Avoiding The Five Sales Pitfalls That Prevent Long-Term Success

By Chris Lee, Chief Revenue Officer, Zilliant

The basic premise of every technology solution is that it will make a customer’s life easier while enabling them to do things they never could before.

However, that’s easier said than done: improper deployments prevent this from happening for a lot of enterprises, creating an atmosphere where almost three out of four companies believe tech vendors typically fall short of being honest.

Keeping this high degree of mistrust in mind, there’s a responsibility for technology vendors to ensure that their sales process sets themselves and their prospects up for success. While every deal requires a close understanding of the prospect and a custom approach to meet their specific needs, there are typical issues that can get in the way. Acknowledging these five common problems and implementing their solutions will lead to deal closures that are also set up for recurring revenue opportunities down the line.

1. Paving the Cow Path

Problem: Many organizations fall into the “paving the cow path” trap, sticking to the same old routines because of institutional inertia and the challenges of change management. They often overlook how the world and marketplace have evolved.

New tech solutions always disappoint when companies force their existing processes into new software – without thinking if those processes fit or are still relevant or efficient. Employees don’t appreciate being stuck learning how to utilize a new solution without understanding how it will help them, hampering productivity in the worst cases.

Solution: Vendors must be open to a better and different way and be flexible enough to streamline processes during the blueprint and design phases so that it can provide the best possible fit for each organization.

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2. Audience Overload

Problem: Inviting too many people to too many meetings to get “buy-in” from as many stakeholders as possible or impressing the C-Suite.

Solution: Getting “buy-in” is not what happens: more people leads to more scope and more complexity and makes it harder to focus on what is important. Also, not every attendee will have the right expertise to offer the best.

3. Designing for Theory Instead of the Real World

Problem: Hyping and defining future-state processes that would be very good to have in theory but very costly to implement in reality. This can close the initial deal but leads to disappointed customers who don’t renew deals when they don’t see the promised ROI.

Solution: Consider all the technology options and design to the “sweet spot” that delivers process impact while keeping technology costs reasonable.

4. Forgetting the Business Case

Problem: Covering too much ground creates unnecessary complexity, driving up costs. This results in losing sight of the initial use case, causing cost overruns, delayed ROI, and other issues that can erode customer trust in your company’s capabilities.

Solution: Pick the right spots and opportunities and balance functionality with pragmatism – focus on the top areas that drive your business. This simplified approach will also be tied to the business case so that the customer always gets the best value.

5. Forgetting the User

Problem: Not considering what the experience of the average employee deploying your solution will be after the process design has been completed. It’s not enough to rely on the initial UX capabilities of the developer team, as every deployment is unique and will have unique considerations.

Solution: Bake in the user experience from the start. Consider that it will need to incorporate users as customers and employees or other third parties who won’t be able to contact your team when they encounter issues. Failure to design the experience will result in low levels of adoption.

Setting Up a Rewarding Customer Relationship

Effective and efficient deployments require understanding your customer’s organizational design and decision rights. Furthermore, not every tech solution is an IT project, and it requires everyone onboard to know how to utilize it effectively and what the day-to-day experience will really be. Overcoming these five pitfalls will set sales teams up for success, ensure they win over customer prospects and establish lasting and successful relationships.

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Audience Overloadcausing cost overrunsChief Revenue OfficerChris Leecustom approachCustomer Relationshipdelayed ROIdesign and decision rightsDesigning for TheoryEnterprisesFeaturedFive Sales PitfallsForgetting the Userimproper deployments preventIT projectlong term successorgetting the Business CasePaving the Cow Pathtech solutionTechnologyTechnology SolutionZilliant