B2B sales is tough. There are various blind spots and hidden traps that even the most seasoned sales reps struggle to overcome on a continuous basis. Crafting an appropriate sales strategy to address and avoid these mistakes is vital to stay afloat and sustain a strong competitive advantage.
That being said let us analyze and understand these mistakes one by one:
1. Overselling your product at the cost of building meaningful relationships with customers
Sales is all about relationship building and B2B sales is no exception to this principle. Far too many sales people focus on hard selling, and neglect the importance of enhancing customer happiness levels.
Your prospects should feel that they are being helped instead of being sold to. Firstly, you must reach out to the right people: Create your ideal customer profiles (ICPs), targeting market segments which resonate well with your product and service offerings.
Secondly, you must cultivate the discipline to conduct thorough research and identify your target customers’ pain points elaborately. This will empower you to create captivating sales pitches that earn the attention of your prospects and describe how your product or service can satisfy their needs in a convincing way.
Lastly, ensure that your pitches are two-way conversations: Ranting on and on about your products is not what sales is all about. Listening keenly to your customers, making them feel that they are cared for and asking introspective questions is vital to close sales deals successfully.
Ask questions regarding what the lead is currently battling with, the kinds of solutions that they are seeking to solve their problems, their budget, the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making process etc. to gain deep insights into their business goals.
Tailor your pitches according to their inputs and brainstorm how your products and services can make their lives easier.
Bonding well with your prospects not only helps you close the deal, but also generates opportunities for referrals and transforms your customers into loyal brand advocates.
2. Rushing your prospects
B2B sales cycles are generally quite long and involve a lot of back and forth communication. Most sales reps tend to be pushy and stand on the edge of their feet, driving customers away as a result.
Be persistent and give sufficient time for people to gain trust and confidence in your products. Craft great follow-up emails, but don’t send them every second day to your leads.
It will make you look like the well-meaning yet pesky retail store clerk who follows you around from aisle to aisle while you’re shopping for merchandise.
By contrast, nurturing your prospects gently is a far better approach. Try to find out what your leads are looking for, how your products outsmart those of your competitors and add value in the form of case studies, product demos, and free trials.
3. Overpromising and under delivering
Creating unrealistic expectations in the minds of your prospects to close a deal and failing to fulfill these expectations on time quite simply infuriates your customers. This forces them to leave negative reviews about your business and damages your brand image, hindering your chances of getting referrals and more clients.
It is imperative that you live up to your promises to retain customer trust and expand your business. This takes a certain amount of time to build credibility and even a small number of dissatisfied customers can deplete your credibility, damage your PR, and drive loss.
To avoid this catastrophic result, don’t over-promise in your sales pitches. Keep your pitches simple, honest, and concise to win the respect of your target customers.
4. Highlighting features instead of benefits
It doesn’t matter which advanced technologies you leverage to create your product and how aesthetic your UI looks, if your product cannot generate the desired results for your customers.
New age companies do not get obsessed with product features, but rather strive to find out how a product can solve their customers’ key problems and challenges.
It is important that you inculcate this mindset throughout your organization. Walk the extra mile and find out the key issues and problems that plague your target customers.
Find how your products and services can be tailored to solve these issues and emphasize outcomes over features in your sales pitches. The best way to convince your target customers is to highlight real-time case studies and testimonials that demonstrate your worth.
5. Failing to clarify your value proposition
Anytime a prospect enquires about what your business really does, you should have a concise and well-rehearsed response that clearly describes the value that you offer to your target customers.
This is the only part of your sales presentation that you need to memorize. You would therefore be well-advised to script out, rehearse and clarify your value proposition in a way that it resonates with your target customers.
In a nutshell
If you’re honest with yourself, you will realize that you have been making several of these fatal B2B mistakes all along. If that is the case, making a conscious effort to correct these mistakes starting today, will help you evolve and grow by leaps and bounds.