- February 27, 2016
- Posted by: Robert Duke
- Categories: Articles, B2B
There’s a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein. It reads:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
The only problem is that Einstein never said anything remotely close to that statement. And, in the context of the quote, repeatedly crediting someone with a thing they have no relation to is quite insane.
What if someone told you that you are doing something similar with your B2B pitches? Alright, perhaps that wasn’t clear enough. So, here it is: you are repeating some of the most common sales mistakes consistently and expecting conversions all the same.
Now that this article has your undivided attention, let’s explore some of the things you need to avoid.
What you shouldn’t do
The most common sales mistakes don’t have anything to do with what you say during a client meeting. Most often, they are about what you leave out of the pitch.
So, here are four critical B2B blunders that you must avoid at all costs:
#1. Ignore The Data
Let’s ease you into what’s about to come with a few statistics from a Gartner report. Most B2B customers are 2.8 times more likely to purchase something if they receive better information. That’s not all. Approximately 60% of B2B enterprises will adopt a data-driven selling approach by 2025.
What’s the takeaway here? Well, that’s easy enough to understand: you must rely on accurate data sets to conceptualize compelling sales pitches. For instance, say you’re looking to launch an email marketing campaign. How will you know that the leads you have on hand will respond to you?
Yet, you wouldn’t have to spend a second contemplating that answer if you had already conducted your market research. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or outsource the information; generating accurate and, more importantly, responsive leads will be the first step to making a successful pitch.
Remember that even if you forget everything else.
#2. Prioritize Features Over Benefits
A few years ago, your prospects listened if you listed your product’s novel features. Going with that assumption today is one of the most common sales mistakes.
Having established that, let’s rip the band-aid off: Whatever you are selling, unique as it may be, has hundreds of competitors out there. Nothing you say or do during your pitch will eliminate that fact. In short, prospecting—the process of attracting potential clients—is the hardest bit of the process.
But what’s the solution? To put it bluntly, you must ditch the assumption that prospects want to know about your product. Instead, you have to highlight the issues that you’re solving. So, answer these questions when you make a pitch:
- What client-related problems does your product/service address
- How does it manage that issue
- Will it be able to resolve any related complications
Remember this: Your prospects only care about their world. It’d help if you tailored your promotional efforts to show them you feel the same way. There’s no other way around it.
#3. Put Conversions Before Product Value
The bane of any B2B sales pitch is a demanding clientele. They don’t back down on prices, know precisely where your weak spots are, and, worse yet, force you to play on their terms.
Here’s a secret: You don’t need to.
When you lower your product price, you aren’t just committing one of the most common sales mistakes; you’re also undercutting your value and saying, ‘Yes, maybe my product isn’t worth that much.’ Do you want to state something like that?
What makes matters worse is that when you cut back on your original rate, you start attracting the worst type of clientele—bottom-feeders, the kind that thrives on lowballing you.
So, stand behind your premium price model. When you do that, you demonstrate a belief in the value you’re creating with your product. That will bring the right clients straight to you.
#4. Make Restrictive Proposals
Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario:
You’ve made it past the lobbying phase. You’ve dealt with the necessary formalities, ensuring that a prospect has all the information regarding your product. Now, you have to put forward a proposal. So, what do you do?
If your response to that question is to present a single option, you can add another notch to the common sales mistakes you’ve made so far. Yet, you aren’t alone in this. There are plenty of B2B sellers who do the same. And understanding why this is wrong is crucial to rectifying it. Let’s go with another example here.
You make a proposal on your services at X rate. However, your prospects would prefer a more expensive pricing model (Y rate) that would enable them to address the root cause of their organizational issues. By providing a single option, you’ve not only alienated a potential client but also lost out on more money. See how this works?
So, never offer just one pricing model to your would-be customers. Instead, list out at least three or more. When it comes to a proposal, a good rule of thumb is to present:
- One inexpensive option
- A slightly pricier version of the previous model with some additional features
- A comprehensive premium package
The idea here is simple enough to understand: the more avenues you provide to your potential client, the higher the chance of making a sale.
One Trick To Winning It All
Yet another one of the most common sales mistakes people rarely address is the issue of following up on a lead. Studies show that 44% of B2B salespeople give up after just one failed attempt. That’s incredibly disappointing considering that 80% of sales require an average of five calls to convert a lead successfully.
You don’t necessarily have to check back with a prospect through a call. A simple email will suffice. What matters is that you do it. After all, selling something requires you to be persistently persuasive.
Building For The Future In The B2B Landscape
A few days from now, when you are busy trying to reach new prospects, you may not be able to recall all the information in this article. However, you cannot let go of this: Data drives sales. Let it be that if you can take away only one thing from here.
Still, navigating B2B sales will remain challenging, despite you putting your best foot forward. Yet, it must be done. And, now that you know a little more than you did earlier, who better to do it than you?