What are your sales values?

What are your sales values?

How about Mindfulness, Compassion, Competition and Joy?

These are the four core values upon which Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has built the team that has achieved great success over the past decade, including winning four NBA championships.

His teams are known for playing a brand of basketball that is remarkable for its teamwork, selflessness, ruthless efficiency and flat out exuberance.

The temptation is to chalk this success up to the collective talent of the players. However, Kerr and his players believe that their team's success, and compulsively watchable style of play, is largely a factor of the degree to which they all have embraced and bought into the culture defined by Kerr's four core values: mindfulness, compassion, competition and joy.

Have you thought about how you could incorporate these values into your sales culture to improve your results? It would be quite a change from the traditional sales rep focused, "what have you done for me lately" sales cultures favored by many sales managers.

Let’s take a quick look at how Kerr’s four values apply to selling and sales management.

Mindfulness. It’s about being present for your customer. It’s about eliminating distractions and being completely focused on helping your customers achieve the things that are most important to them. It’s also about being mindful of your obligations to invest in the continuous learning required to improve your own personal and professional skills in order to increase the value you can deliver to your buyers.

Compassion. Compassion starts with empathy for your customers. This is the ability to put yourself in their shoes and examine their questions, problems and goals from their point of view. It also requires that you have empathy for your colleagues. What are they struggling with and how could they use your help? How can you help them meet their goals?

Competition. Selling is all about competition. First, you have to love battling tooth and nail with competitors (and inertia) for the right to serve your customers. Also, in many ways, sales is a competition against yourself. For most people, selling is not a natural act. Therefore, every day you have to compete against your instincts, as well as the fears that cause you to shrink from doing the hard, but necessary, things like picking up the phone and calling a prospect.

Joy. Joy is fun. Actually it’s one step above fun. Joy is what you experience when you are in total command of your process, your products and your customers. Joy is the pleasure that comes from the confidence, competence and purpose you display in how you help your buyers.

It’s up to sales managers to cultivate these values in their team. It starts with modeling these behaviors with your salespeople. Are you completely mindful and distraction free when you meet with a sales rep? Have you invested the time to really understand the individuals on your team and the things that are most important to them, in terms of their goals and aspirations? And, do you give your people the freedom to express themselves, to let them decide how to utilize their skills to best serve your customers?

As Steve Kerr said, "A lot of teams have talent, and obviously we have great talent. But when that talent is committed to the greater good and to each other and they actually genuinely care about each other and enjoy each other, that takes you over the top."