I have experienced different kind of sales process closely. I have worked with different sales people from individual to Sales managers. I have observed work of sales very closely, internally as well as externally. So here I am telling you mistakes that sales people often do.
1. Neglect market research
Sales people are losing deals because they are not well equipped with latest trends of market. Knowing product is not enough.
You have to understand what’s going on in the market, who are your competitors, what are they doing, what is the demand of your customer, what are customer’s problem and how they want their problems to be solved. Without knowing all of these you cannot project your product properly.
You will lose the narrative of your presentation and ultilmately you will lose the deal. Sales people remain so much occupied in learning techniques, they just forget that basics must be covered first.
2. Blame everything else but themselves
Whenever sales people fails to achieve their task, they start to blame clients, market, team members, product etc. I am not saying these factors are not responsible but it is sales people’s responsibility to assess market, product, team, clients etc and have realistic idea about how situations can be. Then prepare for it.
Consult respective authorities if needed. Make your team aware about realistic problems you asses with every factor and create a strategy. Then if things are not working, you have to blame yourself more than other factors because you fail to execute and/or identify.
3. Believe in myth
There are some myths about sales people like, sales people can sell comb to bald people or many more. Many of them believe it and they generate parameter of excellence around it.
First of all sales people have to understand that their job is not to sell anything to anyone but they have to identify the problems which their product is solving.
After that, they should identify which markets are facing those problem. Now sales people’s job to make prospect understand why addressing problem is important and how product is solving it. Once it’s done correctly, Bingo! Now selling comb to bald people is con unless they purchase it for someone who has hair. 😉
4. Recruiting wrong team
This is very important factor to understand especially for people who are on level of sales manager. To achieve decided target, team must be working in total synchronisation. A system can generate good and consistent results.
While recruiting, sales managers have to understand what kind of people they are going to need, what should be the qualities of these people etc.
After identifying requirement, they must know how to determine individual recruits have those qualities. Suppose someone lacks the quality required, then sales manager must have strategy about how to train them and whether they can learn it or not. From my experience,
“All is well if the team is well.”
5. Fail to create balance between data and instincts
If you rely on data or instincts only, you are doomed to fail. In practical life, data is as equally required as instincts to take decisions.
What would be the starting speech? Should I ask interests or present facts? Should I be more technical or less? On each and every step of sales process, sales people are taking decisions whether they are aware about it or not.
Sometimes you have to rely on data like In this market, people are having very low technical awareness. So in general, your presentation must be covering few technical strengths but it should be more focus on trust, portfolio etc.
Now in some cases, you get the feeling that prospect will like to understand what technical breakthroughs we have achieved in this version of product. You should go and check for it. You need both (Data and Instincts) in real life to achieve your sales goals.
6. Fail to optimize technology
There are general incidents like sales people forget to call prospect, there are so many tasks which are being forgottten due to low priorities etc.
In day to day routine of sales people, there are so many free as well as paid technologies that can be used to be more productive and effective in the work. For example: you can use “slack” for team communication, you can use Wunderlist to schedule task and get reminders time to time, etc.
Technology has made things so easy, it is foolish not to optimize it.
7. Focus on problems rather than solutions
An average of all sales people have tendencies to focus on problems only. They
fail to understand that identifying problems are important but after identifying, they should be focusing on how to overcome it rather than getting frustrated of problems.
It is ok to have problems, they make us better. Problems are necessary part of success. Without problems, you cannot exceed yourselves.
8. Fail to be creative
There are many ways to handle problems other than obvious ones.
For example, Prospect is asking to reduce price. Generally Sales people do positional bargaining here. For example: Prospect wants Rs.2,00,000/- product in Rs.1,00,000/- so they try to close the deal by Rs.1,50,000/- by starting reducing price gradually.
I am not saying it’s bad idea. It’s good if you can afford it but there are many other ways to handle this negotiation if you just try to come up with something creative.
Being creative is not a luxury, it’s a basic neccesity in sales today.
9. Fail to be the team player
In the team work, everyone is assigned to perform some tasks. In general, sales is about closing. The more you can close, the better you are. But Sales people have to understand that in some tasks, closing is not what team wants from you.
For example: A new product is being launched in new market recently. Your task is to create a bigger inflow of funnel means generate as maximum prospects as possible. So rather than focusing on some prospects for closing, you must focus on starting as maximum deals as possible.
Every sales people cannot be good for closing but they must be good at something in the sales process. As a team player, you must identify your core competency and your role in the team. Focus on it rather than doing what others doing.
10. False promises
The most dangerous thing for a company is their sales people making false promises to customers because those promises are not going to be fulfilled and customer will be dissatisfied. These dissatisfactions lead to loosing trust and create bad reputation in market.
Propsects don’t know the company. They value the company by their reprentatives. So by making false promises, you are cheating the customer who trusted you. It’s not good for your career as well as future of company you are representing. Why to sink the ship by yourself?
There many other ways to close deals other than making false promises. Try hard to find one.
11. Don’t prioritize prospecting
Everyone wants to be the best closer. Everyone wants to close as maximum deals as possible. Sales people are obsessed with closing because it checks their target and generate pay cheques. But to close sales effectively, due dilligence is the essence which is called prospecting in sales.
Does your prospect facing any problems which your product can solve? What kind of awareness prospect is having regarding problem and it’s solution? What are the expectations of prospect from solution? These are the kind of questions which make you understand prospect better and enables you to present the product in a way by which closing can be done easily.
Hope you won’t make any of these mistakes from now. If you know about any other mistakes sales people do, please comment it below.
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