Navigating sales engagement mistakes: guiding your team to excellence

Navigating sales engagement mistakes: Guiding your team to excellence

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The most common mistakes sales reps make when engaging with prospects, and how leaders can help them avoid these pitfalls on the quest for new sales.

Effective sales engagement acts as the compass that guides your ship through the vast sea of potential customers. Your approach shouldn’t just push your product or service; it needs to forge meaningful connections, understand individual needs, and guide prospects through a journey that leads to mutually beneficial outcomes. 

But despite the best intentions, many sales reps make mistakes that hinder their progress and impede their sales success. So let’s dive in and discover how small adjustments in your sales engagement strategy can yield positive results for your team.

What should sales engagement look like?

To some, sales engagement is just another word for lead generation. But there’s a reason the word “engagement” is in there: it’s about finding the right people and engaging them in a way that resonates. Done well, that starts a sales conversation. 

You can do it a number of ways, whether it’s a prospecting email, cold call, or LinkedIn connection. Increasingly, a multichannel approach meets the prospect where they are, feels more natural and personal, and delivers better results.

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Avoiding the most common sales engagement mistakes 

Sales engagement forms the cornerstone of successful customer interactions and conversions. So it’s crucial to get it right. Here are the most common sales engagement mistakes, and how to avoid them. 

Mistake one: Thinking one size fits all

Failing to research and personalise your outreach is a surefire way to end up losing potential clients before you even have a chance to engage.

Remember the last time you received a message that sounds like it could have been sent to anyone? Chances are, you instantly hit delete. Your prospects are no different. Research shows 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when their experience is personalised.

They want to know that you’ve taken the time to understand their pain points, challenges, and goals. They then feel you have a genuine interest in their success and positions you as a valuable partner who can provide solutions tailored to their specific needs.

How to avoid it

Before reaching out to a prospect, invest time researching their company, industry, challenges, recent news, and even their individual role. This can be difficult to do at scale, which is where sales engagement companies like Sopro can help.

Craft your outreach messages based on the insights you’ve gathered. Address their specific pain points, share relevant success stories, and explain how your offering aligns with their goals. The more you demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, the more likely you will capture their interest.

Mistake two: Chasing the sale rather than building a relationship

One of the most significant sales engagement mistakes agents can make is focusing solely on the immediate sale without investing in relationship-building.

Trust is the currency of successful sales engagements. Prospects are more likely to buy from someone they trust and with whom they have a positive rapport. Building these connections takes time and effort. 

How to avoid it

Instead of fixating solely on closing the immediate deal, shift your focus to the long-term value you can bring to the prospect’s business. Position yourself as a consultant or advisor who genuinely cares about their success. Encourage reps to research and embrace the sales psychology behind rapport and persuasion.

Take the time to listen actively to your prospects’ concerns, challenges, and goals. Show genuine empathy and understanding, demonstrating that you’re invested in helping them find solutions.

Share relevant insights, resources, or advice that can help prospects even before they commit to a purchase. This not only showcases your expertise but also builds trust.

Mistake three: Not utilising all your different channels

The phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” applies to your sales engagement too. Relying on a single channel for all your outreach can severely limit your reach and effectiveness. 

Say you’re sticking solely to cold calling, or just sending out LinkedIn connections; if your prospects aren’t responsive on that particular channel, you might miss out on valuable interactions. Additionally, some channels might be more saturated or competitive than others, making it harder to stand out.

How to avoid it

Your prospects are people, and different people have different communication preferences. By adopting a multichannel sales engagement approach, you increase your chances of reaching prospects where they’re most comfortable.

An initial cold email followed up with a LinkedIn message can work really well. And if you’ve seen them checking out your website, you could drop them a quick warm call to see if they have any questions. 

Spreading your approach across the different channels available will increase the chance of engaging in meaningful conversations with potential clients. 

Mistake four: Leaving objections unaddressed

Prospects are likely to have questions, concerns, or hesitations before making a purchase decision. These objections can range from pricing issues and feature comparisons to doubts about implementation or ROI. Ignoring or mishandling these objections can erode trust pretty quickly, and potentially lose you a deal.

When objections are brushed aside or met with defensiveness, prospects may interpret it as a lack of understanding or unwillingness to engage with their concerns. This can lead to frustration and disinterest, causing prospects to disengage from the conversation altogether.

How to avoid it

Instead of viewing objections as roadblocks, see them as opportunities to provide valuable information. Address objections with empathy, offering insights that help prospects make informed decisions.

Pay close attention to what your prospect is saying and dig deep to understand the root of their objection. Sometimes, objections are symptoms of underlying issues that need to be uncovered.

Anticipate common objections and have well-researched, fact-based responses ready in your sales enablement arsenal. Demonstrating your expertise and addressing concerns with data and solutions can instil confidence in your prospect. Read our guide to overcoming sales objections.

Mistake five: Forgetting to follow up

We say this constantly: prospecting isn’t a one-and-done. Ignoring or underestimating the importance of consistent follow-up is a common sales engagement mistake that can result in missed opportunities, strained relationships, and ultimately, lost sales.

Follow-up is where you nurture and maintain the momentum of the relationship. It’s a chance to address additional questions, provide more information, and reinforce your commitment to the prospect’s success.

Research shows that 80% of prospects only respond positively after more than four touchpoints. And with 70% of unanswered emails never getting a chaser, it makes us sad to think of how many opportunities have been lost because there was no follow-up plan in place. 

Prospects often need time to evaluate options, seek approvals, or gather more information. Neglecting follow-up means missing out on potential conversions that might be just around the corner. 

How to avoid it

Consistent follow-up isn’t about being pushy; it’s about being present and demonstrating your commitment to the prospect’s needs. 

Each follow-up is an opportunity to provide value, whether sharing relevant content, addressing new concerns, or offering insights that move the prospect closer to a decision.

Implement a system for scheduling follow-up interactions at various stages of the sales process. Use calendars, CRM tools, or task management platforms to ensure no opportunity slips through the cracks. And if you’re using Sopro to run your sales engagement campaigns, your gentle follow-ups are automatically sorted for you. See how it works


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Mistake six: Not learning from lost opportunities

Lost deals hold a wealth of information about what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and where improvements can be made. Each lost opportunity is a chance to refine your approach and enhance your sales strategy.

Without a mechanism for analysing and learning from lost deals, you risk repeating the same missteps that led to those losses in the first place. This not only damages your chances of future success but also wastes the valuable lessons that could’ve been gained.

How to avoid it

Use the insights gained from lost opportunities to refine your sales approach. Whether it’s adjusting your messaging, enhancing objection-handling techniques, or revising your follow-up strategy, each lesson learned contributes to your growth as a sales professional.

Try to find common themes or patterns. Are there objections that frequently arise? Is there a specific stage in the sales process where prospects tend to drop out? Identifying these patterns can guide your improvements. After all, every day is a school day. 

Sopro: sales engagement made simple

There’s no getting around it; B2B outreach can be challenging, and sales engagement mistakes – big or small – are common. Luckily, with Sopro, finding and connecting with your ideal customers is a piece of cake. 

Our fully-managed service uses smart people, the latest technology and up-to-the-minute data to reach out to the right people with the right message. So you can sit back and watch those high-quality leads roll in.

More touchpoints, more engagement, more time for you to sell. See how Sopro can take care of your sales engagement

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