5 Deadly Sentences A Sales Manager Should Never Pronounce
How to pronounce “analytics” in sales and keep your job.
Almost all sales managers hold a wisdom about their business. However, there are – at least – five fatal sentences an excellent Sales Manager should never say.
Your customers are changing. Is your sales team ready for the future? Are they prepared for a digital transformation? In this article, we would like to discuss five common misperceptions that, if unchecked, will cost you your sales management job.
1. “I know my Customers.”
Truly? How well? If you indeed know your clients, there are several questions you should answer without hesitation:
- Which customers are declining in revenue?
- Which customers have hidden cross-selling opportunities?
- Which customers might churn?
- Which customers might churn in the near future?
- Which customers still have hidden sales opportunities?
If you didn’t pause when answering these questions, congratulations!
If it took you longer than fifteen minutes, you probably do not honestly know your customer base, and your sales management job might be in danger. As a sales manager, your time is undoubtly invested better in more rewarding sales activities, than in generating sales reports. Here you can read our list of 15 questions you must be able to respond as a sales manager without hesitating.
2. “We just need new customers.”
This thinking (and acting) way could hold a dear mistake. In business-to-business, if you only put your primary focus on acquiring new customers at the expenses of existing ones, you will end up in a vicious cycle. Acquire, sell, lose, expensive re-gain.
Streetwise B2B wisdom, a good sales manager should know that successful companies usually will generate approximately 80 % of their future turnover with existing customers.
To accelerate sales growth In B2B, sales leaders should first look for growth opportunities with existing products in existing buyers.
Your ongoing customer’s relationships have the most significant potential, and by declaring “we just need new customers”, you seem to ignore that.
Research in the field has shown that the most successful sales managers in B2B focus as much on acquiring new customers as they do in increasing sales with existing ones.
Moreover, there are further ways to optimise the efficiency of your sales team, such as travelling times, reducing customer churn, pricing dynamically, or using intelligent sales planning.
3. “Our customers love us and will never defect”
Are you sure? Your competitors have specific actions designed to poach your loving customers. Read this aloud: your customers will churn.
In business-to-business, relationships with your current customers are probably the biggest asset your employer has. It’s the result of years, maybe decades of investment. Your job as a sales manager is caring for them. Never, ever, assume a loyal customer will not defect to your competitor because chances are, they will.
Empower your key account managers to serve focus on fewer, most valuable accounts. Define realistic and motivational sales goals. And, above all: monitor changes in your sales. When it comes to revealing sales insights, time is money. For example, do you want to lose your sales job? Just set the next alarm in your ERP System: if the customer did not order in half a year, let’s go visit them. Too Late. After a month? Or three months before the client decides not to order?
4. “At the moment, Predictive Analytics is not relevant to us.”
Of course, you don’t need Predictive Analytics.
No, we are kidding. You do. Your competitor is using it; your doctor will be using it soon too. Your sales team is proudly using some new CRM system, but you let your data sleep. It would help if you had predictive sales analytics. You can monitor the current status of your customer relationships and focus on the buyers with most unfulfilled potential or with higher churn-risk.
When it comes to overcoming competition in B2B, you only have a chance every couple of years. To succeed, you need relevant sales data, and you need to use it better than your average competitor. Data is the new oil. One secret? A Predictive Analytics Software can give you a forecast about your customers’ buying behaviour. Using sales transactions and the automatic integration of third-party data, you can get the information you need to prevent a client from churning before it is too late.
Furthermore, research in Germany about B2B Advanced and Predictive Analytics found out that that 94 % of the companies consider Predictive Analytics as an essential factor to beat their competitors. This information pops the following question: When are you starting?
5. “We win customers through in-person meetings.”
Naturally, closing deals in B2B works through personal relations nurtured over time. Nevertheless, new winds are blowing in B2B. Today there is no deal without previous research on the internet. Buyers know significantly more about you than you think they do. They already searched your name on Google and visited your website, that of your competitors and several forums. As a sales manager, you need to ask yourself: are you leading your Customer Journey? Do you get prospects from website visitors? Do you frequently nurture your leads with new information?
Personal relations are important in B2B, and if you want to close deals, you need a Content Marketing Strategy. Yours is the job to guide leads through their Customer Journey. You can achieve that by providing your clients with the information they need, at the right time and through the right channel. However, remember that Social Media alone will not remedy the lack of other critical sales measures.
Do not gamble your sales management job. Digital has arrived in Sales. Are you ready for it? Let’s talk about it.
Free eBook for download: How To Get Started With Predictive Sales Analytics – Methods, data and practical ideas
Predictive analytics is the technology that enables a look into the future. What data do you need? How do you get started with predictive analytics? What methods can you use?
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