Sales and marketing go hand in hand. In many organizations, it’s the job of the marketing team to provide sales with a steady flow or qualified leads for them to sell to. But there are some surefire ways for salespeople to lose sales and thereby waste the efforts of a strong marketing team.
Here are five sales mistakes to avoid if you want to convert prospects to customers:
1. Stick to the script
Sales scripts are important, whether you are selling by phone or in person. Scripts help new salespeople learn on the job quicker, and help experienced salespeople stay on track. But there is a problem when companies require their salespeople to stick to the script too strictly. The best salespeople are able to go off script based on the nature of the conversation they are having with a prospect. A script should be a loose outline, not a word for word mandate.
2. Forget the coaching
Nobody is perfect, and no worker is ever as effective as they can be. Even professional athletes still have coaches. Sales people will benefit from constant coaching. Experienced coaches and sales managers are able to offer genuine feedback on performance, help with new sales strategies and techniques, and make sure the team is operating at maximum capacity.
3. Don’t ask questions
Questions are powerful conversational tools. The right questions, in any conversation, help to guide and steer the flow. In sales situations, questions put the focus on the prospective customer. When used effectively, they can help the salesperson find the sources of hesitation, the real problems the customer is looking to solve, and the right answers that will lead to the ultimate sale. When you ask questions, you put the prospect in control of the conversation, and you make them a partner in getting to a sale.
4. Sell the product, not the customer
One size does not fit all. Not every customer is the same. Your job as a salesperson is to identify the problem that the customer is trying to solve, then focus your pitch around the benefits specific to their situation. Prospects don’t want to hear a laundry list of product features, they want to know how your product will make their life better.
5. Ask for the sale
A great sales pitch can fall flat right at the end when the salesperson is afraid to ask for the sale. When you have a prospect who is impressed and ready to make a deal, your job is not done. Don’t be afraid of scaring them off. When they’re ready, close the deal.