Sales as a function is quite stressful. There are highs and lows, but the sweet feeling of achievement when you close a deal is incredibly fulfilling. However, sales reps being humans, make mistakes which end up costing the business at times.
A lot of times, certain parameters are out of control but the parameters which can be controlled are the readiness of the sales rep and how he/she conducts himself/herself. The demeanor, attitude and even the aptitude of the sales rep are what becomes a game-changing factor.
Let us look in detail at nine such parameters which can help you hit the target a bit more closely:
Not building lasting relationships
Sales reps have their entire focus on closing the deal and often forget that once the deal is closed, the client needs periodic interventions even then. As per Vymo research, only 12% of the client base is met with once they come onboard. Maintaining a lasting relationship with the clients has long-term results. The biggest one being long-term brand loyalty. Typically in the enterprise sales cycles, paying a visit to the client once every quarter is considered healthy. Other advantages are, identifying early is the client is deciding to churn out or if there is an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell.
Not Asking for Referrals
Referrals are a sure way of getting quality leads which have a genuine need for your product. A recommendation from a colleague is always valued. It is a great way to increase your personal network and make the most of a client. However, in the humdrum of the long sales cycles, most of the times sales reps forget to ask for one. In a world were only about 5% of the sales reps get 3+ leads, one shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity posed in front of them through referrals.
Not Researching for a Meeting
One of the worst things a sales rep can do is entering a meeting uninformed or ill-informed. It immediately reflects a badly on the firm he/she is representing. A sales rep should always be informed about a lead he is about to meet. Some of the things he can research about are:
- Who are the decision makers?
- What is the credibility of the company in the market?
- What is the size of the company?
- What are the problems and what solutions can be offered for those problems?
- Who is he/she meeting with?
- What would be interesting to discuss in the first meeting and the subsequent 2-3 meetings?
Not Asking for Feedback
Any person small or big needs feedback at periodic times in life. It could be a janitor to the CEO of a company. It is one of the initial steps to self-improvement. A sales rep should be humble enough in his/her approach and ask for feedback at the end of each cycle. Various levels of inputs can be gathered from such a feedback which can be implemented in the next sales cycles. It also shows the lead that you care about what they think and your willingness to improve.
Badgering the Prospects
Following up is one thing and badgering is another. The sales reps, in their race, to meet the sales targets, forget the difference. Every company takes different time to close on a purchase. Every company has different hierarchies and approval systems. A sales rep should be patient and follow up diligently but never badger.
Not Asking the Time for Follow up
A sales rep has a meeting, it goes well and then what? It ends there most of the times. The sales rep should put in a habit to ask time for the next meeting or followup there and then make sure the pipeline stays full. Calendaring the next activity, may it be a call, gives both the sides enough time to prepare and anticipate it in advance.
Not Understanding the Requirement
In addition to researching about the lead, the sales rep should also understand the requirement through and through. Sometimes it may happen that the lead may not require what you are offering and you may end up wasting time in the meeting. A call in advance to ask what they need and how much you can offer will help a sales rep customize the content like a presentation as per the need.
Not Asking for Help
Often, sales reps get caught in competitive spirit and don’t ask for help from their colleagues or managers. This not only hampers the productivity of the sales rep but also gives rise to negative team culture. Managers or supervisors should encourage their teams to share their experiences often and speak to their teams about any hurdles they are facing. In team meetings, everyone should be given equal opportunity to speak their mind and discuss how their efforts are shaping.
Not Knowing the Product Well Enough
Any sales rep who joins the company should spend significant time studying the product inside out. This ensures that if there is a problem that the product can solve, it is encashed immediately. This can only happen if the sales rep has a thorough knowledge of all the offerings, shortcomings and upcoming developments.