5 Sales Mistakes So Easy to Make… It’s SCARY

October 27, 2014 | Ann Lambert
5 Sales Mistakes So Easy to Make… It’s SCARY

Sales reps are constantly communicating with important stakeholders and serving as the face of the organization. It should come as no surprise, then, that silly mistakes come at a frighteningly high cost.

We’re all human (unless you're a zombie), so it’s easy to succumb to these pitfalls. I’m highlighting a few of them below, so hopefully this Halloween is only treats…no tricks… for sales reps.

#1. Not effectively communicating value

A recent SiriusDecisions survey cited failure to articulate value as the most popular reason why most reps miss their quotas. While that flaw is a problem at all levels of sales communications, it can obviously be a disaster on presentation day. To avoid this fatal flaw, make sure you have a powerful story to tell. Practice it. Know it inside and out. And be ready to tailor it to any audience in any situation.

#2. Defaulting to features and functions

When you like your products so much, you want to talk about them. And because they’re cool, your prospects are willing to listen – to a point.  But when reps focus on the product and not the customer, after the initial excitement wears off, so does their interest. Preparing for a customer-focused conversation will help you avoid the urge to default to the product and ramble about feature function.

#3. Sending careless prospecting emails

You sent me an email and it had some great copy. Maybe even a visual and a catchy caption. You’ve got me! But there’s no call to action—where do I go? Or maybe there’s a dead link—it leads…nowhere. Perhaps a grammar error or typo—not impressed.  Always proof read. And test. In fact, try sending a test message to yourself first to avoid the dreaded feeling that you’ve sent your prospect a sloppy, unrevised email.

#4. Making false assumptions about competitors

Maybe you are particularly proud of a certain feature. But before you assume that it’s unique – check. There’s nothing that undermines your sales messaging like claiming “we’re the only company who have Feature A” when your prospect just heard from your competitor that they have it too. Your value should be geared around key differentiators. Doing your due diligence goes a long way when it comes to competitive intelligence!

#5. Not using analytics to your advantage

Sales effectiveness involves more than just the ability to create and share content with prospects after a meeting; it’s about doing so in a smarter, more-informed way. The data gained from sales content can help you learn more about your audience’s needs, behavior, and levels of interest. Do yourself a favor and collect it!

Solving the Sales Productivity Problem

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