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Top 7 B2B Sales Mistakes to Avoid

December 3, 2016 By Stacey Woods

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Getting quality leads is hard enough, the last thing you want to do is lose the deal with a simple sales mistake that could have been avoided.

While technology is a huge help with the sales process and many aspects can now be automated, it is not a substitute for the human element which is still an essential factor in the sale process.

Your sales reps still need to be the best and on top of their game. Here’s our list of the top 7 sales mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – You focus on the order and not the reorder

From obtaining a lead and sparking interest to building trust and closing the deal, there’s a lot that happens from start to finish in the sales process. Often, sales reps focus on simply getting the initial sale instead of recognizing the future potential that comes with each new customer. If you are willing to say and do anything, even making empty promises and outrageous guarantees, to make your numbers look good, you are doing it wrong.

During the sales cycle, consider not only what the initial sale will bring, but also other ways you can continue to provide value to each customer and gain their future business. By delivering creative, honest solutions you can secure a long-lasting relationship that is valuable to both sides.

Mistake #2 – You don’t prioritize follow up

Hot leads can turn cold quickly if not followed up in a timely manner. The sooner you respond, the better chance you have of developing the lead. You are definitely not the only company a prospect is reaching out to. But by being first to respond you will find yourself ahead of the queue and win Brownie points for your re-activeness. To the prospect it’s a good sign that you will value their business.

Follow up does not have to be by phone, personal email is great and failing that at least have a system in place that ensures an automated email is sent on your behalf, letting them know you will be reaching out shortly.

Mistake #3 – You emphasize features over benefits

Giving your prospects a laundry list of everything your product or service can do creates a direct path to the dreaded “So what?” If your lead can’t develop a clear picture as to how those features can benefit them, you have not done your job as a sales rep.

You need to put things in perspective for your prospects: For instance, a B2B software company that offers custom lead forms with their data capture software might discuss how their software can help generate more leads. Regardless of your product, don’t leave it to your prospects to connect the dots. Tell them specifically how your product or service will make their lives better.

Mistake #4 – You don’t know your target audience

Knowing your audience is the first step to crafting a successful sales cycle. This means not only understanding targeted demographics, but also your customers’ pain points and how your product or service can alleviate them.

Sales reps can spend too much time chasing leads that don’t fit your lead criteria. The quicker you can determine if a prospect is a high quality lead the more time you will have to dedicate to pursuing leads with the most potential.

Mistake #5 – You don’t do your research

Whether you are dealing with a longtime customer or a fresh prospect, you should learn everything you can about them. Digging through CRM data, asking questions, taking good notes and most importantly listening, can help you discover their pain points.

The more you know about your prospects, the better you will be able to convert them. Learn how your product or service can match your customer’s needs, and you’ll be in a win-win situation

Mistake #6 – You don't build your relationships

Studies show that it costs up to ten times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. You know yourself that bringing new customers on-board is a time-consuming process. Don’t let all that work go to waste by not building and reinforcing your relationships with existing customers. Don’t take them for granted. They can help you achieve your sales goals

If you have a good relationship with your existing customers, that will come back to you time and time again. It also gives you a chance to cross-sell and upsell items, introduce new products, and gain referrals.

Mistake #7 – You don’t ask for the sale

Obvious, isn’t it? This is what you’ve been building up to, the all-important close. Don’t assume the prospect knows what they should do next. At this point, if you’ve done your job well then it can be a simple case of asking if they are ready to move forward. Don’t be shy!

Are you making all or any of these mistakes? A little fine tuning is often all it takes to make big improvements.

For more tips on sales mistakes and how to avoid them read this