Are your sales figures less than encouraging? Are your salespeople always busy without producing the results you’d like? Sometimes, just a few changes in your sales process can make a big difference in the success of your overall sales. The majority of sales problems fall into one of five areas.
Common Sales Problems
1. Little Or No Digital Marketing Support
In today’s electronic age, consumers and B2B buyers increasing look online before making a purchasing decision. According to “Adweek” magazine, more than 80 percent of consumers consult their iPads, smartphones or desktop computers before making a buying decision. If your company doesn’t have an informative and attractive online presence, or if you’re not responding quickly to reader comments and questions, you are likely losing sales to your more tech-savvy competitors. If you are overwhelmed with other responsibilities, as many small business owners and managers are, consider enlisting a content and engagement team to tell your story, define your audience as well as respond to reader inquiries and comments.
2. Ineffective Or Non-existent Follow-up
Follow-up is crucial to successful sales results. According to a Sirius Decisions study cited by LinkedIn, 80 percent of sales are made in the fifth to twelfth contact. However, most salespeople only make two approaches with each prospect. If your salespeople give up too early or fail to follow-up at all, they are losing the potential for a huge number of sales. Ineffective follow-up is a problem in both B2B and consumer sales. This could be as simple as making sure to return all phone calls promptly or staying with a prospect as long as he or she remains interested in the possibility of purchasing from you. More often, it means establishing a sales follow up cadence of call, email, and social media touches to ensure you’re reaching decision makers where they spend the most time. Statistics have shown that 7-10 touches is the ideal number to reach, engage, or unqualify a prospect.
3. Sales Cycles That Are Too Long
Prospects want to buy while they are still excited about the product, not weeks or months later. If too much time has elapsed between your initial contact and the next step in the sales cycle, your prospect could lose interest or purchase the item they want from another supplier. They may not even remember having spoken to the salesperson initially. Avoid this scenario by making sure that your sales steps are well defined and executed in a timely manner. A good sales management software program can help you and your sales force easily monitor where each prospect is in the cycle.
4. Spending Too Much Time On Prospects Who Are Unlikely To Buy Anything
Spending time on unqualified prospects wastes everyone’s time and can be discouraging to your sales force. Maybe it’s people who have no interest in the product, but just want someone to “talk” to. Maybe, you’re spending time with folks who won’t be able to get financing for the product, or maybe the product isn’t a good fit for their office, plant or facility. Whatever the reason, you need to be spending your money and time on those people who have the resources and the inclination to purchase from your company. It’s estimated that as much as 60 percent of an average salesperson’s time is spent with people who either can’t or are not interested in buying their product or service. Qualifying methodologies like BANT (budget, authority, need, and timeline), serve as an excellent framework for effectively determining whether a prospect is a good fit for your product or service.
5. Salespeople Are More Sellers Than Consultants
Being knowledgeable about your products and services is essential for any salesperson. However, there’s a big difference between presenting the benefits of what you sell and actually solving the problem that your prospect is experiencing. Good question asking and listening are as important, if not more so than good product knowledge.
Improving your sales success rate doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply concentrate on these five common problems and look for your closure rate, and your bottom line, to improve dramatically.
Contact us today for more information on how to jumpstart your sales goals and to learn more about the next steps of growing your business with an outsourced sales team.