The 8 Most Common Sales Mistakes

why content marketing is better than PPC
why content marketing is better than PPC

I often talk here about the need for better alignment between marketing and sales. In fact, it is often cited as the biggest challenge for B2B marketers. It is because of this that I like to reach out to some of my friends in B2B Sales AND Marketing to provide their perspective.

Recently we ran a guest post from Kenny Madden on how the line between Marketing and Sales is starting to blur and we are looking at a new partnership he called “SMarketing.”

Additionally, my colleague in Inside Sales, Robert Krekstein contributed this post recently on Lead Nurturing.

You have seen my posts on Marketing Mistakes. Well here is another post from Rob on the 8 Most Common Mistakes Sales Makes


The 8 Most Common Sales Mistakes

1. Believe that the price is everything and use it as the only sales tool. If you as a seller are convinced that you must always discount everything to get someone to buy your product or service, you quickly de-value it, and the prospect perceives a “Let’s make a deal” approach rather than purchasing something with inherent value.

2. Talk, talk, talk without letting the customer is not the way to build a sense of need and urgency with your prospect. Talking non-stop to let the customer know how well you know the product to get them excited and buy, only leads to poor sales conversion. The results obtained are less than adequate and will lead to a multitude of lost deals.

3. Use acrobatics and theater to sell your product instead of service that meets customer needs. Except for rare cases where someone wants something for pleasure rather than necessity, almost no one will buy things that do not meet a need.  Do not attempt to WOW the prospect, but let them move at their pace to understand your product and its ability to solve their current pains and needs.

4. Not taking into account aspects of customer value, as you must listen to understand what their specific needs are and address them.  Prospects want to know that your product can help them, not simply perform cool functions.

5. Discussing all of the features that the product or service has before you understand what they need.  Sell a solution to their problem, do not spend a lot of time discussing what it can do beyond that as the prospect quickly will lose interest as it is out of their scope.

6. Not knowing your strengths. You know you get the most out of your strengths as a seller along with knowing your product / service and this gives you a competitive advantage. Increasingly, customers are more informed and are seeking to ensure no time is lost.

7. Not being trained in how to sell. It is very common to ignore the importance of keeping up your selling skills and expertise of sales. Often very often, commercial companies focus their training efforts only on the product and its features. As I said, this will quickly lose the interest of your prospect. Therefore, it is a mistake not to develop the commercial skills that can align customer needs with product benefits or service being sold.

8.  Understand the sales cycle and do not attempt to make it fit your need but your prospects needs.  Quotas are difficult and time is always of the essence for a salesman, but you must not push your prospect too far too fast or risk losing the deal.  It is critical at some point to “ask for the business” but not until your prospect is ready.


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Robert Krekstein  is the Sr. Director of Global Inside Sales and Demand Generation for SAP. He has also contributed here before with posts on Appointment SettingSales Closing Techniques, Lead Follow-up and Outbound Telemarketing.


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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

4 thoughts on “The 8 Most Common Sales Mistakes

  1. Not understanding the value and input of the customer seems to be a huge biggie. They are everything! The vote! The purchase! When you don’t listen to them; you’re on a sure-fire road to failure. Right?

  2. Rob, were you listening in on the sales calls of my former sales team? Sure sounds like it… ha!

    I’ve found the mistakes you mention are especially glaring in the software (SaaS) business, where most sales calls are conducted online using Webex or something similar.

    Talk about talk, talk, talk… our CEO once droned on non-stop for 28 minutes (yes, I timed it) when a huge prospective customer asked a simple question about price.

    Never did get the business. As they say, telling is not selling.

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