Every sales rep wishes to end their month on a happy note celebrating their wins. But sadly, for most of the sales reps, it ends with the disappointment of unfulfilled targets. Sales reps are often plagued with challenges that affect their sales results.
The issue is that sales reps overlook these challenges and continue selling but that brings them back to the same disappointing sales results every month.
When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out – David Weatherford
Common sales challenges and their solution
No one is exempted from challenges, not even the top sales performers. However, they address the sales challenges rather than ignoring them.
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory – George S Patton
Here are the most common challenges that most of the sales reps’ face and the solutions to tackle them.
Sales challenge 1 – Competing with competitors
The market has turned into a battlefield where businesses are doing all it takes to surpass their competitors.
From lowering prices to offering freebies, competitors are trying various strategies to attract customers.
Potential buyers pick such points and use them as a shield to get the product at a better price. Most of the sales reps get to hear statements like “The [X competitor] is offering a product at a much lower price” or [Y competitor is giving 4 months free subscription to their service].
Most of the sales reps go blank when they face such questions or take some impulsive decision that sabotages their profits.
- Map out the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses after in-depth competitive analysis.
- Find out how you are better than your competitors and explain it to your potential buyers.
- Share case studies and testimonials of satisfied customers who chose you over the competitors.
Sales challenge 2 – Lack of time for selling
Sales reps have a long to-do list. From collecting details about the potential buyer to drafting sales emails as well as updating records, there is a lot a sales rep must do in a day. Besides, if things aren’t organized more time is wasted in searching for information. Sales reps don’t get enough time to focus on strategizing and selling.
Sales reps spend over a third of their time (35.2%) actually selling.
- Use an automation tool to put most of your tasks on autopilot.
- Use tools that provide profile enrichment features and get vital information of your prospects fetched automatically.
- Create and reuse email templates instead of drafting each email again.
- Keep track of your sales activities using sales reports and prioritize your tasks for the week.
- Choose one platform to maintain all your customer data instead of using diaries and notes.
Sales challenge 3 – Getting a response from the prospect
After a few initial interactions, most of the prospects stop responding. Several sales reps get demotivated by this silence. They abandon the lead and start focusing on another prospect. Due to this, most of the leads aren’t converted.
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.
- Follow-up consistently without giving up. You can use tools that allow you to create email and text sequences for automating the follow-up.
- Create interesting email subject lines and content to increase your response rate.
- Try to connect with somebody else from the prospect’s company.
- Connect with the prospect at different hours. Explore the best time to call or send emails to the prospect.
- Use different channels apart from calls and emails to connect with your prospects like text messages and social media sites.
Sales challenge 4 – Prospects reluctance during the negotiation
Most of the deals are lost during the negotiation stage of the sales process. Several prospects are unwilling to compromise or find common ground. Besides, the prospect’s reluctance annoys the sales reps, and they end up venting out their anger in an unpleasant way.
- Stay calm during the negotiation and think before you respond to a customer objection.
- Research and explore various negotiation tactics to deal with reluctant prospects.
- Identify the prospects’ pressure points and make them visualize the consequences of not addressing the problem right now.
- First quote a high price. Then offer a low price with limited features. While the prospect is swinging between two offers, make the actual proposal.
Sales challenge 5 – Inability to handle criticism or rejection
Most sales reps cannot hear a “NO” and neither can they accept criticism. They get demoralized. This even affects their next deal as they cannot focus on the communication due to the disappointment from the rejection or criticism they faced.
- Practice and prepare a good response when you hear a no.
- Don’t get emotionally hijacked, work on your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) skills.
- Ask your senior to conduct a mock call session for preparing you to handle rejection on sales calls.
- Create a lot of opportunities for yourself so that few rejections don’t affect your target.
Sales challenge 6 – Sales training
Most of the organizations set high expectations but fail to provide proper training to the sales reps for handling today’s smart buyers. Lack of training is the primary cause of low sales productivity. Most of the reps face trouble meeting their sales goals.
- Find the areas where training is required and request management to invest in training.
- Attend live webinars to learn from industry experts.
- Ask the seniors to provide regular performance feedback.
Sales challenge 7 – Incapability to track deals
The sales pipeline might have many deals. But unfortunately, most of them get stalled for long at some stage of the sale pipeline and ultimately slip through the crack. Several sales reps have no visibility into their sales pipeline, which is why they lose many opportunities.
