Single-Approach “Sales Traps”

That Won’t Bring Meaningful Revenue on Their Own

The “Sales Tactics to Avoid” aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves. But they all spring from a common flaw in thinking — that a few new sales tactics will bring different revenue outcomes.

A robust, integrated sales and marketing function gives you the freedom to escape perpetual business development hassles and focus on doing what you’re good at. IBM and Accenture have millions in yearly budget to achieve this; small- and mid-market often don’t, so they commonly turn to a series of common tactical responses.

But if you’re trying to address business development issues without the resources, messaging, time and expertise to build, integrate and deploy all elements of a sales function, revenue-driven growth remains a mirage.

Sales Tactic to Avoid #1:

Hiring a Sales Hunter

Sales Tactics to Avoid: The “Hired Gun”

Hiring a veteran with a huge contact list (or a couple of them, plus maybe a sales manager) is a big budget commitment — and these people are going to leave the minute they figure out they can make $10K more per year working somewhere else, taking your sales process with them.

Sales Tactic to Avoid #2:

Reliance on Lead Generation and Prospecting Companies

Sales Tactics to Avoid: Lead Generation and Telemarketing Services

Four times out of five, the lead solution doesn’t work because deeper drivers in your business and sales strategy ruin opportunities at the lead attraction, conversation and proposal stage.

The “best of the best” in this category will offer strategic support to design sales campaigns, help you think carefully about your segments, provide seasoned sales support and give you insight into response data and coordinated follow-up. But if all you’re buying is leads, good luck.

Sales Tactic to Avoid #3:

Hiring a B2B Agency

Sales Tactics to Avoid: B2B Marketing Companies and Technology Platforms

This is not a condemnation of investments in B2B vendors or technology; there are some good ones out there. The flaw in this thinking is that once you’ve procured either (or both), your sales problem can be solved. We discuss some of the problems with overreliance on these kinds of providers.

Sales Tactic to Avoid #4:

Coaches and Consultants

Sales Tactics to Avoid: Sales Coaching and Sales Consultants

It’s not uncommon for business leaders to default to tactical responses when revenue is flat or declining: Shuffling chairs in the sales department, jiggering incentive plans and the like.  

Sometimes there’s a right time for these fixes, but if the problem lies deeper in the organization, they won’t change your outcomes because you’re attacking symptoms, not root causes.