Try having your sales team members write down the circumstances of their failures. You'll be surprised at the insights that emerge.
As often as experts offer counter-intuitive lessons about the amazing, life-changing results of failure, the fact of the matter is that most listeners don't really believe them.
After all, we all know people who have failed and never gotten back on the proverbial horse. Or, if they did, they still never managed to make their goal. So, while managers of sales teams give lip service to learning experiences derived from failure, that speech isn't going to help the low-earning salesperson who's on probation (or worse, fired) or even the whole team.
Still, it's understandable, but not advisable to continue to view failure this way, though the concept may take a while to relearn.
Cataloging and reflecting on failure
When salespeople document every action they take to engage prospects, they develop a rich catalog of touchpoints which they can later reference to identify behaviors or circumstances that win sales and ones that lose them.
If your team members haven't made it a habit to write down everything they’ve done so far, you will want to encourage them to spend some time retroactively reproducing their sales conversations and processes. This has to be treated like a brainstorming session, in which there are no wrong answers. You're trying to get to the heart of the matter, rather than the convenient lies people will sometimes tell themselves.
Perhaps the product debuted at the wrong time. Or the desire wasn't there: Research from CB Insights showed that around 40 percent of new businesses analyzed had failed because there was simply no demand for the product -- and that's something that not even the most skilled salespeople can create.
Perhaps certain people in key areas gave up too quickly, dragging down the whole enterprise.
Hindsight is not always 20/20 when it comes to failure. Writing things down can help you put the events in context, rather than pass blame around.
Turning the mentality around
Salespeople often work on commissions, so failure may mean an inability to pay the bills. That's why turning around people's attitude toward failure won't be easy, and at times rejection will feel like an unscalable wall.