September 24, 2014
Based on feedback from heads of technology companies, it’s unanimous… we sales folk keep failing at the same old things!

Clare Edmunds, the CEO at Clarify covered this topic in an article for the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management. I thought I would share the gist and hope that it helps identify improvements you can make to your sales teams performance.

There is no such thing as a perfect sales person, understanding where we go wrong and which of the  7 deadly sins of a B2B salesperson we identify with is part of a self-improvement process destined to increase our sales opportunities.

1. Lack of listening skills – That old chestnut!

Still… the number one sin of salespeople is not using ears & mouth in the correct proportions. Listening is key, as how else will we find out what the customer really needs?

2. The sale is more important than the customer

The second sin leads to “solutions” being found too early in the sales process, potentially missing bigger and better sales.

3. Lack of foresight

Focusing on current sales targets without properly managing, forecasting and communicating future projects with customers will lead to lost opportunities.

4. Customer pain is not identified

I know, it’s a bit American… selling solutions and adding value means finding the true and major issues that are negatively affecting the customer. These opportunities are often never found.

5. Overpromising

The secret is not to promise anything until you understand the full story, as you may not be able to deliver.

6. Not seeing things for the customer’s viewpoint

A failure to see the world from the customer’s perspective will make it more difficult to identify number four.

7. Lack of preparation

Not spending enough time researching the account or finding out who are the main decision makers, especially true for high value opportunities.

There are ways of improving on these 7 deadly sins….

Sales training – This will improve sales skills and understanding of the sales process, especially with regards to better consideration of the customer’s needs and wants.

Sales coaching & mentoring – This will give some one-on-one support to understand the required sales mindset and provide better confidence in the sales performance.

If you want to find out more on how to improve your sales opportunities, please contact me.

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