Key takeaways

  • We’re human, and we make sales mistakes. It’s a part of life and a part of sales.
  • When it comes to sales mistakes, you can utilize tools like your sales software to look at past performance.
  • A team must remain diligent in their efforts while also being agile and ready to pivot when things aren’t working out.

An experienced salesperson typically has an arsenal of sales tactics they employ at various times throughout the sales journey. From how to get customers to how to retain them, there are many ways for salespeople to excel. However, for as many ways there are to make a sale, there are just as many sales mistakes to avoid.

From not focusing more on features over benefits, to inconsistent customer service, there are six common sales mistakes to avoid in 2023. Let’s take a look at those, as well as the sales strategies on how to circumvent them.

Focusing on features, not benefits

One of the most common mistakes salespeople make is focusing on the features of what they’re selling, and not the benefits. In other words, salespeople should focus more on what their product does for a potential customer rather than its features. Unfortunately, some customers may lack the technical know-how to fully understand some features. It’s the job of your sales person to help bridge that technology gap. 

In addition, some people may be looking for something to solve a particular problem. Your sales team should be ready to highlight how your product can solve those problems. You’re closer to a sale if you show them your product can solve that issue.

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ALSO READ: Top 8 Sales Mapping Software for Territory Planning

Hearing not listening

Many people believe being a “talker” is what makes a good salesperson, but in reality, a real listener will outperform a talked every day.

Waiting to talk is different from listening, and is one of the most common sales mistakes. You may be hearing what’s being said, but if you’re only thinking about what to say next, you’re doing yourself—and your potential client—a disservice.

It’s vital to truly process what your customer is telling you, as quite often it’s giving you a roadmap to how to make the sale. You may miss important information that could give insight into what your customer needs.

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Not addressing needs of the customer

Not addressing your customer’s needs goes hand-in-hand with hearing and not listening. Chances are, your product can help people. Therefore, an essential part of making a sale is to know what your potential lead may need and then address how you and you can fill that need.

If you want to make a sale, pay attention to their specific needs. Ask them open-ended questions, getting them to open up about what they need and where their pain points lay. This is a great way to build trust and maybe even gain a few referrals.

In addition, knowing your customer’s needs helps you offer a personalized solution rather than giving a canned sales pitch. This leads us to our next point.

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Overuse of sales scripts

Have you ever received a phone call, and when you answered, gotten a barrage of generic one-liners or obviously scripted lines? The person on the other end of the phone droned on and on, obviously going through a script that they’ve repeated time and time again, not once giving you a personalized response or even a question. 

These calls are frustrating, to say the least. Not only did someone cold call you, but they’re obviously reading from a script, not caring who you are or if you have any input. There are better ways to sell. 

Implementing sales scripts can be helpful, but it can also lead to a serious sales mistake. Following a template can help structure your call, but a script should be something you refer to, not read verbatim

Instead, your sales team should focus on personalized solutions tailored specifically for each customer. As a result, you’ll find that potential customers feel more connected with your sales representative. That connection can be essential to convert potential customers into buyers.

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Inconsistent customer service

A lack of consistency in customer service is poor customer service. For example, say a company isn’t aligned on goals and how to go about reaching those goals—or, is relying on multiple funnels of information. All this inconsistency can make your company appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. 

To help build consistency, you can standardize many things without sacrificing the personalization of sales scripts. For example, create task guides that anyone can access and follow. In addition, regularly review your process to identify room for improvement.

It’s also important to foster a culture of training and accountability. Inconsistency stems from a company not following the process and incorporating its workarounds. Try offering rewards or incentives to those who can help maintain the process and weed out those who consistently need to work around the structure, resulting in a low close rate.

Customer feedback can also help you gain insight into inconsistent customer service. Therefore, if you can, send short surveys via email or SMS allowing customers can share their experiences.

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Not following up

Following up with leads and customers is essential to any sales process. However, not reaching out after the first contact or sale is a common mistake many sales representatives make. However, it’s one step you can take to help convert more sales during the customer onboarding process.

After talking with a customer or potential buyer, regularly staying in touch is a crucial sales step. When  following up, include updates on pricing or features and benefits. These updates help keep your product in people’s minds, help them stay engaged in your brand, and also help increase trust in your sales team.

For those contacts that don’t turn into customers, sales managers can reach out to offer new information or a better deal. Some folks just need a little nudging to get on board and buy what you’re selling.

Nurture relationships often, and you’re sure to see better results.

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How to avoid sales mistakes

We’re human, and we make mistakes. It’s a part of life and a part of sales. However, we can learn from our mistakes and other people’s mishaps. When it comes to sales mistakes, you can utilize tools like your sales software to look at past performance, gauge what worked and what didn’t, and make plans to reverse errors and not make the same ones again as you move forward. 

To avoid sales mistakes, a team must remain diligent in their efforts while also being agile and pivot when things aren’t working out. For example, if your script didn’t work for several calls, maybe there are ways to personalize it.

While everyone will make mistakes, the important thing is that your team learns from them and moves forward, hopefully improving as they go. Looking for the latest in Sales Software solutions? Check out our Sales Software Buyer’s Guide.

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