The Top 5 Common Sales Mistakes You’re Making (And How To Avoid Them)

common sales mistakes and how to avoid them

Most salespeople are making the same five common sales mistakes, according to research from The Bridge Group. And if you’re not aware of them, you’re in for a world of hurt.

The study, which surveyed more than 400 B2B sales professionals, found that the No. 1 reason deals stall out is because the customer doesn’t trust the seller.

Other top reasons include not enough time invested in pre-sales planning, low closure rates on opportunities, and not enough focus on building relationships. You can’t get a deal done if you don’t have the customer’s trust.

In fact, salespeople lose their potential customers’ trust in just six seconds, according to The Bridge Group. That’s all it takes for a potential buyer to doubt your credibility and dismiss you as a viable option. It’s an eternity in sales time, but we’ve got some ways to help you close that gap.

Here are the top 5 common sales mistakes

No. 1 – Not knowing your ideal customer

When it comes to sales, one of the most common sales mistakes is not knowing your ideal customer. You want to be selling to the right people, after all.

Many sales reps try to cast too wide of a net and end up targeting the wrong people. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and energy, and can ultimately result in lower sales numbers.

Your ideal customer is the person who is most likely to buy from you. So, it’s important to take the time to figure out who they are, what they want, and how you can best reach them.

One way to figure out who your ideal customer is, is by creating a customer profile. This is a document that outlines everything you know about your perfect customer.

This includes demographic information, interests, and needs. Once you have your customer profile, you can then begin targeting your marketing efforts towards those people. You can also create content that is tailored specifically for them.

No. 2 – Focusing on features instead of benefits

When it comes to sales, a lot of reps make the mistake of selling features instead of benefits. They talk about what their product can do, rather than how it will improve their customer’s life.

This is a huge mistake, because people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. When you can show your customer how your product will help them reach their goals and improve their life, they are much more likely to buy from you.

When you focus on features instead of benefits, you are selling the product, not the solution. Focus on the benefits of your product, and you will see an increase in sales.

For example, if you are a car salesman and you are trying to sell a car that is safe for children, you would talk about the safety features of the car: the number of airbags, the steel cage around the engine, and so on.

However to increase the likelihood of the sale, you should sell the solution.

You should talk about how safe it will make their children feel: how it will keep them from worrying about getting into an accident when they drive with their family or friends.

Let the prospect visualize a better version of themselves.

No. 3 – Not asking for the sale

Sales reps are often under the impression that they should delay asking for the sale until they have built a better relationship with the customer. However, this can often backfire, as potential customers may feel that the rep is not confident in their product or service.

Reps think that if they keep providing value and building a relationship with the prospect, then the prospect will eventually buy from them. This is not always the case.

In order to make a sale, you need to ask for it. You need to be clear about what you are selling and what the prospect needs to do in order to buy from you. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.

Ask for the sale early on in the process. This will show customers that you are confident and knowledgeable about their product or service, which encourages them to buy.

No. 4 – Pricing too low

When it comes to pricing, sales reps often make the mistake of pricing too low. They might do this because they want to close the deal quickly, or because they are afraid that the customer will walk away if they don’t offer a discount.

However, pricing too low can actually have the opposite effect – it can make the customer suspicious and make them wonder what is wrong with the product.

It is important to remember that the price is not just a number – it is also a statement about the value of the product. When you price your product too low, you are telling the customer that it is not worth much. The goal is to find a price that makes them think “that’s a great value!”

Use past sales data and insights from competitors to create a price range for your products or services. It’s a trial and error process. Once you hit the sweet spot, don’t go below as a tool to close sales. Instead, focus on the value and benefits.

No. 5 – Not following enough

not following enough is one of the common sales mistakes

Sales reps make the mistake of not following up enough with their leads. They generate a lead, and then they stop following up on it. They might send one email, or make one phone call, and then they give up.

Leads are valuable, and you need to treat them that way. You need to follow up with them regularly, and continue to nurture the relationship. If you don’t follow up, you’ll lose them to your competition.

Not following up leaves too much opportunity for the prospect to forget about you, or worse, to go with a competitor. According to a study by The Marketing Donut, 81% of sales are closed after the fifth follow-up call. So, make sure you’re diligent in your follow-ups and keep track of when you should reach out again.


Sales is hard. It’s even harder when you’re making common mistakes that could easily be avoided. In this article, we’ve covered the top 5 common sales mistakes you’re probably making, and more importantly, how to avoid them.

  1. Not knowing your ideal customer
  2. Focusing on features instead of benefits
  3. Not asking for a sale
  4. Pricing too low
  5. Not following enough

The good part is that mistakes can be the best teachers. When you lose a sale, ask for feedback. If not all, at least some or most may tell you why they didn’t buy. Look for non-verbal clues too.

Document the reasons for losing sales and leads. Start working on the top reasons and you will be on your way to improve conversions and sales revenue.

If you like this content, make sure to share it with your friends and colleagues, and subscribe to our blog for more great tips.

Free Lead Management Excel Sheet

free lead management excel sheet

There are various online software and tools available for lead tracking and management. However, it is still common to come across sales teams that do not effectively track and monitor sales leads and opportunities. While there are FREE and budget friendly options available for lead management, if you are just starting, this simple to use lead management excel sheet is the best option for you.

By BMB Staff

Business Management Blog is your online resource for business management and strategy articles, insights, ideas and tools. We talk about Business Management, Strategy, Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, Leadership and Career Growth. Subscribe to the blog to get updates about new posts.

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