Why Good Sales People Go Bad (Get Rid of These Habits)
It is quite common for salespeople to lose enthusiasm or become complacent over time, and in the fast-changing world of software sales, it can certainly be hard to keep up with the high standards you started out your career with.
However, if you continue this course, your sales will plummet (or perhaps are already doing so!)
Here are four core reasons why good salespeople go wrong, as well as some helpful advice on how to turn the tide.
You have become disorganised.
When you started out, you had a small client list, a small CRM, and a small list of leads. Life was exciting as you could see so much room for growth, but your workload was also administratively quite manageable and easy to keep track on top of.
In your enthusiasm for sales stardom, you did not take the time to set up proper working habits from the outset.
Fast forward to now, and your CRM is seriously out of date, you haven’t checked in with your clients in a while, and as many leads slip by as get followed up. You feel you never catch up with your work and your weeks fly by with the feeling you’re running on a treadmill and never getting anywhere.
Oh dear. You have been the victim of your own success and have allowed yourself to become disorganised. In fact, because you didn’t start out organised, this state of admin chaos was the obvious conclusion!
Luckily, it’s never too late, and you can even get the sense of enthusiasm and control back that you had in those early days.
The first step is to do an audit on your working week. Where does your time go? Where is it wasted?
Then analyse your high pay off activities and start structuring your day around your most effective working time.
Spend some time (yes, you may have to sacrifice a weekend or two) cleaning up your CRM and updating it— you will be shocked and inspired by all the leads you find!
Add at least one customer service task to your daily tasks. Check in with those clients you already have, have a chat and see how they are finding the software, and if they might need an upgrade…
You have fallen into complacency.
Back in the day, you did LOTS of research on the company before you called them, asked great questions, and then tailored a killer pitch to ensure the software you were selling was correctly targeted at their business need. You also knew everything there was to know about the product, and hassled the product developers and hung out on forums to find out as much as you could about the end user experience. You also followed up with your clients on a regular basis to see they were happy with the product.
These days, you are so settled into the routine of selling this product that you cold-call a lead with only the most cursory research into the company you are calling. You feel you know everything there is to know about the product and are so comfortable with your pitch that you almost feel the product ‘sells itself’. Any wonder your sales numbers have started to drop off? You’re asleep at the wheel!
Need some inspiration? Check out that new sales guy that’s just joined the team. How keen is he? He’s excited about the newest edition of his favourite tech mag, he’s asking endless questions of the software developers to find out more about the product, and he’s chasing up every lead like a dog with a bone. Remember when you were like that? Sometimes all it takes to get that competitive spirit firing again is spending a little time with someone who reminds you of your younger self.
You are dropping your price way too readily.
As your sales enthusiasm wanes, you find that you’re increasingly having to offer discounts or upgrades just to get the customer over the line. Sometimes you do this just to get them to keep talking to you—not realising (or not caring?) that these kinds of ploys often just diminish the value of the product in the customer’s eyes.
You need to re-establish, both in your mind and the customer’s mind, that the product has genuine value and fulfils a number of business needs. Once you have created this sense of value, you won’t need to drop the price or offer upgrades!
If you’re competing in a tight market and you find you simply do have to offer something extra, always offer an upgrade over a discount, as that has the better connotation than slashing the initial price.
You’re not supporting the client through the sale and beyond.
You are not offering the same level of customer service as you used to.
Where before you gave the lead a really thorough briefing on what installation and technical support they would experience by becoming a customer, now you sometimes skip telling them about some of the offers, hoping you will not have to do as much work, or just wanting to move onto the next call.
Unsurprisingly, this leads to less happy customers, fewer sales, and fewer follow-up sales. Go back to doing things the right way, and you will soon see your sales bounce back. Also, to give this process a kickstart and win back any disgruntled existing customers, do a ring-around to check in on some clients who have not heard from you in a while.
It is easy to lose enthusiasm, and even easier to become complacent over time. We understand. However, if you want to continue your career in software sales and make it a great one, you must act NOW to reinvigorate your love of selling.
Until next time,
LivRecruit specialises in Inside Sales, Senior Sales and Technology Recruitment. The LivRecruit team is based in Greater Manchester and have over 17 years’ experience providing recruitment solutions for technology companies across the UK.
If you are looking for the right new hire for your technology team or want to take your career to the next level call us on 0161 883 2856 or email us here.