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Agile Computing Authors: Greg O'Connor, Ian Khan, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Greg Dickinson

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9 Sales Myths You Should Stop Believing Today

We had the pleasure of hosting three sales experts on a webinar to review and unravel 9 popular sales myths.  We captured and highlighted the 9 myths here, but you can also watch the full webcast now.

The first three myths are from Nancy Nardin, Founder & President, Smart Selling Tools.

 

Myth 1: Sales is a numbers game – High Activity = High Quota.

Sales people often subscribe to the notion that x number of calls and x number of emails will produce x amount of revenue targets. This incorrectly aligns the rep’s focus on the number of calls instead of the quality of calls.

Sales is a game of outcomes. The numbers game does not measure the right goals and outcomes. To maximize revenue, use a more targeted and thoughtful approach. Connect the right people at the right time with the right messaging instead of wasting time with high activity non-tailored messaging.

 

Myth 2: Digital Body Language is the Holy Grail for Lead Qualification.

Once a web visitor fills out a form, marketers can track the visitor’s digital body language or online movements (visits, clicks, form submits) and speed up the sale cycle with targeted messaging.

Digital body language tracking only works for identified contacts. Webforms are abandoned 90% of the time and of all of your website visitors, only 2-4% complete a webform. This means that most of your web visitors remain anonymous. Prospects make 57% of their due diligence before their first contact with a sales person. (Source: hushly.com)

 

Myth 3: Quota Attainment is the Most Important Sales Metric.

Focusing on quota as the most important measurement for how a sales person is doing, does not help you identify how to improve existing processes or how to make your sales team more productive.

Quota attainment tells you whether reps are selling as much as they should be selling, but it doesn’t tell you whether they’re selling as much as they could be selling. Quota attainment is important, but evaluated without taking into account how a rep spends their limited sales capacity, is virtually a useless metric. To grow revenue, figure out where productivity improvements can be made to free up more time for selling to the right kinds of prospects.

Our next three myths are brought to you by Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing.

 

Myth 4: Previous Sales Experience is Required.

Formal sales training is often seen as a key factor in hiring sales people, but does not show the full picture of whether your candidate has the right stuff for your organization.

Hire based on characteristics. Characteristics and skills that exhibit the behavioral attributes that align with your brand and the way you do business will get you good sales people. People that are naturally hard workers and customer focused can be taught the rest.  

 

Myth 5: Previous Industry Experience is Required.

Industry knowledge removes part of the learning curve and could decrease your ramp time when joining a new organization, but you may have too many pre-conceived notions about how things should be done or what has been done in the past to see how the industry has transformed today.

Industry experience does not always translate into what’s working right now. Customer centric plans and knowing how to ask the right questions is more important that having direct industry experience.

 

Myth 6: You Can’t Do Complex/Enterprise Sales Over the Phone.

The assumption that you have to be face-to-face in order to get the deal does not take into account the buyer’s preference.  The old-school thought about field sales vs inside sales is transforming and sales people are learning to adopt both in-person and phone skills to build relationships and close deals.

We can recreate the environment of intimacy with various sales tools that do not require face-to-face interaction. Understanding how to ask the right questions to uncover the prospect or buyer’s needs and pain points is not a skill that requires in-person communication.

Our last three sales myths are from Lori Richardson, Founder and CEO of Score More Sales.

 

Myth 7: The Phone is Not Effective Anymore.

The phone is a tool that gets misused by many sellers.  While most calls go to voice mail and do not get returned, well-crafted voice mails help build your brand and extol value to your potential buyers.

A multi-faceted connection strategy is what works for potential buyers. Brief, concise messaging through various forms of communication (including the phone) that speaks to the buyer’s needs and how your solution can help will get the conversation started.

 

Myth 8: Inbound Marketing is King – Sit Back and Take Orders.

It was thought a while back that inbound marketing could replace outbound sales prospecting. Now we know the two go together.

Inbound teamed up with outbound will get you a larger opportunity to win. Buyers that are finding you on your website are a portion of those who can benefit from your solution.  Impact those buyers that may be early on in the education phase by finding them first.

 

Myth 9: Competition is the Only Way to Sell.

Competing is the old way of doing business. Now smart companies are finding new and innovative ways to grow business – often partnering with their industry counterparts.

Collaboration grows revenue. We know the toughest competitor to our products and services is when the buyer stays with the status quo. Find ways around that by innovating. Who is the least likely business your company could collaborate with? That innovative combination could gain you new customers.

Watch the complimentary webinar now.

Our Contributors:

 

 

Matt Heinz | President | Heinz Marketing

LinkedIn | Twitter

 

 

Lori Richardson | Founder and CEO | Score More Sales

LinkedIn | Twitter

 

 

Nancy Nardin | Founder & President | Smart Selling Tools

LinkedIn | Twitter

 

Read the original blog entry...

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