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28 Jan 2015

The 7 Common Mistakes Made by Sales Managers

Everyone wants to earn more, but there are some people that cut their own income. I'm not referring to those employees that are lazy or incompetent, but salespeople that instead of doing limitless selling, do limited selling. 

We all know that it is not the market, nor is it the competition, or the marketing budget that is limiting your sales.  It is also not your boss, your manager, your supplier, your support departments and even the finance department that is putting a lid on your sales.  Of course it is never the market or the government that is putting any strains on your sales. The only thing that limits your sales is your own thinking.  Many salespeople I come across are doing limited sales instead of limitless sales.  The 7 most common situations are:


1.   Sales Targets.  

Going after sales targets that were themselves limited to growth from previous year's performance. In other words, your sales targets are determined by what you achieved last year.  If last year was a bumper year, no problem. Otherwise, your sales targets are too low.  I recommend to set a high audacious target, like 10 times of what the usual targets. 

2. Fixed routine.  

Like morning reply e-mails, after that have internal meetings at 10 am followed by order fulfilment tasks like checking inventory and logistics. When all the dust is settled it is already past 11 am, and the salesperson then goes out to meet prospects and clients.  By the time he reached the prospect's office, that prospect already has met up with other vendors and thus you the later comer is on the losing side.  Sounds familiar?

The solution?  Change the routine.  Go out and meet prospects early in the morning.  The early bird catches the worm.


3. Comfort Level.  

Many people are happy with take-home income of $6,000 a month, thus if they are already close to earning this level, they are not hungry enough to go out and get more sales.  In short, the comfort level is making the salesperson lazy.

The solution? Make salespeople hungry again by changing either the remuneration structure or send them for courses.

4. Going After 'Safe' Prospects.  

Such prospects are likely buyers but they are being pursued by too many vendors.  Unless you have a very special value proposition, don't ever think of getting a foot in the door of such hot prospects.  It is better to go after newer and lesser pursued prospects, where your chance of success is higher.

5.  Existing Clients.  

Many salespeople were taught, like what Microsoft did for years, to go after existing clients and sell them as many products and services as possible.  "Make them buy our new modified version, and if there aren't any, make them buy our new packaging".  That's why you see new Windows and Office versions coming up every 2 years.  

But we know that such approach is no longer working.  Customers are getting overwhelmed with 'new' products that are not anything new.  As a result, customers are not buying anything from you at all.  Just look at the dismal sales of Windows 8 and you'll know that I am talking about.  


The Solution?  Go for New Clients.   


6.  Old Mindset.  Like cannot do too many sales or you'll 'spoil the market' and make sales targets raised for all


7. Wrong Thinking.  Like thinking reactively, slowly, narrowly and even not thinking any more.  The solution?   Adopt new thinking, like Limitless Selling thinking. For details, see our previous article "How to Be Limitless in Your Selling".


By Andy Ng, Sales Trainer at Asia Trainers, related articles on sales:

  1. The 7 Successful Selling Strategies that Make Your Competitors Cry
  2. How PIC can benefit salespeople too
  3. The Magic Strategy that Increase Your Sales by 33% Instantly
  4. 5 Power Questions to Ask Yourself Today
  5. How to Present so that people will welcome you like a Present
  6. Win New Customers Effortlessly in 7 Easy Ways
  7. Successful Pitching with Hot Button Selling