The 5 BIGGEST Mistakes Salespeople Are Making RIGHT NOW

We wanted to know what the BIGGEST mistakes salespeople are making right now and how to fix them. For this, we knew we’d need someone with extensive sales experience and that’s why we called on returning guest, Tyler Witt for his analysis on the most consistent mistakes he sees sales professionals, both new and experienced!

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Joe: Hello and welcome to the B2B Sales Playbook Podcast brought to you as ever by Lead Forensics. I’m your host Joe Ducarreaux. I wanted to try something different for this episode of the B2B Sales Playbook Podcast. I wanted to know what the biggest mistakes salespeople are making right now and how to go about fixing them.

For this, I knew I’d need someone with extensive sales experience, and that’s why I called on returning guest Tyler Witt for his analysis on the most consistent mistakes he sees sales professionals, both new and experienced make. So, without further ado, here are Tyler Witt’s top five biggest mistakes salespeople are making right now.

Joe: What do you think consistently are salespeople getting wrong? So as soon as I thought, this is the topic I want us to speak about. I knew I had to talk to you because you’ve got a plethora of knowledge, loads of experience. What to your mind are the top five biggest mistakes that salespeople are making right now?

Tyler: So that’s a good question. So, I gave it a little bit of thought before this and obviously I have a couple, but I think the lead up for me is leads. So, one of the biggest things, and I think there’s a lot of. back and forth out there probably between salespeople and sales leaders. I’m going to say salespeople have this right and sales leader are gaslighting their sales reps and just maybe off topic a bit, but leaders.

Your people know that you’re gaslighting them, so please stop you’re ruining your credibility but leads matter, right? So, you are far better off giving the best leads to the worst salespeople. Then you are the worst leads to the best salespeople and, and that’s not all on the company.

So, I’m definitely going to come to the rescue here a little bit of like sales people need to be prospecting into the right into the right companies. So, it’s, and it’s your ICP and here’s, a lot of times with ICP, we think, ideal customer profile. We maybe know it, but we don’t live by it.

And as a business, you have to live and die by this. So, number one, here’s my big tip. So, we’re getting it wrong. We don’t have the right leads. So just a couple of quick tips on it is number one, identify your true ICP. A quick little story here. I always think of this around leads. I worked at a company sometime back where I sold to doctors.

So, we sold into doctor’s offices. And why this is germane here is that there are two types of leads. There’s leads that’ll sell. And there’s leads that’ll show up to a demo and you have to separate those two out. Nobody cares about the number of appointments if they’re not generating sales off of that.

And so, I was selling this, scheduling software to doctors or whatever, and we knew, like we knew the doctors that would buy from us, right? I married care doctors, dermatologists, dentists, great prospect did really well. Their platform, blah, blah, changed since now. So, anybody that connects this dot, the platform is great for any provider, but.

We also knew for chiropractors, if I needed an appointment, Joe, if I needed an appointment that day, I’d call the chiropractor and I would get an appointment in my calendar and it was great, but I would never sell them because it wasn’t a good solution for them. And so, when we’re talking about the right leads, like you want to set up, these are the people that are going to turn into customer, have the highest success rate, they’re likely to renew all those kinds of things.

And this is my plug. If you want the plug and play sheet for this. Lead Forensics is it, we will tell you the people in market immediately. So, they have a need. They’re on their website looking around and you just filter down based on the people that are on your website to your ICP and reach out to those.

There’s no sense of putting leads in your salespeople hands that aren’t in market. And there’s no sense in putting demos in your calendar that aren’t qualified or, are going to turn into sales. So, leads would probably be my number one. And I just think it’s a really big deal that companies get those right.

Cause if you don’t get that, your foundation. The rest just really doesn’t matter.

Joe: Absolutely. I suppose it must be, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of the, as you were saying, almost the quantity rather than the quality of those leads, isn’t it? And I suppose, particularly if you’re chasing a quota.

So, would it be a case of perhaps changing what that quota looks like?

Tyler: Yes and no. So, on this one, don’t wish you were easier, wish you were better. So, I don’t know that lowering the goalposts is, or moving the goalposts or lowering the bar is necessarily, it can be, it certainly can be an option, but I think a lot of times as we get, we’re just so misaligned, right?

So like marketing, we’ll have this metric of I need X amount of appointments. Sales is I need revenue. And there’s really not an alignment between the two. Yeah. Like marketing, there’s more pressure. Don’t just give me appointments. Give me good appointments. Sales, if I give you good appointments.

Guess what? Your quotas are going to go up, right? So, there’s a trade off in there. And that’s a balancing act for the business, because there’s going to be a little bit of, fudging on either side of that. But yeah, like you don’t want to necessarily lower the bar. But you also, don’t want to just arbitrarily hit a number.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely. I suppose you risk getting to a vanity metric at that point, if it’s just Oh, look at all these numbers. Yeah. But they’re hollow, aren’t they? There’s not, nothing’s happening. Yeah.

