When I ask sales executives, "What is your biggest challenge?" I hear a lot of different answers. One of the most common answers is "getting more high-quality leads." Very often, however, we find their company already has many sales opportunities that are being missed. Focusing on fixing these sales leaks vs. getting more leads can result in larger sales gains.
Top 5 Ways to Lose a Sale
- Not recognizing a prospect. The number one way companies miss a sales opportunity is when they fail to recognize a prospect. Someone doesn’t forward an inquiry in a timely manner or at all. A sales rep doesn’t ask the right qualifying questions. Or a hundred other ways that organizations fail to connect with a prime prospect in time to make the sale. The Fix: Take a look at your sales process for handling inquires, make sure your sales reps are properly trained to recognized a prospect, and make everyone in the company who has customer contact part of your sales team.
- Lack of planning. Planning gives you the best possible opportunity to reach your prospects with a timely sales presentation. It also enables sales reps to manage their most valuable resource, time – booking the right number of appointments so that they can spend enough time with each prospect to make the sale without ignoring valuable leads. The Fix: Make sure that you are not stretching your team too far and are properly staffed, consider expand your capabilities by working with a sales advisory, determine if you have all the sales management tools you need to properly plan and track sales leads and discover any planning gaps.
- Poor first impression. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. If you leave a bad first impression, you shouldn’t expect to be able to ever convince the prospect that it was the "wrong impression". The Fix: Put yourself in the customers’ place and look in the mirror – literally and figuratively – and be critical.
- Not knowing enough about the prospect before your meeting. Knowledge of your client and their market, and how your product can solve their problems, is essential to making a sales presentation that addresses your prospects needs and concerns. Taking the time to learn about your client before you meet can be the difference between sales success and failure. The Fix: Invest your time in doing research, make sure that you have access to the necessary sales support resources.
- Not really listening to the prospect. The Fix: Make sure to actively listen to your customers, ask open-ended questions that give them the opportunity to talk about their needs and concerns, encourage them to be open with you.
What do you think is the #1 way to miss a sales opportunity? Contact us for help with your sales performance.