More respect for sales is the start of wealth….
In the business world, the sales field is often misunderstood as a one-off, quick-and-dirty way to create revenue. Still, selling is an industry in its own right and requires as much attention as marketing or research and development.
Becoming proficient at sales requires a vast array of skills, but even top professionals dismiss it as a necessary evil. Their mindset leads them to focus on less front-facing aspects of their work. There are ways to improve sales techniques and approaches without neglecting the other facets of a business, especially with the tools available to companies via technology and social media.
Three mistakes sales professionals make and how to correct them.
Are you making any of the following mistakes? If so, how much money do you think it’s costing you?
Sales Mistake #1: Not streamlining and personalizing presentations.
For salespeople who spend most of their time delivering presentations in conference rooms to investors or other businesses, that presentation can become dry and repetitive. One way to avoid that is to tailor the presentation to the needs of each different audience by including selling points that that audience will relate to and offering impactful personal stories that highlight the benefits of the salesperson’s product or service.
Another is to not read directly from the presentation, which leads to a dull performance that the audience has trouble relating to. A presentation should be able to stand on its own as a sales pitch, with the slides acting as a supportive tool, not a crutch.
Sales Mistake #2: Underestimating the value of technology and media.
When the bulk of customers are making decisions on what to buy online, access to performance and sales data become crucial in understanding how a company’s target market behaves and interacts with that company.
Yet many sales teams lag behind, offering no focus on this advantage, resulting in sales leaders who are barely proficient in Microsoft Word. Employing tools such as those provided by Salesforce, Zoho, and Google can increase any salesperson’s understanding of how their company’s ecosystem works.
It is important that salespeople be properly trained in how to use them effectively, and tutorials and classes are widely available to that effect.
Sales Mistake #3: Not approaching sales as a customer service function.
By the nature of its techniques, selling requires direct contact with customers, whether in person at stores, over the phone, or online via chat or email. That is why many companies now have an online presence on Facebook and Twitter, the latter even offering a special designation for business accounts meant to “offer support.”
Businesses have opted to tailor in-person interactions as well, setting aside the stressful, commission-based sales model for a more value-added approach, focusing not on what will make a customer buy but what benefits the customer will gain from buying their product.
These guidelines apply to front-line sales teams and companies that engage in B2B selling, equally but in different ways. Applying fresh, current practices to any sales approach will improve performance not only for the new entry-level sales person but also for the best-trained, most seasoned of professionals.