Are Your Sales Reps Making Too Many Sales Call Mistakes?
If they are, you are probably not closing as many deals as you should. We define solution selling as the consultative process of trying to persuade someone to invest in something to help them to be more successful in a way that makes sense for them, their customers, and your bottom line. Unfortunately, too many sales reps make sales call mistakes because they are trying to hard to win big deals versus truly help their customer.
Volumes have been written about business sales training and how to do it right. Rather than approach the topic from what it takes to succeed, let’s take a look at how you can fail.
Top 6 Sales Call Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
Here are six ways solution selling training experts say that, as an inexperienced salesperson, you can sabotage an important sales deal:
- Talking Too Much
A study by Saleshacker found that that top-closing B2B sales professionals speak only 43% of the time on average, allowing prospects to speak 57% of the time. If you dominate the sales conversation, you will not only be seen as pushy and self-centered, but you will not be able to listen and build rapport.
Give yourself a chance to learn about the customer and the situation by asking a few well-considered and effective sales questions and then actively listening to the answers. Your goal should be to engage the customer in an insightful two-way conversation. Only by talking less and listening more will you learn what they need, what they want, and how you can best help them to succeed.
- Making Assumptions About the Real Problem
The customer may think they know the problem they are facing, but buyers often underestimate or ignore root causes and only describing the symptoms. If you truly want to help the customer, you need to dig deep and make sure you understand the real cause of their pain. Don’t simply accept their explanation.
Top solution sellers deftly uncover the full scope of the client’s problem or respectfully challenge their thinking before discussing potential solutions.
- Selling by Telling
Most buyers like to feel that they are in control. At a minimum they like to feel like part of the plan and solution. The key is to consultatively guide clients toward a meaningful approach by asking questions that lead them to a decision that makes the most sense for them and their specific situation.
- Not Qualifying Hard Enough
Sure, your success as a sales rep is measured by your ability to bring in revenue. While it often seems counterintuitive, chasing every customer and every sales lead does not generate more revenue. In fact, it is almost guaranteed to close less deals.
Why? Because not all clients or sales leads are created equal and you have limited bandwidth. Top sellers ruthlessly focus on ideal target clients that appreciate their unique value proposition. If a client does not fit, move on as quickly and respectfully as possible to take advantage of more promising opportunities.
- Not Being Prepared Enough
Pre-call sales planning matters. Unfortunately, sales reps are not universally doing their homework. According to Forester Research, buyers report that the majority (70-78%) of sales people did not have relevant client case studies to share and were not adequately prepared to answer their questions.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. There is no excuse for not investing the time to know the company, the buyer, the industry, and your stuff before each and every call. Don’t embarrass yourself by wasting your buyers’ time.
- Focusing Too Much On Price
Most buyers focus on value, not price. And guess who determines value during the sales process? The buyer. Not you. To sell value versus price, sales reps need to ensure that buyers fully understand how the tangible and intangible benefits outweigh the fully loaded costs.
If your sales team is feeling pricing pressure, remember that while price is an important part of the deal, it is only one component of the overall buying decision. What really counts is your ability to fully deliver what matters most.
The Bottom Line
Most sales call mistakes can be avoided through the proper preparation, training, and mindset for a better sales call. Sales call mistakes cost you deals. Is your sales team consistently having effective sales sales calls?
To learn more about how to avoid sales call mistakes, download The 30 Effective Sales Questions that Matter Most