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.
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 Setting, Sales Closing Techniques, Lead Follow-up and Outbound Telemarketing.