Bristol ended a run of four successive Premiership defeats as they continued Sale's away-day blues with a 32-15 win at Ashton Gate on Friday.
The Sharks have not claimed a league win on the road this season and Bristol extended that sequence following three first-half tries.
Full-back Luke Morahan claimed a double, while hooker Will Capon also crossed, with Bristol posting two of their scores while England international flanker Tom Curry was in the sin bin for Sale.
Fly-half Callum Sheedy kicked two penalties and three conversions, before substitute scrum-half Andy Uren added a bonus-point try during the closing seconds.
Sale could not build on a solid first 40 minutes when hooker Ewan Ashman and centre Robert Du Preez scored tries, failing to register a point in the second period.
"We focus on our performance because we knew that everyone was telling us we've got to win, and we know we've got to win. But I said that I'm not interested in that, our interest is in our performance, a true Bears performance," Bristol coach Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol.
"You highlighted the last two weeks against Leicester and Exeter, we did a lot of good things but little things were costing us again. That's been the real focus.
"We talked about the group, we were backed in a corner - we can't just keep losing games and saying we'll come back. I asked the boys at the start of the week, 'what does a bear do when it's backed in a corner?' and the boys said stand up and stand up and fight.
"Then we talked about what does that look like through the training week, what does that look like on the field and they delivered it. Obviously we can be better than what was there but it's a start and now we build on that."
Victory lifts Bristol up to 11th just three points behind Sale, who remain 10th.