Developing a Resilient Sales Team

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Developing a Resilient Sales Team

The best sales people have the highest levels of resilience.

Resilience “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” (Oxford English Dictionary)

One area of selling where resilience, or lack of it, plays out every day, is when the sales person receives a ‘NO’. Losing a sale in this way can directly impact the mindset, performance and results of anyone in sales. If they let it.

Resilient sales people lose a sale and are back ‘on it’ within seconds. But my experience tells me that many others don’t hold this level of resilience. Many take much longer to recover from losing a sale…and you’ll be well aware that each moment your sales people spend feeling down about a lost sale ensures there’s less chance of getting the next one.

Your mission as a sales leader is to build higher resilience levels in your team. Succeed in this and your team members will experience less ‘down time’ periods after losing a sale, fewer no’s, higher conversions…and be more pro-active, empowered, and more highly motivated generally.

What are your team's current levels of sales resilience?

First, do a quick evaluation of where each of your team are in terms of resilience levels.

For each team member, ask yourself… How quickly do they recover from a no? A no being a lost sale or a significant setback in the selling process.

Allocate a score out of ten each, based on 1 indicating they are extremely slow at recovering from a no, and 10 being they recover extremely quickly.

Your resulting ‘league table’ will quickly indicate which team members to prioritise, where the gaps are across the team…and signal the gains you’ll achieve once each team member improves their resilience levels.

Getting to the truth about lost sales

Remember… “It’s not about the no, it’s about the KNOWING!”.

In essence, exploring and explaining the reasons behind the no.

It’s down to your sales people, with your coaching and support, to do some detective work for each ‘rejection’ they experience. Clearly your least resilient sales people will be your priority. That said, even your sales people who bounce back the quickest from a no can still follow the same process for those sales that do get away…there’s always more to learn!

Here are some questions to help you support your team…

  • What did they do well that they can repeat?
  • What will they do differently as a result of this experience?
  • What will they stop doing?


Additional questions to help assess their selling performance…

  • How clear were they on their direction and focus throughout the process?
  • How well did they build rapport?
  • How at ease was the potential client initially and throughout the process?
  • How well did they collect the information they needed?
  • How well did they present the information?
  • How well did the potential client understand the information presented to them?
  • How good were their discovery questions?
  • How well did they get the balance between talking and listening?


Reflecting on questions like these will take the immediate sting out of the ‘rejection’ and set them on a path of thinking more constructively…building their confidence and approach. They’ll feel more in control and ready to work on the developmental areas they themselves have identified!

The answers to these questions will give huge clues about where to focus next time.

The added value for you is that you can build up a bank of reasons for sales falling through, identifying what’s unique to individual sales people and any issues that prevail throughout the team. You can respond with a combination of individual coaching, or group sessions to resolve those challenges.

Advance planning will help

A good move would be to ‘flip’ many of those questions above and turn them into pre-emptive questions to ask before the sales process starts. Any sales person exploring the following questions before commencing any sales relationship will invariably avoid having to ask those ‘lost sale’ questions afterwards!  

  • How will they build rapport?
  • How will they ensure the potential client is at ease?
  • How will they collect the information they need?
  • How will they present appropriate information to the client to ensure it’s easy to absorb and understand?
  • What key discovery questions can they prepare in advance?
  • How will they demonstrate they are listening to and are interested in what the client is communicating to them?


No matter what level of sales resilience your sales people are demonstrating in their role, using these questions will help take it to the next level.

Good luck!

How is their sales mindset generally?

The question How quickly do your sales people usually recover from a No? is one of ten questions I ask as part of my new Sales Mindset Reality Check assessment. If, as you set off on your 2022 sales journey you’re interested in gaining a rounded assessment of where your team are in terms of sales mindset, this will really help you benchmark your team. You’ll also gain some valuable pointers for improving their overall sales growth mindset as they gear up for what we all hope to be a brilliant 2022.

Click here to access the assessment – the questions take less than five minutes to answer and your team’s report follows just a few minutes later.

Until next time,

Leigh 😊

PS Get in touch if you need some help with your Sales Team Resilience

Thank you Larry Li for this great image 🙂

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