Do you ever wonder what happened with a specific deal that didn’t close when you anticipated it would? Perhaps there was an issue on the prospect’s end, but a mishap may have been made during the sales process that could’ve been avoided.
PandaDoc’s VP of Sales, Michael Paladino Jr., came together with Mailshake Co-Founder Sujan Patel to discuss eight mistakes that stop sales teams from closing sales. Michael and Sujan don’t just outline the eight mistakes but also discuss how to develop new habits to help prevent them in the future.
I encourage you to watch the entire 60-minute webinar. However, focus on the first forty minutes if you're pressed for time. That’s where you’ll find the eight mistakes and new habits.
The First Four Mistakes
Mistake 1: Missing the opportunity to skip a step in the process when the prospect was ready to move forward. Michael says it this way—don’t sell past the yes. Ask the prospect what would prevent them from signing up today, and don’t force additional calls if the prospect is ready to buy.
Michael shares an example of a prospect who was previously a PandaDoc customer looking to return to the platform. The prospect already knew the value PandaDoc could offer. However, the sales representative kept pushing for a second call when the prospect was already ready to buy. This one-call close scenario is an excellent example of how not skipping a step in the process could lead to an unclosed sale.
Mistake 2: Qualifying the prospect incorrectly. During the discovery process, you should ask the right questions to identify if the prospect is the right fit for your product based on what they need and what the product has to offer.
Mistake 3: Underestimating the power of storytelling. If qualification is done correctly during the discovery process, you have all the details needed to tell the story. For this, the sales representative should relate back to the qualification conversation and the prospects' use case to tell a story of how the prospect will use PandaDoc to solve their need.
Mistake 4: Building a relationship with the wrong stakeholder. Michael explains that different stakeholders hold different levels of influence over a deal. There are decision-makers, coaches, and the fox.
Decision-makers will be those who make economic decisions or have the trust of the individual on the prospect's side who is signing the deal. Coaches help to navigate the sales cycle, but that is all you can expect from them. The fox is the one who is an advocate for solving problems within the organization.
Out of the three, you want to find the fox—the person who identifies problems in their organization and tries to find a solution. They are the best candidates to become your champions.
The Next Four Mistakes
Mistake 5: Failing to meet the prospect in person. Michael and Sujan agree that this is probably the least relevant mistake considering our remote world.
While you may not be meeting with clients in person, it’s crucial to think about ways to build a relationship with the client without being in person. If you are having a virtual meeting, turn your camera on so the prospect can see who you are. Also, keep culture in mind. In some cultures around the world, it’s essential to close a deal with a handshake; if that’s the case, you should make an effort to meet the prospect in person.
Mistake 6: Failing to customize the demo of the product. There is no guarantee that you can take everyone through the same journey and it will work every time. Use the demo to tell a story of the customer’s journey (what you learned in the discovery) and how the prospect's company can use the product for success.
Mistake 7: Not using technology to stay on top of your pipeline. If you are still using Excel spreadsheets, it’s probably time to move on if you want to remain competitive. Many tools are available (sales chatbots, CRMs, reporting & analytics), but be prescriptive about which ones and how many you choose to use in order to be productive.
Mistake 8: Navigating the sales process alone. Some sales representatives may be afraid to ask for help. If the deal is stalling and you’ve done everything possible, reach out to your team. You may be able to connect with a mentor to help you overcome challenges.
Recap & What’s Next
We are human and mistakes can happen along the way. Whether you are a new or seasoned sales representative, treat yourself with grace and use the hiccups as an opportunity to grow.
Use the mistakes included in this article as helpful reminders. Put them on a sticky note, a whiteboard, or just bookmark this article for future reference.
Next week, we will discuss three simple steps to closing a deal. If you want to get a head start before the post, then watch the webinar.
In the meantime, we want to hear from you!
Let us know in the comments below what measures your team has in place to minimize mistakes in the sales cycle.
Does your sales team use storytelling? How do you find the right stakeholder (the fox)?
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