Every business makes mistakes, but making mistakes throughout the sales process can be particularly disastrous. You might lose a client, fail to close an important sale or miss out on an opportunity—all because you've been speaking with the wrong person or talking about the wrong things. Collecting proper contact data can help you improve and speed up the sales process while eliminating potential mistakes, which only means more revenue for your company. Here are seven common sales mistakes that can be avoided by collecting more useful customer data.
1. Misunderstanding your customer
Selling is much easier when you have an in-depth understanding of the person you’re selling to. Do you know their wants and needs? Can you anticipate problems they might have and provide them with services to avoid them? If you don’t, then you don’t know your customer well enough. You could spend your sales calls asking tons of questions, but prospects and customers want you to gather important data about them before you pick up the phone. This leads to a much easier sales call and a more enjoyable experience for both of you.
2. Wasting time on unqualified leads
How do you determine if a lead is high quality? Since a lot of lead data is generated through automatic systems, lead scoring is an inexact science. However, you can improve the quality of your lead data for your sales team by adding job titles and social interests which can be readily found within existing public company contact data.
3. Contacting the wrong person
If you aren’t speaking to someone who can make a decision, then you’re wasting both your time and theirs. You might be contacting the right company, but if you’re not speaking to a decision-maker then there’s no point in continuing the conversation. Instead of guessing or asking random employees who makes the decisions, use key people identifiers in public contact data to identify the key players in a company who you should be contacting and then focus your efforts on reaching those specific people.
4. Improperly communicating with key people
If you hope to win sales from larger companies, you need to be able to navigate the influence and opinions of multiple decision makers involved in the buying process. Securing full contact data for each decision maker helps you to be sure you prepare the proper sales collateral and technical information for each influencer before advancing a sales process.
5. Contacting too many leads too many times
Reaching out to multiple people at a company over the course of a sales cycle can backfire if you aren't sure which role each person has inside the company and where they are in the sales process. It can make matters even worse when your sales and marketing teams aren't aligned and inadvertently send emails to people who have already responded to another communication. People want to feel valued, not as if they're just another name on your call list, and proper contact data will help you to avoid this costly mistake. Communication errors reflect poorly on your company as a whole, so keep your contact data unified across sales and marketing systems, and keep your contact records de-duplicated and synced with all available data points.
6. Creating unnecessary friction
You want the sales process to be as smooth as possible. Low-quality, missing or incorrect customer data will create unnecessary hurdles. Even something as simple as a misspelled name can make your customer feel less valued. If the customer’s experience with your company is positive and if they're made to feel valued, chances are they’ll come back to you for future purchases and rate you highly when sharing their experience with others.
7. Chasing leads with incorrect contact info
If you don't refresh your contact data frequently, you could be spending time reaching out to people through an old email address, an old job title, or a different job altogether. Keep your contact data up to date so that you can focus on leads that will boost sales right now, not leads that were valuable months or years ago.
Great data can help to improve your sales process whereas poor data will only cause unnecessary hiccups. Spend the necessary time collecting and maintaining your contact data and you’ll soon see how this proactive approach will save your sales team time and energy in the future.
Don't know where to start? Check out the contact management apps and services we offer to help you streamline your contact management.