Let’s assume your company employs one or more salespeople who are responsible for generating leads and closing deals. As talented as these sales professionals might be, some “blind spots” in sales always seem to crop up.
It’s up to you and your team to beware of those blind spots and take action when they occur. Here are some tips:
Don’t rush into the wrong type of sales.
Occasions sometimes arise when the potential ROI of a sale is outweighed by the internal costs of production. As we have noted before, “Beware of prospects who appear too demanding in the initial sales call, or who are unwilling to budge from a specified price. These types of customers may not be worth your company’s efforts and resources in the long run.”
Don’t monopolize the sales conversation.
An amiable salesperson is one thing. A salesperson who won’t stop talking about a product’s features and benefits can quickly become tiresome for prospects.
The most effective salespeople ask the right questions, listen carefully to the answers they get, and focus closely on the client’s needs, not their own. “The true value of a sales professional is not in how much information you give to someone, but in how much information you gather,” says LNP | LancasterOnline. However the conversation goes, stay focused on “listening and understanding [a prospect’s] needs.”
Zero in on the right decision-makers.
In sales, engaging with the wrong people on the client side can lead to trouble. Forbes urges business owners to make sure their salespeople “know the makeup of the buying committee: which people are involved in the decision, the role they play in the organization and the influence they have on the deal.”
Lacking this vital information will likely result in a missed sales opportunity.
Avoid a “gut instinct” sales approach.
Savvy salespeople understand that without a clear-cut sales strategy, their leads can shrivel away to nothing. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate a formalized approach to sales, rather than going by a gut instinct.
Be sure your salespeople don’t mistakenly “assume their sales process will happen naturally without taking the time to map out a clear approach from the perspectives of both the prospect and the sales pipeline,” notes SMITH co. A standardized sales process “will help you avoid possible pitfalls and ensure that you are present at every stage of the buying journey.”
Don’t worry about “being liked.”
Salespeople sometimes refrain from discussing potential obstacles in the sales process because they want the client to like them. While relationships built on trust are always a good thing, it’s less important that the people you sell to you like you or not. Remember, they are looking for the best deal at the best price, above all else.
“Needing to be liked to the point where [tough] questions or blind spots are never discussed, will only come back to haunt you later in the sales campaign or relationship,” notes Baker Communications Inc., adding that the best salespeople “don’t need a high level of approval.”
Ensure your sales team can cope with rejection.
In any salesperson’s life, rejection just comes with the territory. Not every sales lead will pan out, nor will every client (or prospective client) stay with your business forever. It’s essential that salespeople develop a thick skin and don’t waste time bemoaning the loss of a potential sale, when there are so many other possible sales out there.
For more on improving your company’s sales efforts, register for our free TAB Boss webinar, “Why Your Sales Team is Underperforming.”