Overthinking never makes ANYTHING better, yet we do it all the time. And if you’re in sales, overthinking the B2B sales strategy is like asking for all of sales to explode on itself!
Because... The sales strategy is the foundational element of all things sales, and overthinking is nothing but a troublemaker! Therefore, if you overthink the strategy, you're inevitably creating a shaky foundation for your entire sales department.
And, a shaky foundation sets off an entire cascade of other sales-related issues!
To help you combat overthinking, we are sharing 5 telltale signs that you are overthinking your B2B sales strategy.
Not only that, but we're also sharing methods to help combat overthinking to get back on a great sales track!
If one or more of these signs resonate with you in the least bit, then it's a good sign that you're overthinking and need to get your mind right before moving forward.
That way, you're not setting yourself up for inevitable sales failure!
The good news in all of this is that... You have 100% potential to perfect your sales strategy. No outside force can hold you back, as long as you choose not to let it.
Now, what are you waiting for? Your sales potential rests in your hands alone!
1. You can’t tell me what your strategy is in 30 seconds or less
Straight-up... If I ask you what your business-to-business sales strategy is and you can't give me a summary of it in 30 seconds or less, then you’re likely overthinking it.
When you develop an unnecessarily long strategy thanks to overthinking, there is one particularly bad consequence… and that is developing an exceedingly long B2B sales process!
Why does this happen?
Remember, the sales strategy is the foundation of the sales process. Therefore, if your strategy is long and drawn out, then so will your process. And, having an elongated sales process is like asking for major trouble!
Here is something very important to keep in mind in sales and life in general: People have extremely short attention spans, including your potential customers.
So if you have a long sales strategy, you will also have a long sales process. And if you put your B2B buyers through a lengthy process, they will be off in la la land.
In the end, you will have wasted your time because their attention will be on anything but you!
Bottom line: If it takes you more than 30 seconds to explain your strategy because it is too long, then you are overthinking. A lengthy strategy leads to a lengthy process, and a lengthy process makes potential buyers slam the door on your face!
The shorter & sweeter, the better!
You probably already get the gist! The shorter and sweeter your strategy is, the better! Because, the shorter and sweeter it is, the greater the odds that your process (AKA sales funnel, sales pipeline, sales cycle) is also short and sweet.
And there is probably nothing better to a prospective customer than a process that is short and to the point!
Instead of overthinking, but yourself in your prospect's shoes... If you were them, would you want to go through a 3 month process that could have been cut down to 1 month?
Don’t forget what sales is about: solving pain points
Like we mentioned above, overthinking never made sales better or more effective.
Therefore, instead of putting together a long strategy thanks to overthinking, cut to the chase and remember what sales is all about... solving target customer's problems. AKA, solving their pain points!
Your strategy should be centered on problem solving, and problem-solving doesn't need to take forever. In fact, the longer it takes to solve a problem, the less-effective the solution often is.
So, instead of overthinking, remind yourself that sales is a simple matter of fulfilling your customer's needs by solving a particular problem... That's it, and that’s what your strategy should be about.
2. You think the strategy isn’t about what YOU want
How many times has somebody told you, 'business isn't about you', or 'sales it all about the customers'?
If you're like most salespeople, then you probably hear statements like that on a regular basis.
But, here's the thing... If you think that sales and the strategy isn't about making YOU happy or about giving you what YOU want, then you're wrong and you're overthinking things!
Here's why: B2B sales is about building relationships between you, the supplier company who provides a product or service, and the buyer company, who gives you something in return of equal value to the product or service.
Unless both parties fulfill their half of the customer relationship, then the relationship is ultimately a broken one and doomed to fail in the long run.
Therefore, if you think your strategy isn't about what YOU want as well as what your customers want, then you're overthinking sales in general.
Not only that, but you likely have that toxic line of thinking that is along the lines of being a servant to your prospects and nothing else!
Don’t get us wrong… Sales is about serving your customers. But, unless you also consider what you want when fabricating your sales strategy, then you’re forgetting that sales is also about an equal relationship between you and your customer.