Implement the best CRM. It will…
- Give you clear visibility into each stage of the sales pipeline.
- Allow you to segment and prioritize high-value deals to track their progress.
- Keep you updated with each activity of the deal.
Sales challenge 8 – Lack of time for prospecting
Prospecting is a very vital task of the sales process. However, most sales reps find it challenging to dedicate time to prospecting. Making cold calls regularly can acquaint you with a lot of lucrative opportunities. So do not skip this important sales task.
- Set a stipulated time frame to make cold calls every day.
- Use a power dialer to save time and increase efficiency.
- Do not ignore cold calling for any other task.
Sales challenge 9 – Inability to answer prospect’s questions
Modern buyers are very smart and well informed. They are updated with the latest market trends and popular technologies. So, they tend to ask a lot of questions. Most of the time, sales reps go blank and are unable to answer these questions. Are you too facing this issue? If yes, then here are things you need to do.
- First of all, ensure you have good product knowledge.
- Make a list of questions that you often get and prepare for it.
- Have a mock call session with your senior.
Industrial experts’ views on sales challenges
Check out what according to the industrial expert are the most common sales challenges.
Michael Alexis, CEO, Team Building
The biggest challenge that most sales reps face is the price. The price is too high, the price isn’t clear, the price is out of budget, and many other price-based barriers.
The most successful tactic for overcoming this challenge is to refocus the conversation from price to value. For example, you can ask questions like “if we implemented this for you today, how would it change things for you tomorrow?” By focusing on a short or immediate timeline like this, or whichever timeline is appropriate, you can shift potential clients to thinking about the value your product or service will create.
If value-focussing isn’t effective, most sales reps should have flexibility in pricing or payment terms that they can offer. This flexibility could be with multiple tiers of offerings, or even just the ability to say, “okay, I can make this work for your budget if you sign by Friday.” Empowering your reps like this makes a massive difference in their close rates and success.
Chad Hill, CMO, Hill & Ponton
For the sake of brevity, I’ll be mentioning 3 sales challenges: Lack of Motivation, Overzealousness, and Uniformity between Competition. The lack of motivation doesn’t drive them to work as hard as they could. Being complacent because they’re reaching quotas anyways can kill a drive of any person in sales. This lack of motivation can also come from the performance of menial tasks that aren’t the core of sales. A solution to this is by providing incentives for reaching a target beyond the minimum, or for automation to take charge of performing menial tasks in the case of the latter.
Overzealousness is on the other scale, where the sales representative is too desperate to make a sale that they don’t end up getting a chance to sell. Holding back on showering prospects of facts and intentionally listening to their specific needs helps close a sale more. Knowing what exactly a client would need, or how exactly what we’re selling can help them expand the relationship from being merely about sales.
Uniformity can arise because nothing can separate the sales rep from the sales rep at another company, and this either comes because of a lack of motivation or because they’re too overzealous and come off as needing the sale more than the buyer. Building trust between your clients can aid in standing out, as a stronger bond leaves a stronger impression in the minds of your clients. There are more problems that sales representatives face, but addressing these 3 can address a whole slew of other, related issues and challenges.
Tom McGee, VP and GM, Sales & Marketing Division, Lucas Group
“Earning the right” is the toughest part, as new clients don’t know you or trust you, and they’ve never experienced the quality of work or service you bring to the table.
In order to overcome this barrier, the best strategies are to provide concrete examples and data of success, have references from existing clients, utilize your network to get the first point of contact and be a likable and engaging person. Sales is fundamentally a people-driven business, so that last key is not to be underestimated.
Sales is without a doubt, a challenging field. But using the right solution and sales techniques it can be tackled. Ensure you don’t overlook the weak area that’s leading to poor sales results. Create sales reports to discover your strong and weak areas.
There are many tools that not only allows you to create customized sales reports, but all helps you in managing your sales effectively. For instance, with Salesmate CRM, you can customize your sales report as per your business’s specific requirements. Besides, it even allows you to manage different aspects of sales.
- Create multiple sales pipeline for different sales processes
- Set win probability to find out how many deals you close in a month
- Create email and text sequence to follow up in real-time
- Add product to the deal to keep track of everything you are selling
- Track your emails to find out how effective are your campaigns
- Make and receive call easily with all the data at your reach
- Keep all your customer information streamlined in a centralized repository
- Collaborate with your team through shared team inbox
Salesmate is a complete sales solution that helps in faster deal closer.
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