5 Mental Shifts Every B2B Sales Leader Needs to Make

14 min read
Feb 8, 2022

When it comes to B2B sales success, small changes make the biggest difference in results.  If you feel like you're pounding the pavement everyday and not getting where you want to get, odds are that you just need to make a small shift or two to turn the tide!

More specifically, mental shifts in the way that you think.  Because, at the end of the day, sales success comes from actions you take that are first conceived in your mind.

The hard truth is that you probably don’t need to revamp your entire sales technique toolbox or uproot your cold call process… Rather, you need to make small mental shifts that'll set off a chain reaction to create the kind of results you deserve!

That being said, to help put you over the edge of success, we're sharing 5 mental shifts that every sales leader needs to make to become the best version of themself.

Unless you make these mental shifts, you'll likely end up:

  1. Feeling like you're jumping through hoops
  2. Spinning your wheels but going nowhere
  3. Tired and frustrated (to say the least)

Remember, the longest strides that put you over the edge come from small changes in the way that you think.  Could one of these 5 mental shifts be the game-changer for you?

 

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1. ‘Goals Are Most Important’ to ‘The Vision Is Most Important’

 

Goal setting.  Goal setting.  Goal setting.

When you consider how often people talk about the importance of setting goals these days, it makes sense why most people see it as the most important piece of the success puzzle.

However, we're here to tell you that, while setting sales goals is important, it isn't the most important piece of the puzzle.  And on top of that, believing that achieving goals is most important ultimately sets you up to fail!

If you're like most salespeople, this probably comes as a major shock.  Again, goal setting is made out to be this magical unicorn of a strategy that will literally cannonpult anyone to success.  But, that simply isn't true!

The thing is, we're not saying that you shouldn't set goals.  Rather what we are saying is that placing goals at the center of your business and sales plan will not only set you up to fail, but leave you feeling completely unsatisfied.

Here's why:

 

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The Vision Is Everything

 

The reason why an entrepreneur starts a business in the first place is to manifest a vision.  They have a vision for making an impact on the world by solving a specific problem, and they set out to solve it by starting a business.

At the end of the day, that clarity of that ultimate vision is the most important piece of your business AND sales success puzzle!

Why?

Because, the vision embodies the big picture perspective you have to make a difference in the world.  The way that you make that vision come to life is by creating a business through selling your specific product or service!

Moreover, a vision is a manifestation of a better world that you're trying to create, and the way that you manifest it is by selling your deliverable.

Having a clear vision is the first and most important piece of your business and sales puzzle because it lays the foundation for your entire sales approach.  

Without a clear vision for the world you want to create through selling your deliverable, you're setting yourself up for a downfall.

 

Sales Goals Are a Means to the End

 

Once you get clear on what your vision is, you need to figure out how you're going to manifest it.  And like we already mentioned, the way to bring any business vision to life is through selling a product or service!

So, how do you come up with a solid selling game plan?

Simple... You must:

  1. Develop a great B2B sales strategy
  2. Set and achieve sales goals that will fulfill the strategy

Think of a sales strategy like your plan of attack.  It outlines the methods that will bring your vision to life.  It creates a blueprint outline for manifesting the vision!

Once you've got your strategy, you need to set goals to fulfill the strategy.  Achieving goals is like checking boxes in which, when checked, accumulate to accomplish the blueprint outlined in your strategy.

From now on, think of goals as sales tools that are a means to bringing your strategy and ultimately vision to life.  That's it!  They’re the means to the end.

 

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2. ‘Performance = Productivity’ to ‘Performance = Results’

 

How many times when you ask someone how they're doing do they immediately respond with 'busy!'?

These days, saying that you're busy is like having a badge of honor.  The fact that you're productive means that you're a high-performing individual.

However, despite the productivity badge of honor, the hard truth is that being busy or productive doesn't mean that you're a high-performer.  You can spend all day at your desk doing work and accomplish absolutely nothing.

In reality, performance doesn't come down to productivity.  Rather, it comes down to the results you produce!

You can spend all the time in the world being busy and still never produce any results.  On the other hand, you can use your time wisely to smash all of your goals and bring your vision to life.

From now on, measure your business-to-business sales performance on how well you produce your desired results, rather than how productive you feel you're being.

 

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Are You Even Being Productive?

 

Here's the thing: Not only should you not base your performance on how productive you are, but you should also ask yourself whether or not you're being productive or you're just busy.

The difference between being productive and being busy is that when you're productive, you're using time efficiently to achieve goals that will bring your conclusion to life.  It's about putting your energy into the right channels!

On the other hand, being busy just means that you're using up time.  During that time, you may or may not be putting your energy into the right channels!

