Have you adopted sound technology to support sales, a strong training and development culture, and an enviable elevator pitch? Is your sales team still struggling to close deals? There are a number of reasons why some sales pitches don’t go the way they should, from budgets constraints to catching a buyer on a bad day. But sometimes, there could be behavioral issues at play, too. Here are some traits your sales reps must do away with in order to build a winning streak:
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They are focusing too much on the product and not enough on the problem it solves
Product information is one of the most easily available resources for buyers – there is no point wasting their time repeating it. Sales reps must have sufficient time to uncover specifics about the buyer’s unique situation, the business impact of current shortcomings, and the return on their investment. The opportunity to build this case comes from a deep understanding of the buyer’s business and listening more than talking.
Make it your team’s mantra to not sell a product or service but to solve an existing problem in a way that makes the most business sense.
They are not cultivating champions
Pop culture conditions us to believe that a ‘face to face, belly to belly, show no fear’ technique works well in sales. But we often forget that Harvey Specter and Rocket Singh were fictitious characters. In sales, like in most other business functions, relationships and likability matter. Your team needs to walk out of pitch meetings with at least one champion in your prospect’s team. This champion does not need to be the decision maker but someone who speaks your buyer’s language and lives their culture.
Find subject matter experts in the prospect’s team and cultivate them. They are your best advocates not only in converting the pitch but also in organic growth long after your team has closed the deal.
They are following up too much
A usual sales process is a lot like dating. While playing hard to get is passé, one can’t overstate the importance giving buyers enough time and space to make a decision. Calling too often or writing too many emails to just follow up can quickly turn a positive pitch experience on its head. But it is never easy to find the sweet spot where you’re in touch just enough to not be forgotten. The best way to handle this is to come up with a follow up schedule based on the decision-making process in your buyer’s organisation.
They are not ‘connected’ enough
Social selling is one of the latest buzzwords that new age sales teams need to take seriously. And yet, many sales organisations are not on the ball as far as social media is concerned. One of the biggest reasons for this is insufficient training. From long form to short form, from text to audiovisuals, the number of platforms that have the capability to support sales is constantly increasing and is often unique to your industry and target audience.
Any company that is looking to build a winning sales organization must ensure regular refreshers that cover new platforms and techniques covering the entire sales cycle.
They are belittling competition
With geographies no longer a barrier in the sales process, most successful conversations are now governed by how your product, pricing, and service stands against competition. Understanding your competition has never been more important or even more convenient. It helps your sales team professionally create value against competition. If your sales team is inadvertently belittling competition during the sales process, they could be coming across as arrogant or worse, silly. Even when showcasing how you are better than competition, peg your conversation on what you do well, not on your competitor does not.
For every prospective customer, your sales team represents the kind of experience they are likely to have. Cultivate sales behaviours that encourage customers to not only buy from you but to have a lasting relationship with your brand. All it takes is teaching your team the art of better conversations.