What are some of the common mistakes businesses make in the sales process and how can they fix them?
Everyone makes mistakes, but those errors are especially egregious when it comes to missteps made during the sales process. After all, mistakes made in the sales process can cost sales, which means lost revenues, which is not an especially welcome outcome for sales managers.
But, lost sales can also have other consequences, like eroding confidence among staff members and other customers. The good news in this is that solutions to sales mistakes can result from making small changes, such as incorporating product configuration software solutions. That and other solutions are what this article is about.
7 Things You Must Not Do During The Sales Process
1. Not Collecting Customer Data
Every sale provides an opportunity to make another sale down the road. A company’s existing customer base is the best source of revenue for the future. This is only true, however, if the data related to them is gathered and saved. This means that a company should have a method of keeping the data and using it for their future benefit.
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2. Not Rendering Quotes Efficiently
Have you ever promised a client a quote, but due to the complexity of the data involved, took too long to get back to them? It’s a common problem.
Fortunately, technology has delivered the perfect answer to the problem in the form of CPQ software. With CPQ software, a quote is as simple as plugging in a few variables, and a quote is to the client in a matter of minutes.
Businesses that still render quotes manually can only encounter more difficulties if they talk more than they listen. A study by Sales Hacker shows that top sales closing experts in the B2B community talk just 43% of the time and listen 57% of the time.
3. Relying Too Much on the Internet
Clawing your way to the top of the search results is a lot of work, but once your products are there, a lot can happen, making everything you have done for naught.
For example, Google can give your company a nasty smackdown with a change in its search algorithm, and the battle starts all over again. Without a proactive sales strategy, your revenues will suffer badly.
Moments of downtime and Google algorithm changes can pose a great challenge to your business. During this time, if there’s no backup plan, it is certain you are going to lose sales.
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4. Not Qualifying Leads
Not qualifying leads can cost a company a lot of lost time and effort. A good salesperson knows that a lead has the authority to purchase before they start to work.
When trying to qualify leads, always remember to personalize your message so that they will feel like you are speaking to them directly. Some super-easy ways to personalize a message these days are through the following: the use of the word “You” and mentioning their name in your email.
According to a Marketo report in 2016, 78% of consumers will only engage offers they feel are personalized to them.
5. Putting Off Sales Until the Product is Ready
Microsoft calls it “vaporware,” but everyone else can call it a winning strategy: doing market research for a product while it’s still in development. This is an excellent way of gathering information about what your customers want before the product is finished. This also generates buzz before a product is on the streets, making everyone eager to buy.
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6. Accepting Every Sale
“No” is not a word many salespeople like to use with customers, but sometimes it’s in everyone’s best interests to say. Unfortunately, at least in some cases, the wrong kind of sale is worse than no sale at all.
If a product is not a good fit for a prospect, it’s often in everyone’s interest to let them know that. After all, if a prospect buys a product that won’t work for them, the negative backlash could be detrimental to the seller.
Most cases of social media bashing are because of buyer’s remorse that set in after a seller persuasively compelled a consumer to buy what they don’t have any need for. Do not make the mistake of selling ice to Eskimo because it will surely come back to hurt your business.
7. Outsourcing the Sales Function
Many companies try to concentrate on product development by outsourcing the sales function. This sometimes works well, but in other cases, it doesn’t. Unfortunately, when outside sales forces take over, they are often not as well versed in the product and end up requesting support from company insiders, which defeats their purpose.
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Preventing these seven mistakes probably won’t send your sales into the stratosphere, but it will mean more profitable relations with your customers and prospects.