Customers today have higher expectations than ever. Unfortunately, salespeople don’t seem to be meeting these expectations.
According to the Brevet Group, 87% of customers believe salespeople don’t understand their needs. That’s why it’s critical to spend more time understanding the customer than educating them on your product or service. Most customers do their homework, anyway, and won’t even reach out until they’re ready to buy.
In today’s uber-competitive sales landscape, one wrong move can blow a sale. To help you close more deals, we’ve put together a list of three of the biggest sales mistakes.
1. Not following up
A study by sales training company RAIN Group says it takes an average of eight contacts to get a meeting with a prospect. Every missed follow-up means you are handing sales to the competition.
The key to smart and effective follow-up are to be consistent and relevant. Keeping up with prospects can be tough, and it is easy to let leads fall through the cracks, but fortunately technology can help. Email-based automation applications like Mixmax help sales teams stay on top of their prospects by using automation to enrich the customer experience, not degrade the customer experience. For example, you can create a series of emails that includes personalized videos and polls (which make it easy for prospects to respond), that make it easy for you to both automate your follow-up process and to personalize your message so you can stay on top of warm leads and make them feel important.
By creating email rules and sequences, email automation can do the bulk of the hard work. For example, you can create a series of emails for new customers that have never heard of your service. Over 3 or 4 short emails, directly state different ways your product helps them. Then, automate! The emails can be automatically sent every 5-7 days and can be automatically synced to your CRM. You can even create rules so if one of those contacts signs up for your services, the emails will automatically stop once the CRM is updated. You can also pull in fields from your CRM that will populate as variables in your emails. For example you can use variables like first name, company, industry in your email.
2. Being too pushy
While it’s true that following up is necessary, no one likes an aggressive sales person.
Once your customer understands what you have to offer, don’t keep pestering them to make a decision. It’s important to ask for the sale, but a better tactic is to stay in touch and offer valuable free resources.
When you’re dealing with high-dollar products and services, the sales cycle is longer and more people are involved in the decision. According to The Harvard Business Review, over six people are involved in B2B sales decisions. Account-based marketing strategies are a better approach here.
Here are some easy ways to provide value to your prospects through email:
Send a whitepaper
Invite the prospect to a free webinar (teach them to do something and spend less than five minutes asking for a sale)
Provide a link to an article of interest
3. Talking More Than Listening
A study of 25,537 B2B sales calls conducted by HubSpot revealed that reps that spend less than 40% of a call talking won more deals.
Naturally, you’re enthusiastic about what your company has to offer. But not every prospect is a fit. If you charge through a conversation without determining a prospect’s needs, you’ll blow the sale.
Wrapping it Up
When you’re approaching a potential customer, it’s easy to lose focus on what’s important. Good salespeople understand it’s not about making your quota or the potential revenue you’ll bring to your company.
The easiest way to get a leg up on the competition is to treat each customer like they’re your only customer. Listen first and don’t make assumptions. Ask questions if their needs are unclear. Take the time to build genuine relationships and stop worrying about the sale.
Don’t underestimate the power of personal connection in a sales situation. The best salespeople understand the importance of placing people over profits.