6 Sales Mistakes Your Small Business Might Be Making
Now more than ever, having a successful sales strategy is crucial as your business navigates COVID-19. Most likely, you can’t afford to make sales mistakes, and every opportunity matters.
To help you improve your company’s sales strategy, we’ll review the common sales mistakes that business owners make. Then, we’ll provide tips to get on track, make more sales, and increase profit.
Are You Making These 6 Major Sales Mistakes?
1. Not Having a Sales Plan
There are many reasons that you may not have created a sales plan initially. Perhaps you created a product that gained attention quickly, starting your business with a sales spike. Or, perhaps you relied on word of mouth advertising and didn’t find it necessary to create a long-term plan.
Most likely, you were busy with the demands that come with owning a business, and simply didn’t consider it. Still, without a sales plan in place, it’s easy to struggle to boost sales. This is especially the case if you’ve experienced a slump.
What You Can Do: To start, you should devise your business’s sales plan. Here are some ways to successfully create a sales plan for your business:
- Identify your customers and their typical pain points. You should be able to easily explain how your products or services could solve their problems.
- Find strategies that traditionally work well for your industry. By focusing on these strategies, you can avoid trying methods that won’t work.
- Set short and long-term sales goals for your company. These goals will vary depending on the size of your business, sales cycle, and other factors.
- Provide your team with thorough sales training. This course should include practice sales conversations, tips on how to close a deal, and other necessary instruction.
2. Cold Calling the Wrong People
There are mixed opinions about cold calling. Some say it’s an important part of a sales strategy, while others call it a waste of time. The latter group may just have the wrong idea about what cold calling is and how it can benefit a business.
Randomly cold calling individuals to promote your business and services might not lead to many sales. However, calling individuals from your target audience to share information about your offerings can easily increase your customer base. You’ll have to put in the time, but the rewards can be great.
What You Can Do: Compile a list of individuals in your target audience that may be interested in your offerings. Then, use these tips from Entrepreneur to make the most of every call.
3. Not Following Up with Potential Customers
When you find a potential customer and establish that they’re interested in your offerings, it’s crucial to follow up. Without following up, potential customers might forget about your sales pitch, no matter how great it was.
What You Can Do: Don’t neglect this important part of your sales plan. A short email can often be enough to finalize the buying process.
Also, to ensure that you don’t lose potential sales, consider investing in CRM software. By utilizing this software you can store information about potential and existing customers. That way, you can create a sales prospecting list that includes potential customers’ information. Then, you can conduct follow up sales calls after a certain length of time.
4. Neglecting Relationships
Once you’ve identified a potential customer, presented your product, and made a sale, the process doesn’t end there. It’s easy to forget about a company after buying a product or using a service once. Your job is to ensure that your business is memorable, so customers will want to keep coming back.
What You Can Do: Ramp up your social media efforts. Social media is a great space for building relationships that will lead to repeat sales. Sprout Social has provided a guide for improving your business’ social media presence and connecting with customers.
5. Being Disorganized
After creating a sales plan and connecting with customers, you’ll probably notice that there’s more data to keep track of. If your inbox is filling up with unanswered customer emails, your business is missing out on potential sales.
What You Can Do: Streamline your sales plan and ensure that you follow through on daily tasks. Everyone has their own way of staying productive, so you’ll need to find a system that works for you. From paper calendars to productivity apps to simply delegating tasks, there’s numerous ways that you can organize your sales process.
6. Not Having a Team
An important lesson to learn as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do it all on your own. Running a business while also acting as your own sales, marketing, accounting, and HR team is enough to make anyone overwhelmed.
What You Can Do: Build a team of sales professionals, and delegate sales tasks to them. Even if you can’t afford a full-time sales team, you can at least hire some part-time sales reps. By doing this, they can handle sales tasks like social media management and making cold calls. Ensure that they are well-versed in customer service, pitching, and closing techniques.
Conclusion: Invest in Your Sales Techniques
Now that you’ve learned about common sales mistakes, it’s time to refine your business’s sales plan. Effective sales techniques can’t be learned overnight. However, by making a consistent effort to avoid sales faux pas, you’ll be able to grow you business.
What sales lessons have you learned as a small business owner? Share your sales tips with us in the section below!
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in October 2020.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.