The 6 Stages of Growth in Your Sales Team

6 stages of growth

Boosting your sales team’s growth, it is not always easy and most of the times you have to help your team to deal with different kind of difficult situations. Delivering bad news is undoubedly one of the heaviest part of leadership. 

For example, I once had to tell an employee that their body odor was becoming an issue at work. Oh, and it was my first management job ever. I was about 3 months in as a manager. And… I am a man having to share this with a woman. Yes, this is 100% true, its a vivid memory.

As sales leaders, we often find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having to deliver bad news. It’s a challenging task that not only affects us emotionally, but also has a profound impact on the individuals receiving the news. And the rest of the sales team.

Therefore, it’s important for us to acknowledge and empathize with what people may be going through during these difficult moments. Just as grief has its stages, so it does the process of growth within sales teams. We call them the “6 Stages of Growth.”

These stages may not occur in a linear way, and they can vary from person to person. We offer this to you simply to help  you and your sales team encourage a growth mindset. 


During the early stages of facing a challenging situation, it is not uncommon for individuals to resist accepting the reality before them. This initial response can manifest as statements like, “that’s definitely not me” or “I’m just going to pretend I didn’t hear that.” 

It is essential to guide your team members through this stage with empathy and support. You should also encourage them to embrace the truth. Here are some pieces of advice to help individuals move past denial and towards personal growth:

  1. Acknowledge this may be uncomfortable 
  2. Remind them you want to establish a safe and supportive environment
  3. Encourage honest self-reflection and ask for their opinion
  4. Provide constructive feedback
  5. Share success stories
  6. Foster a growth mindset


Anger is a powerful and intense emotion that can overwhelm even the most composed individuals. When faced with criticism or challenging situations, it is common for individuals to feel a sense of injustice, questioning how anyone could say such things to them. And they will often lash out at the person giving them the information.  

Thoughts like, “how could they say that to me?!” or “why am I even here, I’m just wasting my time!” may consume their minds.

As a sales leader, it is crucial to help individuals channel their anger in a productive way. Click To Tweet

Thus, we should mentally prepare ourselves ahead of time. Even 15 seconds of a deep breath or two can help. Using a soft voice, and making a conscious effort to reduce any tone of judgement is helpful. 

By providing guidance and support, you can help individuals navigate their anger and transform it into a force for positive change. Encourage them to embrace self-control, seek understanding, and channel their emotions towards personal growth and success. 


The third stage of a challenging situation is a crucial time for individuals to seek reconciliation and find a way forward. During this stage, individuals can feel a sense of desperation and they will look for solutions to avoid negative consequences. 

Usually, people find themselves making promises or offering compromises in the hopes of rectifying the situation. Sales leaders should guide individuals through this stage with confidence and provide them with valuable advice. 

Encourage them to:

  • reflect,
  • take accountability,
  • communicate effectively,
  • set realistic expectations,
  • foster a learning mindset,
  • maintain professionalism, and
  • rely on your support as their sales leader. 


The stage where deep emotions can lead to feelings of helplessness and despair is undoubtedly challenging. Help individuals overcome these emotions and build a strong sense of self-worth. 

This is where telling someone at the beginning you are want to create a safe space gives them the moment to think things through. It also gives us a moment to:

  • validate their emotions,
  • reframe negative thoughts,
  • focus on past achievements,
  • promote a supportive network,
  • emphasize resilience, and
  • remind them to practice self-care. 


Now, we are reaching the fifth stage where individuals begin to come to terms with a situation is a pivotal moment in their journey. It’s essential to guide individuals in embracing acceptance and extracting valuable lessons from their experiences. 

Encourage reflection, emphasize self-compassion, celebrate progress, foster a growth mindset, encourage gratitude, set new goals, offer support and accountability, and promote continued learning. 

By doing so, individuals can transform setbacks into stepping stones and pave the way for future success in their sales journey.


Growth is a stage of reflection and introspection. It is a crucial moment for individuals to evaluate their actions and make meaningful changes. Guide individuals to embrace reflection and introspection as catalysts for growth and transformation. 

Encourage self-discovery, action-oriented thinking, a learning mindset, SMART goal setting, resilience, seeking feedback, fostering accountability, and celebrating progress. Click To Tweet

As we work towards accountability we need to remind ourselves it is one thing for someone to agree, it’s another thing for them to be accountable. Acctually, accountability is the final piece towards growth. If someone does not execute then growth is less likely to happen.

When discussing this, again take a moment to calm oneself, breathe, and work towards using a non-accusatory tone. We often suggest it’s a soft voice, slightly louder than a whisper, and quieter than a normal conversation. By understanding these 6 Stages of Growth, we can better support our sales teams during times of difficulty.

It’s crucial to give them the space and time they need to navigate through these stages. Then, allow them to emerge stronger and more resilient. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to guide them along this journey and foster an environment that encourages growth and development.

For deeper insights and comprehensive knowledge, I invite you to check our 4 Week N.E.A.T. Selling™ Sales Training & Reinforcement Program, where we can help with customer focus. 

Or simply book a time to chat here. We’ll help you transform your approach to customer engagement and fuel your journey towards exponential growth.

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