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Blog 12 December 2022

The Right Sales Mindset and Attitude of Top-Performing SDRs

Daisy Shevlin
SEO & Content Manager @ Kaspr

To be a successful salesperson, you need the right mentality. 


There are plenty of reasons resilience is key. Rejection and objections are daily curveballs that prospects can throw at sales development representatives (SDRs). 


To explain it all, Kaspr’s Brand Ambassador & Subject Matter Expert, Shabri Lakhani sat down with Chris Hatfield, Founder & Coach at Sales Psyche. They discussed what it takes to have the right mindset in sales. 


Chris works with sales teams to create healthier and high-performing minds. Chris founded Sales Psyche after struggling to manage his own anxiety when he worked in sales. He says:


“There’s a lot about training and skillset in sales but not much around mindset and mental wellbeing.”


This article summarizes the main points of how to develop a strong sales mindset. Including how you prevent burnout and level-up your mental health. 


Scroll for more or jump ahead below 👇

Why is having a strong sales mindset so important?

A strong mindset is the foundation you build everything on top of 🏗️ 


Your outbound sales team needs to be able to handle the peaks and troughs of working as an SDR. As with any relationship, the one you have with your client will have highs and lows.


Chris says:


“In sales, we talk about having the right conversation with prospects, colleagues, and about the product. But if the conversation you have with yourself isn’t the right one, then you can’t build on anything outside of that.”


“One day, you could feel on top of the world the next, you could feel like you’re never going to be able to sell anything again. It’s not about stopping these moments [from] happening. But [it’s about] recognizing when they do and bringing yourself back to a neutral state.”

Tips for managing down days 

Every sales rep can relate to having a down day. 


Maybe you’ve not hit your quota or a prospect didn’t turn up for a meeting. It’s important to give this some perspective, though. If you can adjust your attitude and frame it as a learning experience, you’ll see things differently.


Chris said:


“There’s no such thing as a bad day or bad quarter. There are bad moments. Rather than generalizing things, it’s important to also look at all the good stuff you’ve achieved.”


Chris explained what he calls “surfer mentality”. Sometimes it can feel like you’re riding a wave, and at other times it feels like you’re stuck under one.


Either way, it’s important to remember you’re not stuck there forever. Successful salespeople can’t always be winning 🏄


You need to focus on what you can control. 


Shabri recognizes the importance of manifesting something healthy for your ego when you’re on a high. Chris uses the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks, as an example. Check out the clip below to see how they analyze their wins. 🎬


Identifying sales superpowers 

Everyone in an outbound sales team has different strengths (and weaknesses). It’s important to recognize why people are successful.


Chris says:


“You need to humanize people in the team. Especially going into situations like a recession. Otherwise, SDRs can get into a slump where they feel people have traits they could never possess.” 


“It’s about sharing how you got there. Not all superheroes were born with it. They acquired their skills and nurtured them over time. It’s the same in sales.”


Shabri shares the three components developing this mindset:

  • Self-belief. “I can do well.” 
  • Product belief. “My product is really solving pain points in this market.”
  • Preparation. “How prepared am I every day?” 


Chris ranks having self-belief as the most important superpower an SDR can develop. 


He says:


“In sales, we’re often our biggest critic rather than our biggest fan. And it’s one of the main reasons burnout occurs. We don’t give ourselves enough recognition.”  

Weekly wins 

Highlighting the positives is important because being critical is something that comes naturally.


Chris explains that you have to be intentional and be your own biggest fan. And no, it’s not about blowing your own trumpet 🎺


He says:


“One thing I always do every week on a Friday is my weekly wins. This is 10 or 15 minutes of looking at what I’ve done well this week.”


“The weekly wins are from both a personal and professional perspective. It might be that I’ve created X number of opportunities this week. Or that one of my prospects has converted into a customer, or just that I’ve managed to get out for a walk three times. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean you’re going to take your foot off the gas.”

Sales motivation and energy management 

A common question Chris gets asked is how he stays motivated. The answer is you don’t. 


“You can’t just wake up motivated - you’ve been asleep for 8 hours.” 


Chris says that aspiration and inspiration should come before motivation for sales professionals.  


He breaks it down like this:

  • Aspiration - This is like the mountain top of where you want to be. 
  • Inspiration - This is like the footpath of how you can get there.
  • Motivation - This is why you’re climbing the mountain in the first place. 


Watch the clip below to hear more about the right mental attitude for salespeople 🎬



“If you don’t have that aspiration and inspiration, that’s why some days you won’t feel motivated.” 


“Because who’s motivated to go and call fifty strangers if you’re not thinking about what it’s going to get you? No one.”


Writing a list of what you can and can’t influence is another important one for Chris. This is all part of energy management. He explains:


“As soon as you accept a wall is a wall, you won’t keep spending time trying to push it over. Time is money, but also time is energy.”


“It’s all about where you invest it every day that matters.”


Think of your energy like currency. You always want to have some in reserve. This becomes essential as SDRs progress in their career to be account executives (AEs). That’s because you need to spend your time wisely when you’re closing deals. 

Looking beyond just the money

As we enter times of economic uncertainty, people are starting to look beyond just the money in sales.


Chris says:


“There’s almost this two-way exchange of what they can get from being at the business. It’s all about maximizing your experience.”


There’s a definite shift in money being the key driver for SDRs. The phrase “money can’t buy happiness” rings true.

Building lasting habits 

Habits are the tangible things we can control to achieve a goal.


You can use them in your personal life as well as in business. Habits build a positive sales mindset. Especially in revenue teams where results are front-and-center.


Chris explains:


“It’s about building lasting habits. There’s an over-reliance on goals and not enough on habits. If you’re going hit double your target this year, what do you need to change to get there?”


SDR and sales managers will play a supportive role since they want to get the most out of their team. 


The habits you implement to be a better sales performer could look like this:

  • Spending more time qualifying your potential customers. Remember, energy management. If you spend more time qualifying, you’re likely to have a lot fewer no-shows. This leads to more closed-won business.
  • Spending more time using the product. If you want to learn more about the product, you’ll need to set time aside. Even if it’s an hour a day of looking through the different features it has to offer. 
  • Carve out time to build your personal brand. We know personal branding is becoming increasingly important. Set time aside each day to post on LinkedIn. Or to engage with your prospects for relationship building.

Check out the full podcast 

Want to hear more about the right sales mindset?


Watch the full episode with Chris and Shabri.


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