6 Habits that Hurt Your Sales Pipeline

6 Habits that Hurt Your Sales Pipeline

Old sales habits are difficult to change. The health of your pipeline of prospects is worth the effort.

Content contributors love to focus on actions we could be taking and things we should be doing to better ourselves and our processes. Salespeople should build trust, ask lots of questions, uncover needs and value, pick up the phone, practice, and the list goes on.

But what habits should salespeople give up to improve their productivity and, most importantly, their closing ratios? Here are six habits that really should be considered for the No-No List:

1. Living Exclusively in a Warm-Call World

Of course networking and leveraging referrals are great sources of new business, but you can widen the mouth of your pipeline by being engaged in proactive strategies with people who don’t know you. Cold phone calls, door knocking, and emailing are all ways to grow your pool of opportunity.

2. Being Overly Product-Focused

Expanding your business acumen to dialog more intelligently with decision-makers will allow you to focus on the needs of the customer, not pitching your product. Your conversation with prospects needs to be business-focused. What business challenges exist? How can your product/service help their bottom-line? What problem can it solve for them?

3. Attempting to Sell to Unqualified Buyers

Unqualified buyers are unlikely to buy.  Selling time should be spent on the prospects who are qualified, will sign the contract, and deliver the revenue. If you stick to a qualification process, you won’t spend time chasing down contracts and proposals that won’t come back signed.

4. Chasing Too Much Low-Hanging Fruit

Often, the assumption is that the smaller deal is the easier deal, when that’s just not the case. In fact, smaller deals, many times, have decision makers attached to them who scrutinize dollars more stringently than large-ticket sales.

5. Being Ambiguous or Allowing Ambiguity

Being vague leads to damaging miscommunication. Be thoughtful of your words, choose them carefully, and speak with clarity. Remove ambiguity in what a prospect says with clarifying questions such as “Can you expound on that?”, or “What did you mean when you said…?”

6. Prospecting Without Pre-Call Planning

LinkedIn can tell you if a prospect has been at a company for 2 months or 7 years. Your conversation will be different with them based on their tenure. Recognizing that there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips will help you prepare to better align yourself with your prospect.

Old habits die hard. In the sales world, unlearning your habits can make the difference between sales struggles and sales success. What sales habits are you looking to break?

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