Old habits are hard to break. However, being a salesperson in 2017 is very different than being one in 1997. The way people buy (including B2B) has changed. In today’s digital world, the consumer has more power than ever before.

Unfortunately, I still hear from business leaders who are struggling to shake the old sales habits that worked 20 years ago.

3 Sales Tactics You Needed to Stop Doing Yesterday

Here are three sales tactics that might have worked 20 years ago but won’t help you close any deals today:

1. Focusing More on Your Product Than Your Prospect
Selling is more about solving the unique needs and challenges of your prospect than ever before. In the past, we could pitch clients by saying, “You need our product” or “Our service is the best, because___________,” and our prospects had no choice but to listen to us.   

Because the consumer holds the power today, we must adjust the way we sell and center the conversation around them.

2. Relying on Cold Calling to Generate Your Best Leads
Cold calling is a quick way to get ignored. Today’s prospects are busy, and answering a cold call leaves them feeling annoyed. Warm selling is the way to go. The good news is that content marketing and inbound lead generation provide an easy way for you to build a relationship with prospects before you ever pick up the phone.

3. Manually Managing the Entire Sales Process
Feeling like you have to control the entire sales process—from introduction to close—isn’t necessary in today’s world. In fact, prospects are 57% of the way through the buying decision before they ever engage a sales representative. They already know about your brand. They’ve already researched your product or service. Don’t treat them like they’re just learning about you for the first time.

At the same time, marketing tools allow you to automate much of the manual activities that help cultivate a sales conversation. These tools are too affordable and accessible to continue relying on manual processes and spreadsheets to manage your sales cycle.