Tyler: And yeah, and companies are great at that vanity metric. So again, lead forensics will help you measure that to make sure there’s not just vanity metrics.

Joe: Absolutely. So, tip one. So that’s the first mistake not to make. Have the right leads. That’s absolutely it.

Tyler: Yeah, ever relying on your marketing and not prospecting to get the right leads. Yeah, that’s, yes, that’s table stakes. Yep.

Joe: Fantastic. Tyler, can I ask you for your second? What is the second mistake that you see all too often?

Tyler: Yeah, I think the second one, and you’re going to get your bingo card out for this one because it’s going to be around the mindset thing. So, the second one, and again, the first two are just going to be your foundation. So, one is prospecting, getting the right opportunities.

Number two is you’re bringing the right. Attitude and mindset to the table. So, things around goals and personal development. I see a lot of salespeople. So I’m going to get up, definitely get on a little bit of a pedestal here is if you’re a salesperson, you’re relying on your company for these first two, you’re in trouble if you’re relying on a company for leads, if you’re relying on a company for your sales training, your, your mindset, your all of this kind of stuff, sales is going to be a really tough go. It just really is because it is, it’s, it is a tough racket. And if you’re not doing all you can around, your goals, have a quick think, like, why am I going through this? Like, why am I, why on earth are you doing sales? There are so many other things you could be doing with your life, why are you doing sales?

And if you don’t have an answer to that, you really do need to rethink if this is the right career path for you, right? If it’s because I can’t do anything else. That’s not a good answer, right? Like you, you have to, so to me, the number two is like goals, personal development you need to be reading sales books.

You need to be watching YouTube. You need to be, picking the brains of the top performers, all that kind of stuff, and you need to be sitting down, you need to be writing out your goals, you need to be measuring, all of that kind of stuff. And there’s so much in that I won’t get into on this, but like that, those to me are your two foundations, have the right leads.

Have the right mindset and personal development. And if you don’t have those two right, it doesn’t matter. The rest you put on top of it, it is a house of cards that will fall down.

Joe: Absolutely. Our CEO Paul Thomas he came on the podcast and he as goal setting is his big thing.

So clearly, it’s from the top. He’s absolutely, you have to, you’re absolutely right. You have to know your why, which is something we’ve talked about previously as well.

Tyler: I’ve watched that podcast and anybody watching this, like a hundred percent go watch it. It is, yeah, he is. A master, many things, but like that goal setting is just, it’s incredible to watch it.

Joe: It is a very good episode, actually. I do also recommend that one as well, but then I would, cause I’m biased.  Excellent stuff. So we’ve got our top two then, Tyler, let’s go for a third. What is another huge mistake that you see in the sales world?

Tyler: So, number three mistake that I see a lot of people making is what I would call information overload.

And so it’s very easy to, so I just can’t, and I think it’s important to coming off the back of like personal development to talk about this mistake that can easily be made, which is you go on LinkedIn and of course, everybody on LinkedIn is. Three to 500K OTE selling into massive enterprise fortune 100 companies that require CFO, COO, like that’s not everybody.

That’s actually a pretty small segment of the sales population. And yet the mistake that happens is a lot of people, right? Because I, and I get it, right? Those are the individuals that their training courses are geared towards enterprise level representatives, right? And it’s, it doesn’t sound as sexy to sell a training course where it’s we’re going to just work on our tone on these calls.

It’s, it sounds sexy to talk about like spin and gap and Sandler type selling, which are great methods. I, you don’t really need it. So, to be decent at sales, if I’m being honest, like people overly focus on techniques and they don’t focus on those first two things. And they end up over complicating the process for themselves, over complicating it for their customers.

And they just, they really spin their wheels. And it creates a lot of burnout. Yes. Ask the right questions. Yes. Have good tonality. Yes. Have excitement, and yes, ask for the business, right? There are definitely best practices in there, but I think it’s very easy to overcomplicate by reading too much and thinking, yes, I need to do all of that on mine if you’re not selling six.

Plus figure deals that impact entire organization in the fortune 100s. Probably don’t need to necessarily follow every piece of sales advice that comes away on LinkedIn.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely. It’s, we, in, in this industry, we are inundated with all sorts of content like that. So, it’s, I suppose it’s almost sifting through and finding the real value in posts and in content, all that sort of thing that you consume. So then let’s go for a fourth. Let’s have another one, Tyler. We’re on our penultimate huge mistake that we see in the sales world all too often. What is that one for you?

Tyler: Yeah. And this one probably is the biggest mistake.

This is probably my biggest pet peeve is just salespeople talk too much and they don’t ask enough questions or listen. I, it’s so challenging. And I do understand it from a sales perspective. But this right here, just they just talk so much, you you don’t need Gong, right?

Love Gong, good product or whatever, but you really don’t need to spend. I won’t say the price just in case I try to keep that a secret. You don’t need to spend that to find out your salespeople. They talk too much. They don’t ask you enough questions. It really is as simple as that.

So that to me is out of this whole list. It’s probably the biggest mistake that you can change. immediately is on your next phone call, just work on talking a little bit less and asking one or two more questions and then listening to the answers. And I think that, that right there, if you want to, again, think if we’re thinking about where the complexity, like people over complicate their sales, the enterprise sale doesn’t work, SMB, even in mid-market, like just don’t meet that.

The one truth that’s going to go throughout the entire sales, universe, regardless of whether it’s B2C, B2B, SMB, whatever, acronym you want to throw at it, right? It doesn’t matter. Salespeople just, we talk too much, and I do it as well. So, I’m not sitting in some glass house, throwing stones here.

I know I do it but it’s something we can all work on. Trust me.

Joe: And particularly in the instance  of a cold call or something. I, what I’ve, I find is that if you give someone a bit of space, they very well may also just fill that silence with something. And then that could just twig a little.

Oh, okay. I have a better understanding of the pain point you’re looking to solve. And here’s how the thing I’m selling can help you do that.

Tyler: Yeah. The reality is most of it comes from a insecurity, anxiety. That’s why we have to fill the space. But if you think about that, it has the opposite effect that we want it, right?

Like we think every salesperson thinks it’s got to pitch harder, I got to pitch harder, and I’ll get them sale. And that’s definitely not the truth because again, it comes back to, I don’t have my goals, I don’t have my stuff together, maybe outside of the sales world. And so I have some anxiety and pressure that I bring into the call.

But yeah, somebody to your point is that somebody that does have all that together, they’re a bit more relaxed. They’re calm. They’re so passionate. They still have enthusiasm. But they don’t mind that silence. And so when I ask a question I’m fine with sitting back, letting the person have a think on it, right?

If I ask a question, they don’t answer in the first millisecond. It just means they’re having a think. I don’t need to qualify this on the other, but yeah.

Joe: And just going in with that sort of just with that level of relaxation, I think probably helps you think a bit clearer, doesn’t it? It’s just keeping it simple, isn’t it?

It’s just having that conversation, as you say. Yeah. It’s, that’s really all it is at the end of the day. It’s talking, as we know, people buying from people, right? Yeah. Okay. Then Tyler, I’m going to ask you for one more, one more big mistake that you see in the sales world all too often.

Tyler: Joe, I couldn’t go through a list of five big mistakes without bringing up this one.

My, this is like my trademark right here is people simply just don’t ask for the business. So, I think that is a massive epidemic in the sales world. Back in 2015, a company came out and they started, hashtag inbound marketing and everything was all about inbound leads.

And if you have the right customer and you have the right product, don’t need to ask for the business. They’ll naturally come to that conclusion. BS, like that is just absolute, I don’t care what you’re selling, right? I tell a quick story. So, we were doing a rebuttal in my house and this company came out, we’re doing windows throughout the entire house, which by the way, I’m pretty sure they put like diamonds inside of the glass.

Cause that’s the only thing that justifies the cost of windows these days. It’s insane. But yeah, so the gentleman came out and we’d called the person out there. We’d already told him here’s our plans. Here’s what we’re doing. He was a very lovely human being and really enjoyed the conversation, by the way.

And at the end, he, we sat down, went through the numbers and all that, and he looked at, he looked at me and he knew I wasn’t a decision maker. So, he turned and he looked at my wife and he just said to her, so do you want to go ahead and get this order processed today? And I just was like, oh, that was it.

Like that’s all it is. And you don’t, when I say close, I don’t mean hard close, but asking for the business. Something like, what do you think, or what are your thoughts on this? Or do you think this will help you out? Those aren’t closes. You’re not asking for the business, right?

And again, it comes back to that fear, but I think this is a huge mistake salespeople make. It’s just ask for the business. You’d be surprised, when you do, how many people come back and look, you’re probably not going to get it. Yeah. Let’s go ahead and do this. I always tell my salespeople; you’ll get one of three responses.

One, you’ll get a yes. That’ll happen once this year, right? If you ask for 200 times, you say you want to, give this a shot. Do it one time. They’ll say, yeah, let’s do it. Great. Good for you. You got the lay down. Good job, buddy. You’ll get a no. That’ll happen sometimes. You actually don’t hear no’s very often in sales.

Once you get to that point, right? If you get a no, it’s usually early in the process. They say look. Joe, I appreciate you showing this to me, but I just, from what we’re seeing so far, either in discovery or early on or the third, you get a question. So if you ask for the business did you want to, Joe, do you want me to go ahead and write up this order for you, right?

