November 29

How The Best Sales Managers Lead Their Sales Teams Through Change


We’ve all heard the phrase, “Change is the one constant in life.” And yet people resist change even when all the logical arguments create a clear and necessary case for it. (Think Blockbuster, Sears and Borders bookstores.) 

Today’s sales managers have to be very good at selling their sales teams on the many changes that occur in business to remain relevant.  Anyone reading this blog ever had difficulty getting their sales team to fully utilize a new CRM system? How about new prospecting approaches?  Or updated sales approach.  Change is not easy.

Sales managers, in order to sell and lead your sales team through change remember two selling principles.  The first is to sell to the real buyer – your salesperson’s reptilian brain.  This part of the brain is wired for safety and survival and it’s not logical or rational. So when a CEO or sales manager introduces logical new ideas, the reptilian brain hears and sees change, which represents danger. “No way. I’ve never done this before. This isn’t safe. I could fail. I could look stupid.”


The best way to do sell to the reptilian brain is by applying the emotional intelligence skill of empathy.  It’s the ability to state what another human being is thinking or feeling.  When you state what your salesperson is thinking or feeling, the reptilian brain stops the fight-or-flight reaction to change. “OK, maybe someone understands me. Perhaps this change isn’t going to be so bad.”

You can’t present your wonderful, logical arguments until you’ve emotionally connected with what your salesperson is thinking or feeling.

  • “I’m too old to learn this technology.”
  • “We tried this before. I’m not wasting my valuable time learning the new flavor of the month.”
  • “I’m the top rep in the company. My approach is working just fine.”
  • “This sales business is getting difficult. I’m not sure I can hit the new levels of excellence needed to continue to be successful in sales.”

Sales managers, sell and lead your sales team through change by selling to the real buyer, the reptilian brain and demonstrating empathy.  Help your sales team adapt to an ever-changing business environment. 

Good Selling!


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