7 Silly Mistakes Sales Reps Make

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We believe technology has the power to enhance human potential. In other words, we believe sales technology can make sales reps better at what they do.

However, that doesn’t mean sales reps using our products transform into perfect salespeople. Humans make mistakes, and we can always improve.

I sat down with Robb Young, XANT director of client success, to learn the most common mistakes sales reps make.

Hopefully you’ll pick up a few improvements you can make, leading to even greater results.

1. Not using voicemail features

How long does it take to leave a message? 15 seconds? 30 seconds?

Day after day, week after week, those seconds add up.

Imagine the time sales reps could save if they were able to leave a message in seconds with just the click of a button.

That’s what inspired the Swiss Army Knife of communication channels within XANT’s technology?.

XANT allows reps to pre-record a message and save it in the system. When they call and reach an answering machine, they simply click a button and the message is sent.

Best of all, sales reps can move on to their next call while the previous message is still being relayed.

Not only does this save reps time, but it also helps them leave consistent, upbeat messages that are right to the point.

Despite the simplicity, many reps don’t make use of this feature. They let the phone ring and ring and wait for the entire recording before spending another 30 seconds to leave a message.

By the end of the day, their enthusiasm and energy are gone, meaning messages are sluggish, robotic and, worst of all, unconvincing.

Get into the habit of pre-recording messages and uploading them to the Salesforce dialer. Use them whenever there is no answer so you can move on to the next call right away.

2. Hanging up the phone

Much like the option to leave pre-recorded messages with a click of the mouse, sales reps can also quickly move on to the next call with the same motion.

The dialer establishes a connection with the rep’s phone, which we call the agent leg. After that, the system connects with the prospect, called the client leg.

Instead of going through this process every time, a rep can keep the agent leg connected and make dial after dial.

Yet, for whatever reason, maybe to take a break or maybe it’s out of habit, reps hang up their phones after each call.

That means with each new call, the system must re-establish both legs of the connection, before dialing out to another prospect.

These seconds add up, leading to lost calls, lost opportunities and lost sales.

Reps can make it much easier on themselves by simply clicking “Next Call” to finish their current call and move on to the next one.

3. Failing to use email templates

We’ve become so acquainted with the term cold calling that we often forget there are other, very effective forms of sales communication.

One of them is email. In 2013, XANT conducted a research study to determine which methods of communication people preferred, both at work and outside of work.

The result? Email was by far the most preferred method. Over half of survey respondents chose it.

XANT has a built-in feature that allows reps to send emails to their leads with the click of a button.

Essentially, a rep can make a call, leave a voicemail and send a pre-written email or text before moving on to the next lead.

Yet once again, reps aren’t making the most of this feature.

First, some reps don’t even use the feature. They’re so focused on dialing that they forget to even send an email or doubt the effectiveness of sending one.

On the other hand, if sales reps are sending emails, these emails are often so canned and packed with marketing mumbo jumbo, that they have no chance of being successful.

A strong sales email isn’t crafted with loads of offers and fancy graphics. It’s short and simple. It needs to look like you typed it a few minutes before sending it, not like it’s been a weeklong project.

Whenever reps leave a voicemail, they should mention they will send an email. Then, in that email, they should reference the voicemail they left.

Once again, this is an easy fix with XANT’s click-to-send features.

4. Not understanding the source

Getting into a rhythm can be a good thing and a bad thing.

On one hand, you’re working efficiently and have settled into a state of comfort. However, if you grow too comfortable, you may start to talk to everyone the same way, regardless of the lead source or campaign.

If you treat every lead the same way, you’ll get burned out and no one is going to respond to you.

What causes that?

Management often forgets to provide their reps a view into the lead source or campaign.

It’s this information that helps sales reps tailor their messaging to a specific lead. Without it, they rely on generic, canned pitches, which never perform well.

Reps need to be vocal and ask their managers for access to that information. If they can’t get it, they’ll need to get better at researching on their own, looking for important relevant information like industry, company, location and title.

That being said, reps need to be careful they don’t over-research, taking too much time away from dialing and speaking with prospects.

5. Spending too much time researching before making a call

Not long ago, Ken Krogue hosted a webinar where he discussed the death of traditional cold calling. He emphasized how modern tools, like social media, have allowed reps to research prospects before contacting them.

Reps can use research to transform cold calls into warm calls.

While this is important, reps can mistakenly spend too much time researching a prospect before dialing. Pre-call research should only take a few minutes, not half an hour.

In that same webinar, Vorsight co-founder Steve Richard shared what he calls 3×3 Research. Vorsight recommends reps find three pieces of relevant information about a prospect in three minutes.

In most cases, sales reps can do much of the necessary research while the phone is ringing or while a gatekeeper is routing them.

6. Not paying attention to the competition

In this instance, competition doesn’t necessarily mean another business or company. Rather, it’s more about the people sitting next to you.

XANT, when used properly, will increase your metrics, like dial volume and contact rates.

Soon, you’ll start to see how much you’ve improved.

That’s great, but you also need to remain aware of how your team is performing around you.

After all, even if you’re doing 20% better than before, if you’re still 20% behind everyone you work with, you’ll need to pick things up.

One of the best ways to do this is to turn it into a game.

The rise of video games and gaming systems has captivated an entire generation of millennials.

Not only does gamification make a work environment fun, but it also drives incredible levels of productivity.

7. Relying too heavily on the technology

As stated earlier, we believe technology enhances human potential; it does not replace it.

Human interaction in a sales environment is crucial. However, the more comfortable we get with technology, the more we rely on it for everything.

XANT is a great tool, but reps sometimes rely too heavily on it. As a result, their own skills start to diminish, and they slip into a lackadaisical approach to selling.

When it comes to sales, you’re either getting better or being left behind. No one stays still.

Sales reps can keep their skills sharp by doing their best to practice the art of selling.

Get to know your pitches and stay in the habit of understanding industry trends and current events.

To discover how sales acceleration technology can help your team, get the free ebook below.

A Day in the Life of a Top-Performing Sales Rep

Free eBook: Cold Calling and Sales Prospecting: A Day in the Life of a Top-Performing Sales Rep

In this eBook, we invite you to tour a day in the life of a top performing rep to see how your team can can achieve top performance.

Image credit: Starlit Beaches

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