These five problems crop up in sales more often than you’d think, and they can cause you to lose a prospect for no apparent reason.
It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of working in sales: you get a prospect in your sights, things seem to be going well and then, BAM!, they’re gone. For one reason or another, the conversion just never materializes. Every sales person has experienced this problem at some point in his or her career. Losing the occasional prospect is something that you simply have to come to terms with if you’re going to make it as a salesperson. However, if you’re frequently losing prospects, there are some things that you need to take a look at. These five problems crop up in sales more often than you’d think, and they can cause you to lose a prospect for no apparent reason.
If your marketing campaign isn’t properly targeted, you may be attracting prospects who were never going to become buyers. They may like your products, and find them interesting, but they have no interest in buying them, or can’t afford them. If that’s the case, not only are you wasting sales hours on them, you’re also wasting marketing efforts. Make sure that you have well-defined buyer personas, and that your marketing efforts are properly targeted toward those personas. If you’re attracting the right prospects, you should have a good conversion rate and fewer bounces.
There’s a wide gap between attracting prospects and keeping them. If you’re not offering them content that they find valuable, then they’ll simply go somewhere else. Part of your buyer persona should be a detailed interest profile for your ideal buyers. Then, you should be offering timely, relevant, and frequently updated content targeted toward those interests. Whether it’s through a website, blog, social media, email, or a combination of channels, your prospects should be turning to you for information.
Nurturing isn’t about pushing prospects through the sales funnel; it’s about providing them with a path that they can follow through the sales funnel in their own time. As the success of inbound marketing has proven, push marketing generally ends up pushing people away. If you’re using general web pages and disorganized or, worse yet, no landing pages, then your prospects will have trouble finding the path. Use good content, and targeted pages to provide clear markers from interest to conversion.
One problem many sales people face is dealing with prospects too early in the sales funnel. These prospects simply weren’t at the point of buying, leading to high bounce rates when they reach the sales stage. This wastes your time, wastes marketing efforts, and can damage the ROI on all of your marketing and sales efforts. If you’ve lost a few prospects, go back over their nurturing cycle, and see if they were truly ready to meet with a salesperson. If they’re getting to you before they’re ready, it’s time to tweak your nurturing to keep them in the top of the funnel longer.
Most of the time, you make your own luck. Sometimes, things are out of your hands. Every salesperson will go through a rough patch or dry spell. It may seem, for a time, as if you can’t do anything right. Again, this happens to every sales person. An important part of your job is always going to be self-examination. After every success, and every failure, you need to look back at the things that you did right, and find things you can do better next time. If your planning and preparation are sound, and there are no problems with your marketing or nurturing, then it may simply be a run of bad luck. Maybe the prospects didn’t secure funding, maybe you were snaked by another provider, or maybe they just decided your product wasn’t for them. All of those things happen, and your only recourse is to keep doing your job to the best of your ability.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.