Much like Kurt Russell’s iconic character from Used Cars (a 1980 classic, all-time hit might I add), you could close a deal armed with a simple pitch and a winning personality in the days past.
That’s just not the reality anymore.
Modern sales require so much more. For instance, everyone knows the importance of;
- Training your sales reps with a proper plan in place
- Being sure that your email cadence or outreach campaigns have at least 5-7 touchpoints at minimum
- Not trying to automate for enterprise or top 1% accounts
- Setting unrealistic sales quotas or deadlines, etc.
But even the most battle hardened sales people make certain mistakes – and fail to realize it.
So, here we have listed the top 8 sales mistakes that you might be making. Conquer these and you will definitely see your numbers shoot up.
Let’s dive in.
1 – Buying ‘Sales’ Leads In Bulk From Bulk Vendors
Remember that 50 other businesses are getting exactly the same list of ‘leads.’ As such, the people on the list are sick and tired of receiving what they see as spam emails or calls.
Also, such providers do not give you additional data points such as firmographics, technographics or other info that signals buying intent (e.g. recent funding, expansion of a specific department, etc.)
Always ensure that your B2B data provider mines fresh leads with the latest information on your prospects.
For instance, at Cloudlead, we facilitate our clients with custom data points (e.g. what chatbot their leads are using on their site, personal achievements, company achievements, etc.) that helps their reps truly connect with the person on the other end.
2 – Not Cleaning Your Data At-least Once In 6 Months
People move jobs, companies close down, circumstances change, startups raise funding, CEOs change. There is so much that can happen in 6 months that your data becomes ‘stale.’
This means that you and your sales team do not have the latest information on your accounts or prospects. Simply put, this sales mistakes makes it a thousand times harder to personalize your efforts and close deals.
3 – Not Giving Your Sales Team The Right Data To Help Them Connect With Prospects
And no, if you expect them to do all the research, they’ll never get around to their actual job which is selling.
From searching for accounts and leads to finding buying signals (e.g. recent hiring for sales or IT, funding raised, etc.) – it’s not their job.
4 – Encouraging Them To Work With Generic Templates
There are templates that you can personalize – and then there are generic ‘hello sir’ templates that simply don’t work. The latter definitely deserves a top spot in the worst sales mistakes ever.
It goes without saying that you should never use generic templates like the one described above. Like I keep emphasizing, personalization is key to making a good impression on your prospects – and getting them to respond to you.
If you can’t come up with unique copies or cadences, you have two options; hire a copywriter with experience writing cold emails in your space or sign up for a tool like DripScripts by Growth Tools.
5 – Not Connecting With Your Prospects Where They Are
It’s great that you’re cold calling and emailing. But are your reps making an effort to connect with prospects through other mediums like LinkedIn, Quora, etc.?
It’s 2020 and I would say that nothing less than a multi-channel technique for lead generation will work now.
6 – Not Knowing Your Ideal Buyers Inside Out
This means knowing who your audience is, segmenting them based on their interests, etc.
Here’s a quote from a previous article I’ve written:
“the hallmark of a successful marketing or sales campaign is a thorough understanding of your target market (ideal customer profile) and clear communication. You simply can’t target everyone who you THINK might buy from you, you need to have an ideal customer profile.
How do you square off with large companies with plenty of resources and funding? By targeting a SPECIFIC, relevant market. At this point in the game, you shouldn’t target “all the software and IT companies” or “C-execs.” You need a focused target market so you can push your brand and brand message to the right prospects. Especially for small businesses, this is the best (and most affordable) way to generate warm leads. In other words, you need to identify your ideal buyers.”
Read full article: How to Identify and Refine your Ideal Customer Profile in 5 Easy Steps
7 – Blowing Your Budget On Tools You Think You Absolutely Need
This one is specially for all startups. Just because all the others are paying $99 dollars in subscription or you’re being offered a special discount on a fancy new tool does not mean that you should opt for it.
Yes, certain tools are extremely useful, but first ask yourself if you really need it or can your team do without it for a while.
Another point to remember is that at this point, it’s likely that your needs can be fulfilled with a ‘freemium’ version of the same tool (or a different provider with the same functionality).
A good example of this is a CRM – you can buy Salesforce for $25 per user per month or you can opt for a freemium Hubspot CRM.
8 – Hiring Expensive Talent When You Can’t Afford Them
Again, prioritize what you absolutely need and while sales is an essential function, ask yourself if there are other ways you can make do with up-and-coming talent.
Similarly, you can absolutely form partnerships or link up with affiliates who can send referrals your way for a certain fee (upfront or percentage of sale).
And that’s it for now – since this is such an important and extensive topic, I’ll try to come back and write more.
Article taken from an answer on Quora.
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Marketing Strategist at Cloudlead, passionate about all things marketing, content and data. Firmly believes that targeted data lies at the heart of any successful marketing campaign.