When putting together the strategy, you also need to think about what you want in return for your deliverable. By doing so, you lay the grounds for an equal relationship between you and your prospect.
When the parties are equal, it makes for the most effective outcome on both sides!
Your strategy must make YOU happy
Here's a question for you: When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and waltz into a meeting with your B2B sales team, doesn't that negativity usually rub off on them?
Unless you've got an energy force field around you, then the answer is yes!
This same logic applies to strategy in sales... If you are unhappy with the strategy, then that negativity will ultimately affect your customers. And when your customers are negative, then your ability to close deals goes down the tubes.
So, stop overthinking! Sales isn't just about your customers... It's about you too!
Plain and simple.
3. Your sales team isn’t picking up the strategy fast enough
How long does it take you to explain your strategy to new members of your sales and marketing teams? One hour? One day? One week?
The longer it takes your team members to pick-up on the strategy, the more likely you are overthinking it.
To put it simply: If it takes new sales reps a considerable amount of time to not just understand but apply the strategy, then it is a sign that, as a result of your overthinking, you've made two huge mistakes:
- You’ve made the strategy way longer than necessary
- You’ve made the strategy way more complex than necessary
We already covered why having an unnecessarily long strategy is bad! But, what about a complex strategy?
In short: A complex strategy is a dead strategy. Complex strategies will literally create more problems than they will solve (more on that later!).
When it comes to educating your new sales reps, it's pretty simple... The more complex your strategy is, the harder it will be for them to grasp it. Even if they are sales superstars, it still will take more time than necessary. And as you know, time is money!
This all begs the question: What is an appropriate amount of time to get a new team member on board with the strategy?
Simple... You should be able to run through the sales strategy framework ONCE and the team member will get the gist of it. Yep, if they don't quickly understand what the game plan is, then you know you're overthinking things!
That isn't to say that they're going to be perfect sales professionals right off the bat, but it is to say that they should be able to understand the big picture sales approach right away.
Furthermore, the longer it takes your sales team to get a grip on the strategy, the more you’re overthinking it.
Shorten-up the strategy
You already know this but it’s worth mentioning again: Shorten up the dang strategy!
If you want your team to get a grip on it in less time, then this is a simple solution.
And, making it shorter doesn't mean that you need to take out the most important pieces of it. Rather, you just need to take out the junk that is either completely unnecessary or repetitive overkill.
Not only will your B2B companies despise you for having a long strategy, but so will your team members.
De-complicate the strategy
Complexity is the death of all things sales, including B2B sales strategy! Not only that, but devising a complex strategy is almost always a result of overthinking.
While we will get more into this shortly, if your sales team takes a considerable amount of time to learn the strategy, it is likely too complicated.
And when the strategy is complicated, your highly-talented sales team doesn't get the chance to put their best sales tools and skills to work.
In the end, everyone gets a kick from unnecessary complexity due to overthinking.
Bonus tip: empower with sales training
What is the difference between an educated person, and a person who is both educated AND empowered?
We will tell you: When you are educated you hold knowledge, but when you are both educated and empowered, you not only hold knowledge, but you also know how to apply that knowledge!
Unfortunately, we are currently living in a world with a lot of educated people who don't know what to do with the knowledge they have. This unfortunate circumstance inevitably seeps into the business world.
If you find yourself struggling to get your sales team members to apply their knowledge, particularly in terms of the strategy, then consider empowering them with a top-tier sales training program.
And, we're not just talking about your basic pre-recorded online program, we're talking about a live, full-scale course that doesn't just teach facts, but teaches salespeople how to apply their knowledge to all kinds of sales scenarios.
In the end, an empowering training program will improve the effectiveness of your sales strategy plus countless other benefits, including improving the customer's buyer journey, becoming sharper with decision-making, and helping get more purchasing decisions in your company's favor.
Sales training isn't just for people who need to increase the potency of their strategy. Instead, it's for everyone and anyone who wants to grow their business to new heights!
4. The strategy feels unnatural or inauthentic
When you look at your strategy, does it resonate with you?
More specifically, does it feel authentic to your company's vision?
