How to Turn Off Your Customers

A survey reveals the worst practices of sales reps.

Looking to help your company reinvigorate sales? It may be helpful to learn what your sales reps should not do. In a survey of more than 1,200 companies in the United States and Europe, McKinsey & Co. sought to learn which sales-rep practices are most destructive to B2B company-customer relationships. The traits most criticized by customers include:

• Too much contact: 35%

• Lack of knowledge about their own or competitors’ products/services: 20%

• Lack of industry knowledge about usefulness of product/service to
customer: 9%

• Sales style is too aggressive: 8%

• Customer forgotten/ignored after sale: 8%

• Other: 20%

NOTE: “Other” includes inconsistent sales teams, slow response, too little contact, and no single point of contact, among other complaints.

Source: McKinsey & Co.

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