Shifting Sales Mindset: From Reactive Lizards to Proactive Monkeys

Sales professionals often find themselves in a reactive state, responding to crises as they arise and chasing easy wins. This constant struggle for survival in a chaotic sales environment can be likened to the behaviour of a lizard in a jungle. However, to truly thrive in business, salespeople must make a move towards a proactive mindset, akin to a monkey with a well-utilized cortex, acting intentionally to achieve strategic goals.

The Reactive Lizard Brain in Sales

Salespeople often operate in a constant state of high alert, similar to a lizard’s survival instinct in a jungle. This reactive mindset results in short-term actions aimed at extinguishing immediate crises.

“Surviving is not equal to thriving in business.”

In the sales ‘jungle’, everything seems unpredictable and beyond control. This chaotic environment triggers the ‘lizard brain’, leading to actions driven by anxiety and a need to keep moving. This reactive approach is less about individual incompetency and more about the nature of the sales environment.

The Need for a Proactive Monkey Brain

To really excel in sales, it’s crucial to shift from the reactive lizard brain to the proactive monkey brain. This means thinking before acting, aligning actions with strategy, and constantly optimising to outperform the competition.

“It’s about moving towards your strategic goals.”

This proactive approach requires salespeople to make conscious decisions on how to utilize their time and resources best.

The Challenge of Shifting Mindsets

Making this shift is not an easy task. As a sales enablement consultant, I’ve often struggled to persuade salespeople to use their thinking brains. I’ve provided various decision-making tools such as ideal customer profiles, qualifying assessments, target segments, carry-over analysis, and customer portfolio strategies.

However, these tools often fall short. Salespeople continue to act reactively, running after every opportunity like headless chickens.

Role of Sales Management and Company Culture

The key to making this shift lies in the sales environment created by the company and sales management. If the environment is a jungle, salespeople will act like lizards. But if it’s transformed into farmable land, where everything is predictable and operates according to a plan, salespeople are more likely to use their thinking brains and act proactively.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant with 12 years of sales enablement experience. Executed sales turnaround projects to build sustainable revenue streams. A proven sales enabler, sales efficiency, and effectiveness practitioner in complex sales process environments. High-performing sales team builder, customer-centric sales culture transformer and hands-on catalyst move quickly from vision and strategy to implementation.

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