Oftentimes, it's difficult to distinguish between being productive and being busy, because in both cases you feel that your energy expenditure is high.  

That being said, instead of coming from a feelings perspective, you need to come from a logical perspective by taking a step back to assess whether or not you're using time and energy wisely.

From now on, make it a point to step back and assess if you’re being productive or are just busy.  By doing so, you'll ultimately get the most bang for your buck (AKA product the most results for your energy expenditure).

 

Productivity Means Nothing Without Results

 

So... You've determined that you're not just being busy, but that you're being productive... Great!

The next step is to shift your mindset from being productivity-oriented to being results-oriented.  

By results-oriented, we mean that you need to assess your performance on whether or not you're checking the boxes that fulfill your sales strategy to bring your conclusion to life!

At the end of the day, a B2B salesperson's job is to, well, make sales.  And without making any sales, a vision can’t manifest.

Therefore, the overall performance of a business comes down to its sales performance.

 

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3. 'Knowledge Is Power’ to ‘Consistency Is Power’

 

Business and sales information is more abundantly available today than ever before.  There once was a time that you needed to get a college degree to learn the in's and out's, but that is no longer true.

Here's the thing, though: While business and sales information is more abundantly available in real-time than ever before, that doesn't necessarily mean that business and sales pros are performing better than ever.

Moreover, the availability of information alone doesn't automatically mean that people are better off!

Why?

Because, knowledge means absolutely nothing without consistent application.  And unfortunately, most salespeople aren’t consistent.

You might be extremely knowledgeable about sales, but unless you consistently apply knowledge to everyday sales scenarios, then it means nothing.

For example, you might already be fully aware that the most important factor to business and sales success is thinking the right thoughts (AKA having the right mindset).  However, applying that principle to your life only once or twice will get you absolutely nowhere.

 

You Probably Already Have All the Knowledge You Need

 

You probably already have all the knowledge you need to be successful.  Seriously, if you're reading this, you are more than intelligent enough to achieve the things you want to achieve!

That being said, if you're reading this and not getting the results you desire, one of the most likely reasons why is because you are inconsistent.

For example, you might be completely aware of the principles it takes to be successful with cold outreach during lead generation... BUT, you're likely not being consistent with your application of those principles.  Hence, why you don’t get the results you want.

The good news is that attaining knowledge is the challenging part.  Therefore, if you've already got all the knowledge you need, then all that's left is the simple, straightforward part... consistency!

Bottom line: Knowledge without consistency is meaningless.

 

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Knowledge Is Nothing Without Knowing What to Do With It

 

So... Maybe you've taken a step back and determined that you do have knowledge and are consistent, yet still not producing desired results.

What gives?

If you are consistent yet still not manifesting results, then odds are that you don't understand how to effectively apply your knowledge.  

It's not that you aren't knowledgeable or don't consistently apply knowledge, it's that you're putting your intelligence and effort into the wrong channels.

Resonate with you at all...?  If so, the single-most effective way to turn the tides is to invest in sales enablement for you and your sales team through a top-tier sales training program.

And, NO, we're not referring to your basic, run-of-the-mill, pre-recorded, training program that spews the same-old tactics over and over again.  

Instead, we're talking about a complete B2B selling program taught by an industry insider with a proven track record of producing results.  These kinds of programs are focused less on equipping you with more knowledge that you probably already know, and more focused on empowering you to apply that knowledge to the right channels!

Think of it like this: If everyone who picked up a sales book or took a basic sales course was successful, there would be a lot more successful salespeople in the world today.

Consistently apply your knowledge to the right channels to become golden.

 

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4. ‘I've Got the Answers’ to ‘I Need to Ask More Questions’

 

Serious question: Do you really believe that successful sales representatives and business owners have an answer to every problem they encounter?

In short: They don't have all the answers. Regardless of what you might see on social media or read about in books, the most successful people don't know everything there is to know.

And, not only do they not have all the answers, but not having all the answers plays to their advantage!

When you know that you don't have all the answers, then you're more likely to ask questions throughout the B2B sales cycle that bring you closer to manifesting your vision.

Remember, at the end of the day, the most successful sales leaders are the ones who most effectively serve their customers.  And, the way that you most effectively serve is by understanding what they want.  

It's about understanding what their pain points are and how they want them solved.  It's about fulfilling them, so that they get closer to manifesting their own business visions.

With that in mind, the best way to figure out both what customers want and how they want it is to stop thinking you know it all and to start asking more questions.

 

No Sales Rep Ever Has All the Answers

 

It doesn't matter what you think… There isn't a single sales leader out there who has all the answers regarding their B2B leads!

Instead of thinking that they have all the answers, leaders focus on asking questions throughout the selling process.  That way, they gather as much information as possible about their potential customers.

