Sales performance

Areas where Salespeople struggle the most

Many companies could dramatically decrease their Cost of Sales avoiding these 3 common Sales mistakes.

You can achieve a higher conversion rate and an increased deal margin by avoiding the following 3 mistakes:

1. Incomplete needs analysis

Unfortunately, this is a classic mistake: questions are limited to strict requirements in order to draw up an offer. This results in conversations that do not offer any added value for the customer. The customer gets an offer based on a rather superficial diagnosis, which will look identical as the one from your competitor.  

In order to differentiate, we also need to interactively discuss the context with the customer. A few additional questions might help to better map the context: 

  • Who else is involved? 
  • By when should you be able to use the solution? (this is a customer-oriented version of the question “when will you decide?”) 
  • What do you wish to achieve? 
  • What is the ideal solution for you? 
  • To what extent do your colleagues share this view? 
  • How will you know that the best solution for you will be chosen?

2. Making too many price offers too soon

The Sales rep continues to push the customer. While first he had not made sufficient inquiries into the context and then explained what the ideal solution would be from his/her own perspective, now the time has come to try and prove these claims through an offer. Whether or not the customer has already made up his/her mind does not seem to matter. 

The fact that a customer requests an offer, does not automatically mean that the customer is ready to buy. Throughout the history of interactions, customers learned that if they require more information, they just need to request an offer in order to get all the information they need.  

However, a request for an offer is no indication of the buying readiness of the customer or whether he/she is only interested in your product. You can easily identify these deals by the following 2 situations: 

  1. The customer delays the decision date once or several times 
  2. The sales rep makes several offers for the same opportunity

It is quite easy to measure both and these two symptoms can help you determine whether offers where made too soon. 

3. Not providing the customer with what he/she really needs

Imagine yourself going to the doctor, who immediately gives you a Imagine yourself going to the doctor, who immediately gives you a prescription because you are the tenth patient that day who has come to see him with a runny nose. This makes a diagnosis superfluous, or does it? You would not accept this from a doctor, but many salespeople still behave like all-knowing oracles. They concentrate on what they want to sell to the customer, and only hear what they want to hear. 

This creates an area of tension between the salesperson and the This creates an area of tension between the salesperson and the customer, who sees the salesperson as a talking brochure trying to convince the customer and discussing technical details. But does the customer feel understood? Does the customer know more now than what he could find on the internet himself? In this context, it is crucial to imagine yourself in the customer’s situation. Empathy demands you to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and thus take off your own. In other words, are you prepared to put yourself in the customer’s place? If not, your sales costs are at risk again. 

The Goal: Lower Cost of Sales, Higher Conversion Rates and an Increased Deal Margin 

It’s all about interacting with the client, understanding his/her context, defining the best solution together, and facilitating the customer’s buying process. Salespeople who are capable of doing that can shorten the sales process and, through increased trust, reach the intended results: lower cost of sales, higher conversion rates and increased deal margins. 

About Pascal Persyn

Pascal supports organisations in delivering commercial excellence in the areas of Sales Enablement, Content Strategy and Buyer Journey Enablement. His pet projects are about helping companies overcome challenges due to the empowered customer and thus evolving into buyer-aligned organisations. His executive experience in private, VC-backed and public companies enables doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Don’t hesitate to contact Pascal for expert advice: