There are a lot of things that you can be doing wrong in sales. Common sales mistakes involve some of the following notions: Are you being too aggressive? Do you feel that you’re being overly friendly? Are you asking enough questions? Are you asking too many questions? These are all very important things to ask yourself, however, there are deeper rooted mistakes that could be affecting your sales game.
Focusing on more than just surface issues can improve your effectiveness as a salesperson. Many common sales mistakes are related to certain tendencies of salespeople. Some examples include a salesperson’s personability or the impression they make on sales prospects. More than likely, you’ve thought of these mistakes before. However, these mistakes tend to be parts of larger issues. Here are three other common sales mistakes that you might not have considered:
Not Understanding Customer Needs
A large part of sales is about getting the customer to buy into what you’re selling. This is often done by portraying the value of the product or service to the customer. Essentially, you’re selling the benefit or perceived value of the product. You are probably already aware of this idea and are already very familiar with your product’s features. Despite this, many people fail to orient themselves around their customer’s problem. Understanding these needs will allow you to better communicate value to the customer. You’ll have the advantage of personally connecting, rather than just trying to make a sale.
One way to better understand your customers’ problems is to ask questions, while taking care to really listen. Be attentive and show that you understand what’s being said. Asking questions allows you to gather important information. This is not only useful for the current sale, but also for dealing with future customers. The types of questions asked are the key. In sales, there are a lot of different questions that can be asked to engage with the customer and elicit an emotional response. The most important questions for understanding customers’ needs should be more or less related to the product or some aspect of it. Some examples can include, “What initially attracted you to the product?” As a salesperson, it can be really obvious to you. Why does the customer need or want your product? Unfortunately, sometimes this can affect your ability to sell. You maybe too focused on specific selling points that you believe have the most value. Your product might be the best thing on the market, but if you’re still finding difficulty in selling it, it’s time to reevaluate your sales approach. Taking some time to really tune into your customer’s needs can help you immensely. The questions you ask, the better you’ll become at reading your customer and providing solutions to their problems.
As you likely know, many successful businesses have a unique selling point or proposition. This is the basis on which your company is able to sell to its target market. The product's benefits and values are the essence of which you will be selling your product or brand. This can be a great way to remedy the lack of understanding your customer.Expand on your company’s unique selling point and you may be able to identify some of your customer’s needs by default.
Lack of an Organized Sales Strategy
You may have already taken note of your team or company’s strategy, but surprisingly, strategy often gets put on the back burner. This is due mainly to the distraction of focusing largely on one’s individual quotas. The interesting thing is that despite having a large focus on simply meeting significant quotas, studies have shown that only about 50% of salespeople meet their quotas. This is a pretty shocking percentage, which also begs the question - “What are they doing wrong?” Digging deeper into this, two particular details stand out the most - the importance of being well integrated into your company’s marketing team and when a sales team is highly conscious of the company strategy.
One study shows that quota achievement can increase as much as 25% when a sales team and marketing team work closely together and consider one another’s needs. Another notable statistic is that revenue can increase up to 15% when sales contribute to a company’s strategy. Take some time to really understand the direction your company is going in and make sure you’re communicating with other departments, especially marketing. Communicate this strategy to your team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Not Maintaining Relationships
Sales representatives should be more than familiar with the sales pipeline and sales cycle. These tools are key to helping reps convert leads to sales. Despite its importance, sales pipelines and cycles are oftentimes unreliable and require fine tuning based on sales rep experience. Sales is not exclusively about converting a lead into a client. The best sales reps know the importance of maintaining quality relationships with existing clients. This requires effort both during and after the sale has been made. This ensures your customer’s experience is consistent with expectations in both the product and customer service. On this basis, one’s sale pipeline should be modified. One statistic suggests that 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups. An effective sales representative would really consider this information and account for it in their sales cycle. This simple recognition and persistence in your sales practice can increase your sales significantly. Furthermore, any similar information or insight should be used to improve your sales cycle and increase your efficiency and performance.
Really take into consideration the way these three things may be affecting your performance. Sometimes it may be hard to change the way you work, especially when you have a good routine going for you. However, it can be rewarding and extremely beneficial to your sales game, to take a step back and see where you could be putting more focus. With some slight changes you can really tackle these common sales mistakes and fine-tune your lead funnel.