Building new habits in sales is stressful and most sales leaders struggle to support their reps in this process. To help you – I’ve created a habit and behavior change framework you can follow.

Typically during 1-on-1s sales leaders may identify behavior changes in sellers they wish to see like…

  • Find more prospects.
  • Ask specific questions during discovery.
  • Send more emails.
  • Adopt a more consultative approach.
  • Prioritize certain tasks over others.

The meeting then ends with the seller walking away with one or two actions to focus on before their next meeting together.

But what usually happens?

The rep changes their behavior for 1 or 2 days and then reverts back to what they were doing before.  A recipe for conflict, frustration and stress.

Why does this happen?

As James Clear discusses in Atomic Habits, changing behavior is hard and asking a seller to find more prospects or ask specific questions during discovery are too vague, making them difficult to action.

Habit & Behavior Change Framework

The framework below allows leaders and reps to break behavior changes down into smaller steps and create an action plan.

This plan guides sellers through a step-by-step process that offers clarity and makes it significantly easier to change their behavior over time.

An easy way to create this action plan is to follow the PIPER framework:

  • P – Purpose
  • I – Identify
  • P – Practice
  • E – Execute
  • R – Review
Behavior Change: Insert behavior change.
Step 1 (P)urpose: Create a step that helps the seller or rep see the purpose behind changing their behavior.
Step 2 (I)dentify: Create a step that helps them identify the best place to insert this behavior change into their day, current process or pattern of behavior.
Step 3 (P)ractice: Create a step that encourages the rep to practice the new behavior in a safe space and build consistency.
Step 4 (E)xecute: Create a step in which the rep is executing the new behavior on a regular basis.
Step 5 (R)eview: Create a step that requires the rep to review the impact and benefit they experienced from changing behavior.


Using this framework needs to be collaborative as you work with your rep to map out the best steps to take.

Below you’ll see some examples, but don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a blank template you can download.

Scenario #1

A new rep is constantly asking closed ended questions on their discovery calls with clients and you as their leader want them to start asking 3 specific questions (x, y, z) that have been working really well for others.

Behavior Change: Ask x, y, z questions on discovery calls Complete?
Step 1 Write down three reasons why asking x, y and z will help you be more successful.

Step 2 Review your pitch to identify the best places to ask x, y and z. Add these questions to your script or pitch framework.

Step 3 Role play your new pitch with a peer so you can practice asking x, y and z. 

Step 4 On your next three discovery calls, ask x, y and z. 

Step 5 Review what new information you gathered from asking x, y, z and how it benefited you.


Scenario #2

A seller is constantly showing up to pipeline reviews without their forecasts properly updated and stagnant deals that are inflating their metrics.

Behavior Change: Show up to pipeline review calls with more accurate forecasts. Complete?
Step 1 Write down three reasons why having an accurate pipeline will make you more effective as a seller.

Step 2 Identify a set time each week when you can spend 30 minutes updating your pipeline. Block it on your calendar.

Step 3 Practice removing deals from your pipeline that do not meet the following criteria (defined next step, expected to close within 90 days, etc)

Step 4 Execute consistent pipeline updates at the defined time on your calendar outlined in Step 2.

Step 5 Review what improvements this made at our next pipeline review call and how you feel about your current pacing towards target.

Download Free Behavior Change Template

If you’re interested in trying the behavior change framework in your next 1-on-1 – download a free template by clicking on the button below.

Download Free PIPER Template

About The Author

mental health advocate Jeff Riseley

Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.

Jeff combines his sales and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.



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