Woman thinking at her desk
As a recent Aberdeen report put it, B2B selling is not for the faint of heart. And while this has always been the case, in today’s hyper-competitive environment, with more well-informed, demanding and diverse buyers than ever before, the pressure is only intensifying.

Significant changes, like a shifting buyer’s journey and the ever-expanding group of stakeholders who have a say in the decision-making process, have clearly raised the stakes. As a result, we’re hearing a lot about the structure, techniques and systems organizations need to implement to adapt to this new selling environment.

Ironically, what’s often missing from these discussions is the salespeople themselves. Are they adapting? And if they aren’t, do you know why? Do they?

While we’re busy explaining that our customers and prospects are dealing with more noise, complexity and pressure, all of which can affect their attention, focus and willingness to engage, we also need to realize our salespeople are experiencing something very similar in return.

They’re struggling to adjust to conditions and expectations that are in constant flux: what different buyers care about, where they should concentrate their time, how to deal with new competitive threats and, at the same time, how to shorten the sales cycle so they can meet aggressive targets.

Many salespeople who’ve built up highly successful track records over the course of their careers are discovering that much of what they’ve learned, developed and gotten really good at is no longer the key to success going forward. It certainly can’t feel too encouraging when you hear Forrester Research talk about why experience doesn’t matter any more.

The fact is, many new, experienced, struggling and top producing salespeople alike are dealing with a crisis of confidence to one degree or another—whether they fully realize it or not. And while sales coaching, training and other performance enablers are all helpful tactics for helping them adapt to today’s environment, none can really take hold if you don’t recognize and address what is happening at an internal level first.

An Inside-Out Approach to Sales Success

Before you get to the analytics or the tech solutions or the selling techniques or the incentive plans, you have to know what’s propelling your salespeople forward and what’s holding them back. Just as important, they have to know it, too.

Here are five simple truths that every salesperson must recognize as foundational to unlocking their own sales success, both today and tomorrow:

1. You have an inner belief boundary that defines who you are, what’s possible for you to sell and what life rewards you deserve to enjoy.
2. This boundary is based on your past perceptions, not on actual fact or truth.
3. You live out these inner beliefs without questioning their authenticity.
4. You have a strong inner need to hold on to these old beliefs and experience difficulty releasing them.
5. Your sales and life circumstances won’t significantly change until you release the need to hold on to these old beliefs and move past them to new goals.

With all the changes and challenges going on externally, many of which are outside the salesperson’s control, these inner beliefs and attitudes are powerful sales success influencers that the salesperson can control and immediately act on.

So if you want your salespeople to continually adapt and step up to new realities, make sure you’re focusing not just on what they do but on who they are.

About the Author
Mike Esterday
Mike Fisher

Master Facilitator

Mike Fisher began his 30 year career in sales as a college student, selling books door-to-door in the summers. He...

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