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Build your sales strategy on a solid foundation of virtuous values.
Build your sales strategy on a solid foundation of virtuous values.

The virtues that business leaders should use to inform their sales strategy right now

SUE BARRETT explains how sales performance and management can be improved by implementing a new strategy that is driven by three key values of trustworthiness, co-operation, and gratitude.

In September 2019, I wrote an article advising of the strategies business leaders could implement immediately to improve their sales results in a challenging market.

Given the advent of COVID-19 and the many lessons learnt since, it is now important to revisit that advice while emphasising three extra virtues as guiding principles.

These virtues are trustworthiness, co-operation, and gratitude, which all underpin good business.

Many people’s perspectives and priorities have shifted in the last year beyond the mere matter of making money; they are closely examining their relationship to work, career, others, and themselves.

They are focusing on what really matters to our ongoing collective wellbeing and prosperity.

As a result, trustworthiness, co-operation, and gratitude are particularly relevant to business leaders’ interactions with them as customers – and staff.


Trustworthiness is the foundation of both business agreements and personal promises. When trustworthy people give their word, they stand by it and through their actions they keep their promises and commitments. They display consistency, constancy, and loyalty.

When a person or a business is worthy of trust, they attract abundance and create lasting success.


Co-operation means working together for the good of all. Co-operators seek common goals in service of a unified vision and combine their abilities with other team members to create something none could achieve alone.

In times of difficulty, co-operation is critical as it allows groups to share the load. Co-operative people willingly do tasks others ask of them and look for ways to be helpful, as well as asking for help when it is needed.

Particularly in times of difficulty, co- operation is critical as it allows groups to share the load. Co-operative people willingly do tasks others ask of them and look for ways to be helpful, as well as asking for help when it is needed.

This quality is the one that can turn a dream or vision into a reality and is as essential for business leaders as it is for individual staff members within a business.

As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”


Gratitude is a constant attitude and expression of thankfulness and appreciation for life as it unfolds.

Operating from a basis of gratitude allows business owners to notice the small graces and blessings that take place each day and to understand, accept, and learn freely.

Gratitude is the essence of happiness and a continual celebration of life; it makes business leaders more resilient and resourceful, improves morale, and creates stronger relationships with customers.

Applying values to sales

Taking into account these three virtues, as well as the experience of COVID-19, here are seven strategies to improve sales operations immediately:

  • Define a clear, relevant, and compelling reason for customers to buy from your business, rather than a competitor
  • Link each staff member’s role to service
  • Shift away from the attitude that sales are solely for achieving financial goals, and instead view sales as providing a solution to customers’ problems or a method to help them achieve their goals
  • Reward salespeople by removing non- sales related activities from their role
  • Automate any critical non-revenue generating activities in sales
  • Employ and develop sales people with the right character and attitude, rather than hiring purely on sales or technical experience
  • Give sales managers the freedom to be leaders and coaches rather than simply increasing their sales targets.

In implementing these steps, reviewing, and developing the existing sales strategy is essential.

Start by analysing the target market, undertaking targeted segmentation to find viable market segments, sub segments and even micro segments.

Next, audit sales processes and protocols.

When it comes to existing staff members, assess the knowledge, skills, and mindset of the sales team so they are able improve specific areas of their performance.

It’s also important to train managers and salespeople regularly, focusing on ‘bite-sized’ learning – easy to understand, simple, and short – that is relevant and has clear applications to everyday situations.

Instead of falling into the old trap of relying on a ‘point solution’ – the panacea that promises to fix everything and sounds too good to be true, because it is – take a more holistic approach to managing your sales team.


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Sue Barrett

Contributor • Barrett

Sue Barrett is founder and CEO of innovative and forward-thinking sales advisory and education firm Barrett and online sales education platform Learn more:

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