5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Want to Close the Deal
This year we want to help you find the right track to success by telling you what not to do when growing your business. Here are 5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Want to Close the Deal
Sales Fail Tips:
1. Not Knowing Your Buyer
Trying to sell to prospects who don’t fit your ideal customer profile is a losing strategy. If your industry or product isn’t right for the target, they’ll likely just be annoyed that you didn’t do your homework and once irritated, they’ll be lost for any future business. So make sure you identify who your key customer is before you ever pick up the phone or send an email.
2. Solving the Wrong Problem
Oftentimes, salespeople who are proud of their products will focus on exactly that: a product, its features, and the business benefits it provides. But operating this way makes the seller appear out of touch with potential customers.
Once you’ve figured out how your product appeals to a prospect, don’t try to close the deal immediately. “This happens in cold e-mails and cold calls,” says sales productivity specialist Deb Calvert. “Sellers confuse offering a value proposition with offering a solution. The purpose of any initial contact is to earn more time with the prospect. The only way to do so is by offering relevant and intriguing value.”
3. Getting a Late Start
The customer buying process goes through specific stages: identifying the problem, evaluating the options, defining a solution, and making a decision. Most salespeople enter the process when customers are evaluating options. But sales experts say this is really too late.
Research from the Aberdeen Group shows that on average, organizations only close 16% of sales leads that are considered “sales-ready opportunities.” Businesses can improve that rate by getting into the buying game when the customer is still working to define the problem. In this stage, businesses can help customers reframe and solve their problems in the most effective way.
4. Focusing on Your Quota
Salespeople, understandably, constantly feel pressure to hit their numbers. And that can make them act imprudently. At the end of the month or the quarter, they might pressure the buyer, try to negotiate too quickly or discount the product (which has the negative effect of making the product lose value, not to mention being a terrible precedent that will be hard to backtrack from in the future). None of these are winning strategies — not for the seller and not for the buyer. If you’re focused on the pressure, it makes you out of sync with the prospect, and you lose sight of meeting the buyer’s needs.
It’s pretty hard to manage all your prospects, inbound emails, outbound calls, and a packed calendar by paper — or worse yet, to keep it all in your head. Having a system to keep proper tabs on your relationships can save time, help you prioritize leads, and boost sales productivity. Even small sales teams can benefit from a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Likewise, you can lose a sale by not being trained properly. If you ask your manager what to do and they respond that you should hit your number, swallow your pride and ask them to coach you more specifically. Remember, it’s their job to help you succeed, and it’s your responsibility to ask for help. Regardless of what type of manager you have, invest in self-training by reading books from leading sellers and attending trainings whenever possible. The investment in will be well worth the effort.
The best CRM systems are mobile-first and cloud-based, and provide a single customer view across sales, service, marketing, and IT.
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