by Kelley Robertson

If you aren’t managing your clients and sales cycle with the help of a simple CRM and sales tracking app, like Base, you might not be making your sales.

During a recent sales training workshop, several people complained about always being under the gun to reach sales targets. The same group also griped that they were not making their numbers and they wanted to know what they could do to change that.
As the day progressed, it became evident that they were failing to execute key selling strategies.

Here are seven of the reasons we looked at that might be preventing you from making your sales numbers.

1. Failing to prospect every day

As obvious as is seems many sales people simply don’t prospect enough. They spend most of their day dealing with existing clients but fail to prospect for new business.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior causes extreme peaks and valleys in their sales results.

2. Neglecting to thoroughly qualify

Qualifying prospects has always been the most important aspect of the sales process—at least in my opinion. However, far too many sales people invest minimal time here, preferring to spend the bulk of their time talking about their product or solution.

However, taking the time to thoroughly understand a prospect’s situation BEFORE presenting the solution is the most effective way to improve your sales results.

3. Inability to articulate the value

Sales people love talking about their product or service but the vast majority cannot articulate the true value of it to their prospects. They present all the bells and whistles, discuss the features and show the prospect everything about the product. However, this by itself, does not demonstrate value.

True value is revealed when the prospect can see exactly how the solution will benefit them or their company.

4. Talking about the wrong things

Many of the sales people I encounter in my sales training programs tend to talk about what is important to them, not what is of value to their prospect. This approach usually results in a sales pitch that is unfocused and that fails to demonstrate the value of their product, service or offering.

If you want to sell more, find out what is important to your prospect (see point #2) and adapt your presentation so that it addresses those concerns and/or issues.

5. Failing to hear the prospect

Sometimes sales people are too busy waiting for their turn to talk so they miss key information. They may nod and smile as their prospect is sharing key details of their situation but they are usually just waiting to present their solution or talk about their product or service.

6. Relying on one approach

In today’s highly competitive business world, some sales people still rely on using one or two strategies to connect with new prospects. Whether it is cold calling, relying on referrals, giving presentations, attending trade shows, etc., one or two tactics is simply not enough.

We need to get creative and use a variety of techniques and strategies if we want to improve our connection rate with prospects. For example, when I learned that one of my prospects prefers contact via direct message on Twitter I changed my approach and connected with him almost immediately.

7. Giving up too soon

It’s been said that the most successful sales people keep persisting even when a prospect says no. And there is merit in this strategy. A friend of mine approached a television producer about an idea for a show. Joe was told no but he persisted and kept the conversation alive. Eventually, he made a strong business case, and he was given the opportunity to move ahead with the show.

Had he accepted the initial “no” which was expressed in the first 60 seconds of the call, he would not have been given the opportunity.

There you have it…seven reasons that can prevent you from making your numbers and reaching your sales. Each of these reasons is completely within your control so the only thing preventing you from executing, is you.