According to CSO Insights and the Alexander Group, fewer than 50% of B2B sales people will have hit target this year. Sales is getting harder.
Here are five common sales mistakes from this year that you need to avoid in 2019.
1. Forgetting that you’re in sales
You’re a sales person, not a relationship manager. Rapport no longer wins the day. Simply getting on with a client and being liked by them is no longer enough. 93% of CMOs say they are under more pressure to deliver measurable ROI*. Their decisions are scrutinised and they’re nervous about making mistakes. They need to be able to justify buying decisions based on a compelling business case. This requires a far more intelligent and genuine approach, one which is built on achieving the strongest results for the client.
2. Not speaking to marketing
LinkedIn’s State of Sales in 2018 report showed that 80% of sales people don’t work closely enough with marketing while the 20% that do are way more successful. You can’t do it all by yourself so collaborate with your colleagues. These guys know your audience so use their knowledge to build compelling sales stories for clients.
3. Telling customers about your product
Clients are busier than ever before. Listening to you talk about how your product is new, different or better is the last thing they need. Instead, teach them about their customers and their market. Share your knowledge and help them become more successful. Educating clients on new ideas and perspectives is the number one skill shared by today’s most successful sales people.**
4. Relying on data
Sales people are often instructed to use data in their pitch. The problem is that data on its own is ineffective. Stories are much a much better way to teach and persuade customers.
Your story needs to make it easy for your client to successfully sell-on internally so make it short, memorable and compelling.
5. Expecting your client to sell for you
It used to be the case that once your customer said “yes” it was just a question of time until the order came in. It’s not like that anymore. On average, there are now 6.8 people involved in B2B decisions***. This creates a real challenge for your client. For them, getting this deal over the line represents effort and risk. It’s the kind of task that will tend to languish at the bottom of their to-do list. You can’t just leave them to it. The strongest sales people understand this and coach the client. They help and support them through the process.
* Leapfrog Marketing Institute
**The Rain Group