*This is a guest post written by Wordable.io

Your sales team has been coasting for years, but now you’re ready to crank up the heat. 

You know your team is capable of more, but your reps can’t seem to push past their usual numbers. 

To witness real company change, you’ll have to find ways to motivate your team to be tenacious. In an attempt to fill in the blanks, you decide to attend a training seminar for sales managers. After the seminar, you walk away inspired and ready to implement positive changes. 

The number one thing you learned at the seminar? Applying a learner’s mindset is pivotal to transforming your sales team. 

So you take your notes with you and decide to share them with other sales managers, too. 

To make your notes easy to digest, you compile them into a how-to article that goes like this … 

The ‘How to apply a learner’s mindset to transform your sales team’ guide for sales managers 

The following five steps can help sales managers apply a learner’s mindset to reshape their sales teams:

1. Integrate a consistent feedback and communication process 

Embracing a learner’s mindset means being open to giving and receiving feedback.

The problem with feedback is that it’s often inconsistent. Or worse, it’s not given respectfully or strategically. 

When it comes to giving and receiving feedback, focus on the big picture. What solutions would you like sales reps to walk away with? How can you best support them in using those solutions successfully? And how can you implement feedback naturally and consistently?

One of the best ways to implement feedback is to use consistent channels you and your reps can depend on. 

For instance, for ongoing group feedback, consider starting a podcast to discuss various updates, lessons, challenges, and memos. Podcasts are an innovative and entertaining way to engage with your team and share important tips. You can also encourage your reps to call into the podcast to provide feedback and tips.  

If starting a podcast strikes your fancy, be sure to outline a few goals for your show before you start recording. 

To communicate quick feedback, memos, or policy changes, consider using a communication platform like Slack. You could also drop messages using @mentions directly into your team’s sales platform. 

2. Host weekly power meetings 

Think of weekly power meetings as your chance to dig deep into sales processes with your team. It’s your chance to learn what your reps think about the sales process, what they’ve learned from their mistakes, and how you can guide them. 

It’s also your chance to learn from your reps, too. After all, you never know when a sales rep will share something that strikes a light bulb moment.

When hosting weekly power meetings, stay focused. Would you like to give every rep a chance to have the floor? Or would you prefer to hone in on a particular sales process question together? 

Here are some other ideas that can help you make the most out of your power meetings: 

  • Invite each rep to share a new tip or resource with the team 
  • Ask a different rep to host the meeting each week with the intent of teaching the team something new 
  • Divide the team into groups and ask each one to present a new idea 
  • Pick apart one aspect of your sales process together 
  • Add one revolutionary step to your sales process together 
  • Host a pro/con meeting dissecting every step in the sales process 
  • Have a free-for-all meeting where reps can ask any questions they want about sales processes 
  • Create or dissect sales case studies together 

3. Encourage continuous team and individual learning 

As with any profession, continuous education is pivotal to both group and individual growth. 

Here are four ways to encourage team and individual learning.

Recommend Open Educational Resources (OERs):

Invite your team to use free OERs, like StuDocu to hone in on new sales topics or expand their knowledge on sales topics they’re already familiar with. 

studoc

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Niche-targeted training:

Encourage your team to attend niche-targeted training to expand their expertise in a particular sales niche.

For instance, sales reps in industries like nursing, need continuous education to keep up-to-date with the latest medical technology and practices. Inspiring a learner’s mindset where sales teams in this industry can continuously learn and advance their education in nursing is essential to sales success.

Language and communication skills:

Inspire your employees to continue learning and improving their language and communication skills by providing an annual stipend for online language and communication courses. 

Not only does this motivate your reps to be better communicators, but it also trains them to become multilingual — which means being able to communicate to a wider clientele.

Lead scoring and lead management:

The world of lead management continues to shapeshift as consumer demands consistently change. That’s why ongoing lead scoring and lead management training are pivotal for even your most successful reps. 

Free resources such as Hubspot lead scoring and Hubspot lead management are great places to start. To dive deeper into lead scoring and lead management, consider inviting esteemed sales experts to host seminars for your team. 

If you have an internal resources hub, you can also optimize your content for better learning. This way your team won’t have to look for other learnings and you can train them directly with case studies for example. 

4. Dedicate time each month to study up on industry research, competitors, and sales trends 

Piggybacking on our previous point, keeping up with changing markets is key to applying a learner’s mindset to your sales team. 

To stay on top of changing demands, be sure to dedicate time each month to study industry research, competitors, and sales trends. 

Again, you can divide up research tasks by individual sales reps, in groups, or you can work on it together. To get clear on new data, consider focusing on one or two key things each month. For instance, this month you might focus on competitor research, and next month you might focus on sales trends. 

expert research in condensed form

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Or, if you have time, try to dedicate ample research to covering each topic every month. 

That may mean you’ll need to stretch the research out over a few days. It could also mean hiring a dedicated research team to help. If you notice a few of your reps are research gurus, consider allocating the bulk of the research to them.

5. Be honest when you make mistakes and share what you’ve learned 

One of the greatest marks of a strong leader is being honest when you make mistakes and sharing what you could’ve done instead. 

It’s about being humble and admitting that you don’t know everything, but you’re willing to learn. It’s about staying curious, open-minded, and motivated to learn more and do better. 

Whether it’s inviting sales reps into your office to share what you’ve learned, or encouraging reps to come forward when something feels off, being honest and encouraging honesty is pivotal to applying a learner’s mindset to transform your sales team. 

Here are some other ideas to help you and your team remain authentic:

  • Share one vulnerability or mistake you’ve made during every meeting. 
  • Invite sales reps to compile a list of sales mistakes they’ve made and what they learned from them. Share the list in a team-wide memo on Slack.
  • Dedicate an entire podcast episode to sharing a mistake you made and how it made you a better sales rep.

Wrap up 

Applying a learner’s mindset is paramount to transforming your sales team. 

By integrating consistent feedback and research, hosting power meetings, encouraging continuous education, and remaining honest about your mistakes, you can inspire your team to be the tenacious bunch you know they are.