Safety Psychology: How sales team can improve its performance


Our world is complex, and it’s changing fast. In today’s buying and selling ecosystem, we are called to see opportunities for creativity and innovation, watch out for threats, draw on different capabilities & expertise to solve marketing and sales complex challenges, and make rapid decisions with many trade-offs. Well, this isn’t an easy job if you don’t continually evolve your sales skill-set to tackle these challenges and complex problems. This is why a salesperson that is open to learning has the potential to be so powerful. A salesperson that is enthusiastic about learning new tact can make real breakthroughs because he/she has the potential to adapt to the world around them, better and faster than those who are not.

What is psychological safety?

Harvard’s Amy Edmondson coined the term “Safety Psychology” in a journal exploring its relationship to team learning and performance.

Think of the teams you worked with that were high-performing and enjoyable. Now think of the teams that weren’t. At some point in our life, we’ve all been on a team where we may have experienced the shaming and blaming of team members for their mistakes or inability to meet sales targets. We might have even sensed an unsettling tension around voicing different opinions and a lack of desire to help each other learn and grow. We’d probably described it as an environment where we didn’t feel comfortable showing up as our full selves. We might have felt the need to censor our ways to avoid backlash.

On the other hand, the most effective sales team are known for their collaborative work and learn structure, building on each other’s strengths and offsetting each other’s weaknesses. And to do that well, sales teams need “Safety Psychology”.

When we feel psychologically safe with our customers, line managers or team members, we are willing to be creative about achieving sales targets.

Digging Deep

It is well researched that safety psychology is an important driver of sales performance. Yet, research has also found that probably less than a third of any sales team experience safety psychology. Imagine the benefits if we doubled or tripled that number. Research suggests that doubling safety psychology would not only increase productivity but would also reduce safety incidents and turnover, thereby helping to save money and improve employee well-being.

See Research here > https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/psychological-safety-and-the-critical-role-of-leadership-development

The above facts are also true in environments like manufacturing and mining, where recognizing and addressing mistakes have a direct impact on physical safety. More broadly, in psychologically safe environments, sales executives perform better, and they’re more satisfied with their jobs.

Would you like to work on a team where you feel most comfortable, competent, creative, risk-taking, mistake-making self? It’s within your power to help make this happen.

In conclusion

When we feel psychologically safe with our customers or line managers, we are willing to be creative around achieving sales targets, we take risks and bring our authentic selves to work, knowing that expressing ideas on how to close the next deal and concerns are welcomed. We aren’t afraid to admit mistakes and learn from them, and believe we’re valuable team members, even when we ask for help.

No matter the role you play on a team, you have an opportunity to create a psychologically safe environment. And in doing so, you can help your team be greater than the sum of its parts.

Do you need a deeper understanding of how to initiate safety psychology for yourself or your sales team? Click here > https://bit.ly/TDI-global-sales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *