creative, and pull in extra resources. They dealt with lots of resistance. And they were successful in the long run.

With that said, your sales coaching is key to keep pushing this huge, massive rock up the hill:

  • Create hope. Brainstorm the various external company or team resources they can tap into so that they know they’re not fighting this battle alone.
  • Spark creativity. Mine the successes of previous battles for insights that can help spark new creative thoughts for moving this rock to the top of the summit.
  • Dig deep. Ensure that each step of the Consultative Selling Process, Qualification Process, or Decision Maker Map is thoroughly covered.

Kyle, on one of his sales battles, discovered that he didn’t have a complete understanding of the Decision Maker Map. So, he went back into the game, armed with a new set of questions.

Top tip: Confidence is strengthened with each battle won.

Failure: Focus on How to Improve Sales Skills

When there’s a huge external threat, coupled with a huge internal weakness, yikes! Your sales manager or salesperson will be fighting for survival (lower left-hand quadrant). To them, it feels like a gigantic boulder has rolled down the mountain and is smack-dab in the middle of their pathway. They see no way around it.

Kyle considers himself a complete failure in cold calling. He has had zero success gaining the attention of prospects, and engaging any dialogue with them. Zero.

Every salesperson is different – Kyle’s reaction is that he needs to focus on existing accounts – to be an Account Manager. That’s it. No prospecting.

However, to ensure success, minimally Kyle needs to prospect within his current accounts.

Now that Kyle has a better grasp of what is within his control, i.e. Activity, Attitude (Mindset), and Skills, he is putting a Next-Step Action Plan together.

He is working to break free from unproductive sales thinking patterns that contribute to his failure in this area.

Top tip: The facts are the foundation of optimism, achieving sales growth goals, and making a positive difference.


“Fake news” is the kiss of death to a sales effort.

Reality is of most importance for every sales manager and salesperson when planning their sales strategy. Reality. Real facts are the foundation of optimism, and of making a positive difference.

An optimistic mindset uncovers the opportunities hiding behind the big rocks on your Millennial sales leader’s path.

Your leadership matters.

Read the previous articles in this series here:

Secrets to Improving Territory Sales Reviews (And Getting Breakthrough Results)

Sales Strategy Secrets to End 2020 on a High

The Secret to Superior Sales Coaching

Create an Action-Packed Sales Strategy to Inspire Superior Performance in Q4 and 2021 (Strategic Sales Business Plan)

Stay tuned for the summary post in this series, when I’ll give you a short recap of the 5 Breakthrough Mindsets that will drive your business growth during this time of uncertainty.

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