The Top 4 Sales Traps to Avoid

by Dec 29, 2018Solution Selling0 comments

Sales Traps that Are Most Likely to Decrease Your Sales Potential
There are many sales traps that will hinder your performance.  The most experienced and highest performing sales reps know how to avoid the top sales traps.  Unfortunately, too many consultative sellers fall into traps that keep them from achieving their quota.

The Top Four Sales Traps to Avoid
Here are the top four sales traps that even the best sales leaders need to work hard to avoid:

1. Being too Outcome Oriented
While this first sales trap may seem counterintuitive, far too many sales reps focusing on closing deals and reaching quota instead of helping their customers to succeed. Sure it is important to set and achieve crystal clear sales targets, but the long play is to focus on your customers – what matters to them and their customers and your role in helping them get what they want and need.  All too often, we have seen sales teams neglect what customers really care about.

That is a mistake.  It is important to keep connected to the marketplace so you know when customers’ needs and desires change.  It is also important to keep aligned with your own company’s strategy and culture.  When a sales force is out of sync with either their customers or their overall business, they often miss opportunities to grow and thrive.

2. Overlooking the Basics
Yes, sales metrics and data are essential to keeping on track. But too much of a focus on data can lead you to the trap of overlooking important relationships which represent the critical people side of sales.  The best solution sellers excel at results and relationships.  Without the results, you risk a lack of accountability; without the people, you risk a loss of critical information that can inform your understanding of what the market will buy and from whom.

3. Relying on One-Size-Fits-All Training
Each salesperson has different training needs and learning styles. Selecting an off-the-shelf sales training program is a mistake.  Based upon measuring over 800 sales training programs, we know only 20 percent of participants change their behavior and performance from stand-alone sales training programs.  First you need to have a clear idea of what specific sales skills matter most for your unique sales strategy and marketplace.  Then you need to know where each one of your sales team fits into the ideal profile.

Effective sales training provides real-world practice scenarios that are relevant to the key sales challenges your team faces for your specific industry.  Teach what is needed to those who need it in a way that appeals to their particular learning style.

4. Neglecting the Natural Synergy between Sales and Marketing
While some tension between sales and marketing can be beneficial, when sales and marketing are misaligned, both suffer. Companies that have found a way to create strong ties between marketing and sales better maximize sales potential and customer loyalty.  The better you can directly link lead generation to sales success, the smoother the path for your solution sellers.

The Bottom Line
None of this is rocket science.  Yet we find all too many sales leaders focus too narrowly on hitting quota.  Are you keeping an eye on the broader landscape – stakeholders, relationships, effective training, and marketing goals?

To learn more about taking your sales team to the next level, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Sales Strategy

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