If not, then you aren't alone! Many CEOs and salespeople develop what they at first think is an excellent strategy, only to look at it later and feel as if it doesn't reflect their company's vision.
Why does this happen?
The most common reason this happens is because CEOs and salespeople devise a strategy that is almost a carbon copy to that of their competition. As a result, it feels completely inauthentic to their own company identity.
Why do people copy what they see their competition doing?
They do it because of, well, overthinking! They think that if they want to be successful, then they need to drop the things that make them stand out to try to fit in with the rest of the field.
Moreover, overthinking backs them into a corner of fear in which they are afraid of being different.
However, that couldn't be a worse decision to make!
Creating a strategy that makes you blend in with your competition defeats the purpose of having a strategy at all. If you wanted to be just like your competitors, then you wouldn't develop a strategy at all.
Do not let overthinking back you into a corner of fear in which you believe that blending in is safer than standing out. In the end it will come back to bite you.
Focus on the unique value proposition
The focal point of your strategy should be your company's unique value proposition (UVP). The UVP is the thing that sets your company apart from its competitors. It's the thing that makes your company, well, unique!
Not only does it set you apart, but it's what you need to hone in on to make your strategy feel authentic to your company's vision and brand message.
Unless you stay true to your unique value in the strategy, then it's going to feel inauthentic to you. And if it feels inauthentic, then your message isn't going to resonate with either your qualified leads or current customers.
Remember, what makes your company unique is the thing that takes you to the next level! Don't let overthinking tell you any different.
Speak directly to your target market
With the UVP at the front of your mind, you also need to think about who your ideal B2B customers are. Those are the people who your UVP will resonate with the most.
So, the 'what' of your sales strategy should be the UVP, and the 'who' is your ideal customer base.
The strategy should speak to that group of people specifically, because they are the people who are most likely to close a deal with you.
But, if you overthink and resultantly try to blend in with your competition, your strategy won’t resonate with your target customers.
5. You believe complex strategies are better than simple ones
Do you believe that complex sales strategies are better than simple ones?
Do you believe that the more complex a strategy is, the better it is?
If so, STOP and don't go anywhere! The simple truth is that complexity, particularly in terms of a sales strategy, is the death of all things sales.
Despite that fact, far too many CEOs and salespeople let overthinking take over their minds to convince them that the more complex their strategy is, the more effective it is!
This is the point where overthinking goes from being a small demon on your shoulder to a full-blown arch nemesis.
Here is why a complex strategy is a terrible strategy: The whole purpose of a strategy is to help you make more sales in less time with fewer troubles. However, when you develop a complex strategy with countless boxes to check and hoops to jump through, you inevitably create a breeding ground for problems to grow from! Because, the more boxes there are to check, the more places there are for things to go wrong.
That being said, the point of a B2B sales strategy is to make sales easier for your company, not harder! So, don't sabotage yourself by making a complex strategy that will only end up making your life more difficult.
If overthinking has got you believing that complexity is the answer, then addressing that problematic way of thinking should be the first thing on your to-do list!
Make the strategy as simple as possible
We can't say it loud enough: The simpler your B2B sales strategy is, the better! Don't let overthinking ever convince you otherwise.
The good news is that a simpler strategy is not only a more effective one, but it makes your life much (much) easier. Because, like we said above, simplicity helps eliminate many unnecessary boxes that act as breeding grounds for problems.
So, simplifying things is a win on every front... You make more sales in less time with fewer problems and less frequent headaches!
In conclusion: Complexity is overthinking’s worst by-product!
Final Thoughts on Overthinking the B2B Sales Strategy
Did any of these signs resonate with you?
If so, then it's clear that you're overthinking your sales strategy... AKA, your strategy isn't setting you up for sales success!
While hearing that might feel like a hit, just remember that you (yes you) are the solution to overthinking. The only way you are going to get out of an overthinking mess is by choosing to get out of it and then changing your mindset for the better.
By changing your thinking, the strategy will inevitably improve AND you'll feel much better by not overthinking things.
The strategy is the foundation of sales, and you are the foundation of success. Only you can stand in your way!