Salespeople tend to follow the relatively easier opportunities to get fast results. They also act mostly reactive, trying to fire-extinguish daily crises that seem outside their control and choose the actions to minimise the pain and struggle they may encounter.

This lizard type of brain seems to be in command and affects the salespeople’s behaviour, not stemming from individual impotence but mainly from a vocational flow.

The lizard brain perceives the typical sales environment as a wild jungle where you must be anxious and always on the move as a survival instinct. It is so chaotic, and everything seems out of your control.

Surviving is not equal to thriving in business. You must align your actions to fit your strategy and constantly optimise to be effective and efficient to outperform your competition. This requires thinking before acting and being proactive to move towards your strategic goals. This mindset compels a shift from a reactive, fight-or-flight lizard brain to a thinking monkey brain with a well-utilized cortex.

This is not an easy ask from a salesperson. As managers, we all have had tough times persuading salespeople to use their thinking brains and make conscious decisions on spending their selling time. To help them start using their thinking brain, I prepared several decision-making tools like ideal customer profiles, qualifying assessments, target segments, carry-over analysis and customer portfolio strategies, which mainly did help much. They have continued to wander around like headless chickens, running after every moving thing.

Then, I realised that this is only possible if the sales management and company itself interfere with creating the right sales environment and transforming the jungle into farmable land where everything is predictable and operable according to a plan. If you are in the jungle, you have no option but to act like a lizard. You should use your thinking brain and plan ahead before acting if you farmland. So simple.

How do you define your own sales environment? A jungle or a farmable land?