How a Growth Mindset can Help Sales Teams Navigate this Pandemic

As the director of sales at Blueground, a global real estate tech company, and over 10 years spent in the technology space, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with thousands of sales professionals across all levels. From having hired close to 100 skilled account executives along the way, what I’ve noticed is that top sellers understand common themes and consistently draw upon those behaviors in the development of winning sales ecosystems.

The pandemic serves as an unprecedented time of disruption, uncertainty and change, which offers salespeople an opportunity to reach the end of the pandemic better off than when it started. I want to share the mindset that helped me personally become a multiyear top seller and build quota-crushing sales teams. 

Now more than ever, it’s important to find your “true north” and hone in on it to ensure success in the next five to 10 years of your career. 


Growth Mindset No. 1: Be Present (and Patient)

We often get caught up in trying to grow and anticipate “what’s next” but that often comes at the expense of executing on “what’s now.”

The best moments of my career have been working with my team while focusing on the present. The time flew by and I didn’t truly understand what my team and I had accomplished until milestones were achieved. As a sales leader, having an innovative mindset that is able to identify and execute in the moment is key. Being present, understanding the gaps, and providing solutions is critical to success. 

Think efficiency. Move efficiently but be patient throughout.

I’ve been very intentional with my actions to execute on this principle by setting goals for myself and then developing systems around how to achieve those goals. Sure, it’s great to get 100 output activities a day, but if it’s executed in a way that’s sloppy and unfocused, your conversions will suffer and your input will feel purposeless. 

Instead, develop goals that are simple, attainable, and measurable; we want to be able to look back and measure our growth. I recommend starting with one or two goals to allow more focus initially and then scaling from there. 

Along the way, you are bound to make mistakes. Mistakes happen to everyone. I’ve noticed that some salespeople can be really hard on themselves and carry their mistakes on them like a heavy backpack. In these moments, it’s important to remember that the world is forward moving. People forget mistakes quickly and so should you. Learn from them, never repeat them, and move on. Dwelling on mistakes can be the difference between overachieving and underachieving.


Growth Mindset No. 2: Caring and Empathy

The best sales leaders are those who create a healthy operating environment in which the team is connected. This fosters the conditions for people to work together to win when they aren’t constantly competing with one another. Each person should compete to be a better version of themselves. 

For example, at Blueground, we pay attention to how the team handles existing business and renewals apart from new deals. With that said, we don’t reroute the re-engaged opportunity to a new seller. We constantly encourage sellers to assign the leads accordingly so they would be able to receive leads from their past guests in the future. We’re building an environment of sharing.

The best salespeople I’ve worked with have the ability to assess and understand situations with  stakeholders as the focal and vantage point. From this perspective, our clients, managers and companies become the focus instead of ourselves, and this in turn helps us become more successful, authentic leaders.

Some of the biggest areas in which salespeople struggle is during product demonstrations. Rather than solely focusing on the features and offerings of your product, address how your product fills a void or offers a potential solution. Act as a doctor; understand the pain points and prescribe a solution based on the facts. Don’t over-complicate things or try to sound smart to your customers. Be you. Be genuine. There’s a principle called Occam’s Razor where simpler explanations are more likely to be true than complicated ones. 

Keep it simple. If what you’re offering isn’t the best fit for your customer, be transparent, move on. 


Growth Mindset No. 3: See the Big Picture

The best salespeople think beyond the daily goals and quarterly numbers. Startups are a great example of this outlook. They specifically define their long-term vision, like Blueground’s, to “make people feel at home wherever they choose to live.” Are you solving a real need? Are you passionate about the field you’re in? Is there a product-market fit? Do you care enough to want to improve? Be real with yourself but be adaptable and willing to learn. Often when you’re not afraid to fail, you free yourself to dedicate to an idea or lead and try your hardest.

We all have our struggles and we all experience difficult times, neither of which are in short supply given the present pandemic. Challenge yourself to be cheerful throughout it all. With many of us working remotely, this time in isolation is also an opportunity to double down on your strengths while improving on your weaknesses. No matter what, continue to water the grass you’re on. 

Sales is a marathon, not a sprint. Think about when you were in high school or college and how we were always comparing ourselves to others and measuring our achievements against them. How do you feel about those comparisons now? Most likely, they seem trivial and you laugh at yourself for caring so deeply about those in the moment. You’ll feel the same about your career when you reflect back on moments you hadn’t won the sales representative of the month or you had messed up a great sales opportunity. Trust me.

The pandemic is a time for sales professionals to improve from within by being reactionary in the present, showing care and empathy for teammates and clients and never losing sight of the big picture.

Joshua Hezghia headshot

About Josh Hezghia

Joshua Hezghia is the head of sales at Blueground, overseeing the U.S. markets and responsible for the highest revenue producing team. Prior to Blueground, Hezghia worked at Yext, Amazon and Yotpo. His career has been built on combining unparalleled work ethic with solving complex business problems using technology. Hezghia’s goal is to share the lessons learned along the way to groom and inspire the future generation of successful sales professionals. 

About Blueground

Blueground is a real estate tech company that wants to make people feel at home wherever they choose to live. The company offers beautifully furnished and thoughtfully equipped apartments for a month, a year, or even longer that are designed to help people simply show up and start living. Motivated by its mission to create a tech powered living experience that guests love, homed in an organization where great people are proud to work, Blueground has grown quickly, surpassing 3,500 apartments in twelve cities; New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Dubai, Istanbul, Paris, London and Athens. Blueground plans to have a presence in 50 cities around the world and a portfolio of more than 50,000 apartments.

  • Originally published November 12, 2020