The modern B2B buyer has a whole new set of expectations for the sales process. With unprecedented access to industry information and products, they have more power than ever coming into a sales meeting. This means sales reps don’t have a lot of room for error. Knowing some of the most common sales mistakes will help you avoid slipping up during a meeting. If you are doing one of the four things listed below, your “helpful spiel” may actually be turning buyers off. Understanding where you’re going wrong will only get you so far, so here we explain how to fix those mistakes and what to do instead.
Mistake #1: Failing to do your research
Solution: Personalise your sales pitch
Never enter a meeting with a decision maker asking them for information that could be found on their website or by doing a little investigating. Buyers can tell the difference between a generalised sales pitch and one that has been tailored. Before you meet with a decision maker, you should do your research first. You need to know details about their industry and their unique needs. Business intelligence software, such as our very own Prospector, uncovers insights on a prospect, their competitors, the broader industry and provides you with a valid business reason on which to build your pitch.
Mistake #2: Trying to sell to everyone
Solution: Know your target audience
Your product or service will not be the right fit for every company. Spending time on unqualified leads wastes their time and yours. Instead of going for quantity, focus on understanding your target customer better and looking for leads that are a good fit for your company. What are your target customers’ pain points and how can your product or service solve these for them? It’s also important to recognise when your leads just aren’t ready to become customers and stop pitching.
Mistake #3: Over-selling your product or service
Solution: Provide value and be honest
As a sales rep, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to pretend that your product or service can do something it can’t. Misleading buyers will hurt your credibility and reputation. And while product features may feel critical to you, buyers aren’t always interested in how a platform or product works (the nuts and bolts, if you like). Their ears will prick up however, when you detail the value you can provide and how it impacts their ROI.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the customer experience
Solution: Build relationships first
Repeat customers are the best customers. It is regularly espoused that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer. That’s why it’s important to focus on building relationships and to position yourself as a trusted advisor. You aren’t just trying to make a sale and move on, you are helping people solve problems.
One of the best ways to begin building relationships with prospects is to spend most of your time listening. You can’t bring value to a prospect if you don’t give them a chance to tell you about what they need. By building relationships, you set yourself up for future sales because people want to refer business to sales reps they know and trust.
According to Forrester, 68 percent of decision makers find online information more useful than interacting with most sales reps. Of course, we need talented sales reps throughout the buying process. This may mean you need to change your approach when interacting with buyers.
One of the best ways to tailor your approach is by having valid business reasons to get in touch and having detailed industry insights about your prospects. This is where IRD Prospector can help you. As Australia’s most trusted provider for commercial intelligence and reliable data, we provide a constant stream of business opportunities. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.