Avoiding the Top 10 Sales Mistakes

Industry experts and online faculty from the University of San Francisco tell you how to steer clear of common sales missteps that can hurt your numbers and ultimately stall your career.

How savvy are you when it comes to the latest sales tools and techniques? Are common mistakes negatively impacting your numbers? We’ve identified 10 areas where even the most experienced sales professional can come up lacking. Fumbling during the sales process can not only cost you sales, but also slow your career momentum – when the other guy who does know how to avoid these pitfalls edges you out. Studying and implementing these crucial strategies will help you maintain a competitive advantage.

10 common sales mistakes you must avoid:

10. Pipeline Neglect
Think ahead, rather than focusing solely on what will close today or this month. Set aside blocks of time out of your schedule specifically to make calls to new prospects and follow up with existing clients, who can be an excellent source for referrals.

9. Insufficient Account/Territory Research
Reevaluate your prospecting practices. Is there room for improvement? Use all the resources available to you – including the Internet, clients, suppliers and networking – to discover who and where the best sales opportunities are.

8. Poor Lead Qualification Practices
Don’t spend time and money on leads that aren’t likely to convert to customers. Ask the right questions during the first conversation – or make follow-up calls if you need additional information – to ensure your lead has purchase authority and funding for your product.

7. Inadequate Product Knowledge
Gain as much personal experience of your product as possible; you’ll have more credibility and be better able to answer your prospects’ questions if you’ve actually used what you’re selling. Attend sales calls, trade shows and training classes to see how your colleagues are presenting your product, and talk to your existing customers about their experience with it.

6. Inadequate Competitive Knowledge
Gather competitive information from a variety of sources. Talk to your colleagues and current prospects. Research your competitors online, paying close attention to their web sites and marketing materials. Be sure to study the competition’s pitch at any trade shows and conferences you may attend.

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