Nine times out of 10, you’re actually going to need a question back. And that will tell you here’s an objection I need to overcome, or here’s another step I need to take. But it’ll actually clarify a lot of your next process. But salespeople don’t do that. They don’t ask for the business.

They ask for questions. And then people, they get answers like. Let me take this to my team and now they get brush offs instead. So, ask for the business actually helps you immensely.

Joe: Absolutely. Those would be my, yeah, it’s something that that I was, it’s, it was a fundamental thing that my dad actually taught me is even just going for a job interview.

So just at the end of the interview, if you’re happy with it, if it all sounds good, you’ve got to close this. And he would phrase it like that. You’ve got to close the sale. So, he basically instilled in me, anytime I had an interview, I would say, at the end, I would say I’d have this finishing line of, “Is there anything I’ve said or haven’t said that makes you think I can’t do this job?”

And then following that, with whatever responses they get. Because then it gives you the opportunity to say okay, I handled that objection. Here’s actually how I can do that or where I haven’t covered this, whatever. And then at the end, you just say based on this conversation we’ve had, if you were to offer me the job, I would accept it.

And it just, that’s that I’m certain, in fact, I’m certain, in fact, that sentence has helped me get the jobs I’ve got a hundred percent, you’ve got to close the sale. Cause that’s why you’re there.

Tyler: Yeah. But again and a lot of companies and a lot of training methodology. I wouldn’t say training methodologies.

I think sales trainers, teach to ask for the business. I think marketing companies trying to sell sales enablement though, have led people to believe that, no, they should, you don’t need to ask for it. They should come to that conclusion. And that’s just. That is just not how it works at all.

Like it’s just, it’s categorically not. Yeah. And to your point, I actually love that, that question. Because again, that says take some of the pressure off from a recruiting manager to be watching this. It has nothing to do with what we’re saying, but Joe, that’s a great thing to say, because one of the concerns we have is if I make this offer them, are they going to accept what’s the process going to be?

And so somebody says, make an offer. I will accept, you would absolutely increase your chance of getting an offer, a hundred percent.

Joe: And that’s why it’s on our list of the five biggest mistakes that salespeople are making right now. So, let’s just really quickly, Tyler, I’m going to run down the list again, uh, just for the benefit of people just as a refresher.

So number one, these are the five biggest mistakes that you see in sales all too often.

Number one, you don’t have the right leads and obviously lead friends can help with that.

Number two, you don’t do personal development or set any goals for yourself. You absolutely have to remember your why.

Number three, you take the wrong advice and worry too much about technique, which is a trap that you can fall into with LinkedIn, as we discussed.

And Number four, people talk too much, that’s, that’s fundamentally, yeah that’s quite an obvious one, isn’t it? Yeah. And just having that little breather, just to buy yourself a bit of time, just to relax. Keep it simple.

And number five, the big one that I’m convinced got helped get me this job.

Certainly. You have to ask for the business. If you don’t close, you’re not going to get the sale. There we go. So those are Tyler Witt’s five biggest mistakes that he sees in sales all too often. What would be really interesting, Tyler, is if we did another one of these in a few months’ time and just see how many of these have changed.

If there was any that you would like to see change, what, which one would you like to eliminate from these? If you started saying, okay, this is starting to increase and get better, I’ll put you on the spot.

Tyler: No, it’s obviously I’d like to see all five. So, number one, because that means more people are purchasing lead forensics which is always good for me.

But no, I think if I were to actually be able to look at it holistically, I would say there’s two on there. So now number one would be just goals and personal development, right? Better, better salespeople are better people. And just in general with everything with in just the world in general I think people that are doing goals, doing personal development, they have better mental health.

So I would love to see that. I don’t care if you’re in sales or what you’re doing. If you’re focusing in on those things and you’re working towards. Goals in your life and you’re working, you’re just going to be in a better mental place and, a world full of people working towards something sounds like a pretty damn good world to me.

And then the other one to be just talking too much, I think for the, so we talk about mental health and mental health of your customers. I think if we could tone that down a little bit, that would you’d probably help them on some of their mental health journey as well.

Joe: Let’s ensure then Tyler, that we don’t become guilty of what we accuse people of talking too much. And let’s end this episode of the B2B Sales Playbook right here. Tyler Witt, thank you so much for joining me once again. As always, it was a pleasure.

Tyler: Absolutely, Joe. Thank you so much for having me.

Joe: There we go. The biggest mistakes salespeople are making right now and how you can avoid making them. Do you agree with Tyler’s list? Are there any you’d add?  Let us know in the comments on the social post for this episode, particularly if there are any suggestions you would add. Remember to subscribe to the B2B Sales Playbook Podcast and give us a 5 star rating where possible.

I’ll be back next week with another brilliant B2B Sales Playbook Podcast.