10 Sales Urban Myths
economy rolls on, sales myths still permeate product and professional
service sales forces trying to hit their forecasted goals or sales
quotas. Like urban myths, many of these business beliefs just continue
to proliferate without identified authorship or business validity.
Often salespeople just use the same method of selling that always have
used. This “auto-selling” approach makes them feel good because
they stay inside of their comfort zone, but in reality, it reduces
their selling performance because they never change or adapt their
selling process to the need of their selling environment.
are the top ten sales myths that are currently
a disproportionate amount of your available sales cycle selling time
with a decision influencer will increase your sales success.
Hitting sales targets are a time management issue. How many prospects
do I have? Which are qualified? How many can I talk with or see in
person in a single day? How quickly can I move them through the
required sales steps and how fast can I get them to take an action
step to buy from me? These variables all are relevant in selling.
influencers are communication liaisons for your business value. When
you present and sell them, you are asking to have a non-professional
salesperson communicate your business value for you to the decision
makers. When focusing on decision influencers, you are saying A) you
do not have the sales skills to get to the decision makers or B) you
are hoping they will be able to discuss your business value as well as
you can. Can you sell decision influencers? Yes, but it is a slow
prices will increase sales in the long-term.
The Reality: Time and time again, every business segment that has followed a
commodity-based pricing schema has failed. Selling down and by price
is a short-term sales model that cannot sustain financial integrity.
customers buy value; single sale customers buy price.
networking is better than cold calling for lead generation.
This is another urban myth propitiated by those who do
not want to cold call. Sales reps who will not cold call are
half-cycle salespeople. Yes, networking can create leads, but just
because you know someone does not mean they are a buyer today.
Networking is a long-term, minimum volume lead generation technique
for salespeople. Cold
calling is the sales pipeline of success.
training is a cost center. The Reality:
Most CEO's do not spend enough on sales training. They
believe that it is more important to invest in development,
engineering or operations staff training than sales training. In fact,
sales training is more important than technical education and is a
true business profit center investment. Without sales, you don't need
development or operations. CEO's can always subcontract development,
engineering or service delivery work - but try subcontracting your
buy products or business services. The Reality:
Clients never buy your products or business services.
Account managers who sell business services or products usually sell
less. Clients buy pain management and the results your products or
you were successful last year, you should be successful this year.
Salespeople often differ to a comfort zone of auto
selling - doing the same things year after year. This repetition
implies that all prospects and customers are the same - that they are
not individuals and that they don’t change. To sell more each new
year- become a fulltime sales student.
Marketing department responsibilities should be focused on brochures,
web site communication, and tradeshow management. The Reality:
PR is not revenue; marketing is not revenue; and
advertising is not revenue. Revenue is revenue. The marketing
department's primary business responsibility should be creating
qualified sales leads for the sales team.
is the sales management’s responsibility to close sales deals for
you. The Reality: Sales management's responsibility is to help you sell as
a salesperson. That means increasing qualified lead traffic,
supervising operational issues that affect your deals, updating your
sales training skills, and acting as an intermediary with corporate
management. That does not mean going to every sales presentation or
meeting every prospect in person. Many times, this becomes the norm
instead of the exception because sales management usually carries the
department's quota as a whole and revenue is revenue. Why pursue sales
management if you have to close every deal? If you’re a professional
salesperson, most times you should not need your manager to close
sales probing will increase sales. The Reality:
The fact is asking detailed questions of prospects too
early in the sales process actually ends most sales cycles. You cannot
cold call or engage an executive of a company the first time, start
pinging them with probing business questions and expect them to answer
honestly. To achieve sales success to management, you must first earn
their respect as a business peer, not a vendor. You must validate your
knowledge about industry pains, so you can earn the right to ask
investigative questions about their business needs when it is
The key to sales success is not using probing
questions too early; instead it is acting like a strategic advisor
where you communicate your business value up front first and then earn the right to ask probing questions that will be answered
selling starts before the first sale. The Reality:
This is the biggest myth of the group and is totally wrong. Just
because prospects take your phone calls, talk to you at trade shows or
let you buy them dinner does not mean you have a relationship with
them. Prospects have to buy something to have a relationship with you.
After prospects buy from you’re the 1st time they then evaluate what
you said their purchase would deliver to them as far as a benefit and
then they decide if what you said in your pre-sales cycle matches what
they received in their post-sales cycle. If it does, then the customer
buys from you a second time …and that’s when the relationship
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