During the process, commit yourself to gathering more information.  You need to start thinking about the selling process as simply an opportunity to learn about potential clients... That's it!

Commit yourself to becoming a continuous learner to get to where you want to be.

 

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Step Into Your B2B Customer’s Shoes

 

On top of asking questions, you need to gather an additional layer of information on your B2B buyers... The way that you do that is by stepping into their shoes to see life from their perspective.

One of the most powerful life skills you can have is knowing how to see the world from somebody else’s perspective to understand what they want.  More specifically, stepping into their shoes to understand how they make purchasing decisions.

You see... One major mistake that almost every sales rep makes is believing that prospects think the same way as they do.  As a result, their sales approach is based on what they want instead of what prospects want.

Therefore, make it a point to understand the mindset of other B2B companies and how they make buying decisions.  More specifically, understand the mindset and perspective of the top stakeholders at your B2B lead companies!

By top stakeholders, we mean the people who have the final decision-making authority.  It's these decision-makers who you want to make a touchpoint of contact with right off the bat.  The sooner you step into their shoes, the better off you are.

 

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5. ‘Complexity Is Key’ to ‘Simplicity Is Key’

 

Would you believe me if I told you that most of the problems that sales professionals face on a regular basis are self-inflicted?  Also, would you believe me if I told you that the key reason why sales pros fail to close deals is because of those self-inflicted problems?

While you can run from the truth, you can't hide from the truth, nor should you want to if you desire to achieve business and sales success!

That being said, sales pros most commonly cause their own problems and ultimate demise because they overcomplicate the heck out of their sales processes!  In their minds, complex processes are not only effective, but necessary.

Where does this terrible idea that complexity is key to success come from?

Believe it or not, but the idea is perpetuated by a few key sources, including the modern day education system.

In reality, not only are complex processes completely ineffective, but they are also completely unnecessary and create literal breeding ground for problems to arise from.

The real truth is that, the more simple your processes are, the better they are.  The fewer steps and hoops to jump through, the more victorious you will be in the end!

 

Complexity Creates More Problems Than It Solves

 

What makes complexity so detrimental to success?

Think of it like this: Let's say that you want to bake an amazing cake for a surprise birthday party because you have this vision of yourself walking in with the cake and your friend being shocked.  To bake the cake, you have two potential methods to follow... The first method is using a pre-made, boxed cake batter and buying candles from the store, while the second method is making the exact same cake from scratch and creating homemade candles.  Now, if you want to manifest that vision with fewer odds of messing up, which method would you choose?

Of course, you would choose the first method!  Why? Obviously because by going in that direction, you’re significantly less likely to run into problems and mess the whole thing up.

On the other hand, you're more likely to make a mistake with the cake batter by going the homemade route, and there's no guarantee that the candles will turn out well.

Now, would you believe it if I said that, when it comes to sales, most sales pros almost always choose the most complicated methods possible to bring their vision to life?  

If you think of the cake-baking scenario like sales, that means most professionals go the complex route thinking that it'll be better that way.  Unfortunately though, they’re almost always proven wrong.

Bottom line: By going the complex route, you inevitably inflect problems on yourself.  From now on, don't shoot yourself in the foot by following complex methods!

 

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Complex B2B Sales Processes = Bad B2B Sales Processes

 

B2B sales processes are also known as sales cycles or sales pipelines.  In short: The more complicated and longer sales cycles are, the worse they are! 

Not only because they create a breeding ground for problems to arise from, but because they create a terrible sales funnel or buying process for your potential customers to experience.

The hard truth is that the longer and more complex the buying process is for your customers, the less they enjoy it.  The less they enjoy the process, the lower the odds that they want to buy from you.

For example, if you were your prospect, would you want sales pitches to be easy and straightforward, or take up more time than necessary and confuse you to death?  Of course, the answer is obvious!

Therefore, always aim to keep your sales cycle short, sweet, and simple so that you don't put your qualified leads through misery.  Because if they're having a miserable time, what makes you think they will want to buy from you?

If you're coming from a business-to-consumer sales background and are used to shorter sales cycles, then this plays to your advantage!  Unlike in B2B sales, sales cycles are usually much shorter in B2C sales, so coming from that background can play to your advantage!

 

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Final Thoughts on Mental Shifts for Ultimate B2B Sales Success

 

No, you don't need a totally new B2B marketing strategy or sales team.  Instead, you need to make small mental shifts that'll put you over the edge of sales success.

Remember, big results often come from small adjustments that make a major difference in outcomes.  

More specifically, small shifts in the way that you think lead you to take the right actions that get you the results you want!

Win more deals. Grow your business.

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