Posted by Patricia Jones
Critical Sales Mistakes companies make can ruin their business opportunities, here we will discuss on few of them and try to understand how we can avoid them. Mistakes in sales have serious consequences! While we all tend to believe that we do not commit any bloopers, in reality there is nothing called full-proof in sales. That’s because creating one good sales approach and sticking to it lifetime never serves the purpose. The ways of selling have become dynamic and require all organizations to think differently and innovative.
Reviewing the sales approach, identifying the bloopers and eliminating them ensures that the business does not get deprived of revenue and the confidence level is always high within the sales team.
Below given are the 6 most common blunders that sellers make. Read through to identify and avoid them. Some may seem obvious but surprisingly even the most seasoned sales agents commit them:
1. Focused on the Feature than the Solution
Why do we buy a moisturizing shampoo? To solve the problem of dry hair. Common sense, right? But why isn’t this same common sense applied to our sales process?
Shockingly, in a survey by Sales and Consumer Insights, out of 10 companies, 8 focus on selling the features than the solution to the customers. Their sales approach harps time and again on what unique features their products have, instead of what solutions do the products offer.
What sales managers do not comprehend is that talking about the features sounds no less than Latin to end-users. They do not understand nor do they (often) give two hoot about the product features. What benefits do the products offer and what solutions can they provide – these are the two central things that consumers are concerned about.
So instead of being feature-focused, be solution-focused. Understand that consumers buy things only in an attempt to solve a problem. Focus on how your product can solve the problems of your potential customers and position your sales approach accordingly.
2. Disclosing Price at the end
This is the standard approach practiced by all companies. But while this approach works, there have been a few cases where this tactic has worked against the seller. This is precisely why some sales experts have endorsed the ‘change of concept’. In their opinion, the new-age customers prefer to maintain a balance between price and features.
So it is ideal that sellers do not wait until the end of the discussion to disclose the price. During the process of building the product/service value, it is better to discuss the cost factor as well. This has an explicit benefit – the discussion does not get abruptly interrupted for price. Over the value-building session itself, the customer can evaluate the product or service and easily understand how it is worth the cost.
3. No Customer Data
A sale does not just offer immediate revenue but carries strong potency of future revenue as well. Reason being that it is always easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one. However, to make a sale down the road, it is essential that companies have customer data, which unfortunately most lack.
Noting down customer details in loose spreadsheets, notepads and random sticky notes does not help. Isn’t it?
You need a robust software that comes to your rescue and stores your customer data neatly indexed in a centralized database. And this is precisely where (my favorite) CRM system comes into the picture. 100 or 1000 – whatever be the number of your customers, CRM is equipped to streamline all customer details in a commonly accessible platform.
Imagine the benefits: Seven months down or seven years, you have the details of all your customers who ever transacted with you. This data is no short of a goldmine for sellers and marketers who can run campaigns and cross-sell/up-sell products/services to your existing customers. Sounds tempting eh?
4. Aiming for only the Big Fishes
Very often we as business entrepreneurs want to score high too soon. This compels us to concentrate on high-priced deals only. But does that make sense?
High-valued deals are time consuming. The decision-making is slow and payments are slower. Closing them take months or more. What’s even worse is that often months of effort are put behind deals that fail to materialize eventually. This leads to cash flow crunches.
Large-scale enterprises who are firmly established can invest months behind one high-value deal. But for startups and fast-growing small to medium-sized businesses, it is essential that revenue (although in small amounts) keep flowing.
The pursuit of the titans should be done by the SMBs but simultaneously with the smaller deals as well. This will ensure that the business spreads the word about it faster, earns good revenue and maintains a regular cash flow.
5. Not deviating from the Sales Pitch
Highly impactful sales pitches have a crucial part to play in a deal. But sales is not just about sales pitches. Are they?
The most successful sales agents use their presence of mind to modify the sales pitches in line to the client’s reaction and query. Visit the client, show the slideshare presentation and talk about the price is not their style of sale.
They do not let their sales pitch dictate the flow of things. They prepare a compelling presentation, deliver it naturally, start off the discussion and change it if needed, rather than relying too heavily on the prepared sales pitch.
They are observant of the reaction of the client and act on vital buying signals. Inevitably, this results into a constructive meeting which most of the time leads to closure.
6. Being Defensive
Irrespective of how compelling your product/service offering is, conflicting questions are bound to come from the customers’ side. And the most common point of conflict undoubtedly is ‘pricing’. But instead of trying to over-explain the stuff, it is necessary to ask thoughtful questions, understand client’s perspective and then answer.
Acting defensive and giving an abrupt explanation to justify the product’s price will put off the customer. Rather your tactic should be to understand what makes the client conflict the price and give a constructive answer supported by facts.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub