The software sales process can be perilous – even lead generation for your business software is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re not talking about risk to yourself, but to your business and to your bottom line.
In a market where one missed sales opportunity might turn into a social media meltdown and a string of bad press, you need to ensure your software sales process avoids critical mistakes that alienate your prospects. Even for sales conversations that don’t ultimately close, you should still leave a positive, lasting impression on the prospect.
Here are the seven most deadly mistakes or “sins” that many sales teams make throughout the software sales cycle – from initial lead generation to final close:
Deadly Sin #1: Product Dumping
Product dumping is the practice of proposing too many things for a prospect to buy or droning on too long about a product that a prospect might not be interested in. The product dump is the most overused and overrated sales tactic that exists – and its consequences are deadly to your sale. After all, would you like to hear someone go on extensively about a product or service you don’t even need?
Avoid this mistake by asking questions about the prospect’s needs and wants, their customers and their company as a whole. By listening more than speaking, an experienced salesperson influences a potential buyer’s behavior in more indirect, subtle ways.
Deadly Sin #2: Deriding The Current Solution
Even when a prospect is voluntarily coming to your company for a new business software solution, your salespeople should never bad-mouth that prospect’s current solution. Remember: someone within the company chose that current solution, and that same person might be the one you’re trying to convince to sign your final agreement – in fact, that person might even be the one who’s on the other end of the phone.
Rather than deriding a prospect’s current solution or vendor, your salespeople should focus on building long-term relationships with prospects and customers that look beyond the initial close.
Deadly Sin #3: Ignoring Prospect Follow-Up
Just because an initial cold call didn’t end with an appointment or because the first in-depth conversation didn’t end with a close doesn’t mean your salespeople should ignore a prospect after that event. In fact, the lack of a follow-up may turn a prospect away from making a final decision on your software solution altogether.
Instead of just hoping a prospect returns to you, implement a robust lead nurturing campaign that ensures you never forget to follow up with every single contact in your lead database.
Deadly Sin #4: Not Communicating Internally
Especially if your software sales process is split between appointment setters and closers, you should never let a communication rift develop between the two sides of your sales team. Your lead generation and closing efforts are both hamstrung if your two specialists don’t communicate with each other about each prospect that they handle.
On the other hand, if you use software sales tools like customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software, you ensure your team’s communication is fluid and the experience for the prospect is seamless.
Deadly Sin #5: Only Going After Hand-Raisers
Hand-raisers are those prospects that come to your company voluntarily, requesting more information on your business software and freely giving you their contact information. While these leads are the most qualified, your sales team shouldn’t solely focus on these prospects – if they do, your revenue won’t grow nearly as quickly.
Robust lead generation takes a lot of hard work, including plenty of cold calls and follow-ups. Make sure your team has the right resources and training under their belts so they pursue more than just hand-raisers.
Deadly Sin #6: Incentivizing Reps Incorrectly
Software sales representatives need to be incentivized properly to make sure their work is the most effective not only in terms of time but also in terms of bottom-line profit. Likewise, reps should be deterred from making poor sales or going after prospects that aren’t likely to close.
Instead of just establishing a one-size-fits-all policy of software sales rewards, ensure that your compensation process incentivizes sales reps in the proper way, including rewards such as bonuses, commissions, job security and professional training and development.
Deadly Sin #7: Relying On Bad Data
Relying on bad data for lead generation or during any stage of the sales cycle is the worst mistake of them all. Incorrect, faulty or outdated information in your lead database means your sales reps are wasting their time – when they could be generating revenue for your business.
Avoid this mistake by always keeping your lead database as clean and as updated as possible. When you stop pursuing bad leads or faulty data, you’ll realize a noticeable gain in both new lead generation and closed sales.
Navigating around these seven deadly sins of the software sales process ensures that your salespeople are using their time most effectively to set more appointments and finalize more deals. Even when a prospect encounter doesn’t result in a closed sale, avoiding these sins keeps your company’s reputation solidly intact.
Does your software sales process need an in-depth review? Or what about your sales team: are they communicating effectively? Get answers to your most pressing questions by clicking below to watch the Decoding Your Sales Data webinar, hosted by Invenio Solutions®. Discover how a closed-loop software sales cycle gives your sales team the insight it needs to drive revenue more effectively for your business.