Sometimes the best way to learn new things is through trial and error, but other times the stakes are too high to risk making a mistake. As a sales rep, closing an important deal falls into this category, so you don’t want to miss out on because of an avoidable error. To find out which mistakes are the most common when trying to close a deal, Salesforce polled a group of sales pros and then compiled the responses in their most recent eBook. Read on to learn more about 10 of the most common mistakes to avoid when trying to close the deal.
The first tip is to identify your target audience/buyer. Ask yourself questions like “who can I solve a problem for?” and “who will love our company the most?” Once you determine the people you should sell to, research that specific audience and try to find leads within it. You will save a lot of time that could have potentially been wasted by marketing to the wrong group.
Figure out who all the stakeholders and decision-makers are, and reach out to all of them. Very rarely does just one person make big decisions for a company. It’s easy for someone to write you off after a period of time, but less likely that you’d be forgotten by an entire team. Think about the wants and needs of each individual and address all of them in your sales pitch.
Don’t focus solely on your product and what it can do; market it in a way that shows how and why it can solve problems for your target buyer. After you’ve made those things clear, don’t try to close the deal immediately. Spend some time getting to know the prospective buyer and ease your way into closing the deal.
Nothing will make you and your business look more unprofessional than going into a sales call unprepared. Plan your strategy ahead of time and focus on the goals you want to reach and how you may be able to achieve them. Consider rehearsing your pitch, or at the very least anticipate some questions the client may have and prepare answers for them.
The data shows that having a solid website, social media, and overall online presence is invaluable for your business. Gone are the days where the products can just speak for themselves. Get up to date and get online. Don’t wait for the customer to come to you; research business problems and then seek clients and offer solutions for them.
Waiting to speak up about your product until the customer is evaluating their options is a no-no. You need to get on their radar way before that if you want to stand a chance. Again, identify the customer’s pain point ahead of time and then get in the game when they are still seeking a solution, not when they are just looking for a product to meet their needs.
While it is important to consider the numbers, focusing solely on them is a big mistake. It’s easy to lose track of the client’s needs when you feel the pressure to meet sales goals. If you don’t think you can meet your quota, try negotiating it to a more tangible number. If that’s not realistic, do everything in your power to stay calm and don’t let your anxiety taint your buyer— that will be a big turn-off for them and losing a sale won’t do anything to help your stress level.
If you really can’t control the urge to talk negatively about a customer, it’s important to re-evaluate why you’re working with them in the first place. If you don’t get along, you’re most likely not developing a positive working relationship and you may be better off devoting your energy to a client that is a better fit for your business.
Figure out what part of sales you’re most comfortable with (for instance, getting new business or selling to existing customers) and talk to your manager about sticking to that role. Pitch the idea of creating a team to handle the other aspects of the sale that you’re not as familiar with. While it will be more expensive than hiring an individual, the cost will most likely be offset by the additional sales you’ll gain with a team of experts working toward each deal.
Organization is key when handling multiple clients and prospective deals at once. Consider using a customer relationship management system (CRM) to help keep track of important data. It’s up to you to make sure you are given adequate training. If you don’t feel comfortable with a task, ask for more help. Spend extra time researching your role and best practices. You’ll thank yourself the next time you ace the close on a big deal.
Want more detailed information on how to become an expert at closing sales deals? Download the eBook from Salesforce now.