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Sales challenges

19 Top sales challenges 2024 and beyond [With proven solutions]

Key Takeaways
  • Top-performing reps consider customer preferences, market trends, and technology advancements to overcome core challenges in sales.
  • Embracing a buyer-first approach is one of the top challenges for salespeople.
  • Personalization in sales interactions is crucial to attracting modern customers.
  • Aligning marketing and sales teams enhances overall sales efficiency.
  • CRM and automation tools help sales teams work smarter by organizing tasks and increasing productivity.

Sales is an experimental art.

The past years have proven the demand for innovative ways as per the market trends (Remember how COVID pushed businesses online?). 

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, it is essential to focus on data analytics, personalization at scale, and AI to improve your sales approach.   

This blog discusses the top 19 sales challenges and solutions for reps to overcome obstacles, enhance their strategies, and achieve better results.

Let’s dive into how sales are changing and the new challenges reps face to close deals.

Changing sales landscape – Raises top challenges for sales teams  

Top trends in the evolving sales landscape

Let’s understand how these four trends raise the biggest challenges in sales: 

  • Economic shifts: The financial uncertainties lead to longer sales cycles and raise sales obstacles around pricing.
  • Customer expectations are high on personalization: Granular-level personalization is the expectation of prospects, making it one of the biggest sales and marketing challenges. 
  • Value-driven sales in demand: People prefer products that offer value, suggesting a move towards a value-based selling approach.
  • Integration of AI in sales: AI offers efficiencies but challenges personal connection, urging a balanced approach to tech integration. 

Moving on to discover the most common sales challenges faced by sales professionals with their possible solutions. 

19 Biggest sales challenges and their proven solutions 

In every sales process, reps encounter a set of common challenges, from identifying the sales-worthy leads, effective nurturing to get prospects engaged, handling objections, etc.

Let’s explore how to overcome challenges in sales with strategic solutions:

1. Adopting the buyer-first approach in the sales process

Our modern buyers know what they want and expect reps to serve them what they’re looking for: 

Statistics of Buyer-first approach

Shifting the mindset from what we sell to what you are looking for is a sales challenge for reps used to a push sales strategy. 

A recent Sales Gravvy podcast with Carole Mahoney stressed the demand for the adoption of a buyer-first approach.

Selling isn’t just about selling anymore; it’s about genuinely solving problems for your buyers, building relationships, and gaining trust.  


  • Research your target audience and create a customer persona to understand what your prospects are looking for. 
  • To tailor your approach, use CRM and analytics to understand your target buyer’s preferences and common pain points. 
  • Practice listening to your prospects’ thoughts to uncover their true needs.

2. Realizing a solid product doesn’t guarantee sales  

This sales challenge is faced by reps who don’t follow any strategy and practice pitching their product benefits to the target prospects. 

So, they end up empty-handed and losing the opportunity. 


  • Firstly, find your unique value proposition to understand what makes your product different from competitors.
  • Discover how you solve specific problems or meet the unique needs of your ideal customers. 
  • Focus on educating your audience and adopt a value-based selling approach. 

3. Lack of brand reputation and trust 

Building a brand reputation is one of the biggest challenges in sales and marketing.

For sales reps, closing deals for new businesses without brand awareness and reputation becomes a significant sales challenge.

However, it is not that you won’t give results without a brand image.

For a new business without a strong brand presence, overcoming trust barriers in the buyer’s journey involves strategic actions.


  • Sales reps can’t directly build brand reputation alone but can help by focusing on customer needs and ensuring a good buying experience.
  • Ensure honesty and clarity in all communications (during phone calls or emailing).
  • Leverage customer feedback to improve service and offerings.

4. Qualifying MQLs as sales leads 

MQLs (Marketing qualified leads) show initial interest but haven’t yet demonstrated a readiness to buy.  

The biggest challenge lies in focusing your efforts on leads with a higher chance of purchasing and ensuring sales resources are used most effectively.

Overcoming these sales challenges will help reps save more time and grow sales counts faster. 


  • Using a lead qualification framework that includes lead scoring helps pinpoint which prospects are truly ready. This way your teams will likely focus on the right people and win deals.

Read more: 6 Solid sales qualification frameworks every rep should know!

5. Not getting enough time for prospecting 

Prospecting is the first sales pipeline stage. It involves practices identifying and contacting potential customers(or prospects) to convert them into clients.

According to ZoomInfo, sales prospecting is one of the powerful ways to grow sales for 70% of B2B companies

Effective time management is crucial for overcoming obstacles in sales, especially for prospecting.

However, with the pressure of converting the ongoing leads in their sales pipeline and other day-to-day activities, most reps find it challenging to dedicate time to prospecting.


  • Plan your to-do tasks and dedicate a specific time slot for sales prospecting (cold calls or emailing). 
  • You can use a Power Dialer to save time and increase efficiency. 
  • Set your email outreach on autopilot with the support of powerful cold email software. 

6. Lack of time for selling 

A sales rep does a lot in a day, including collecting details about leads, nurturing them, drafting sales emails, updating records, etc.

Besides, if things aren’t organized, more time is wasted searching for information, and sales reps don’t have enough time to focus on selling. 

A study by Salesforce states that sales reps spend a mere 28% of their week actively selling.


  • Evaluate your daily routine and find the time-consuming activities. If all are repetitive tasks, automate them using a Sales Automation tool
  • A cold email outreach tool can help you with email builder, customizable templates, and sequences.

Upgrade yourself to leverage tools for data organization, meeting scheduling, email outreach, and all your mundane tasks – Ever experienced what a powerful CRM can do? – Streamline the entire business and boost productivity.

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7. Sales and marketing teams misalignment 

Reps struggle in sales due to ineffective misalignment of sales and marketing teams within the organization. 

For instance, if your sales and marketing teams are using two different tools for working and managing data, issues like data loss and duplication will be a day-to-day time waster.   

To succeed with Smarketing (a business strategy that involves the close alignment of the sales and marketing team.), you need to break these organizational silos and combat them to develop an integrated system. 

Sales and marketing misalignment statistics


  • Conduct regular meetings collaboratively and discuss aligning goals.
  • Keep updating each other’s efforts and progress.  
  • In your next meeting, suggest trying CRM and automation tools for enhancing team efficiency. (If not considered yet.)

8. Making every sales interaction personalized 

A personalized offer more often attracts the right audience. Also, top-performing sales teams are 2.8 times more likely to focus on personalizing customer experiences.

But, personalizing each interaction to the specific needs and preferences is a major challenge for reps.

Also, managing the scale of personalization when targeting prospects with varied customer personals is a matter of challenge.  


  • Develop buyer personas and segment the customer base to create more targeted communication strategies. 
  • For engaging with inbound leads, make sure your customer understanding is on point to hit their pain point, be a solution to their challenges, or more. 
  • Be an active lister to your prospect during discovery calls and meetings to propose personalized offers. 
  • Technologies like CRM, customer data analytics, and AI can help you understand your target customer behavior for personalized communication. 

Explore12 Types of sales emails to increase customer engagement 

9. Not 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. In fact, a study revealed that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. 


  • Try to connect with somebody else from the prospect’s company.  
  • Connect with your prospects using different channels besides calls and emails, such as text messages and social media sites. 
  • Setting up an automated follow-up process with email and text sequences will boost your productivity and responses.
  • Connect with the prospect at different hours. Find the best time to send sales emails or dial the prospect. 
Boost responses with Sequences!

Boost responses with Sequences!

You can automate your outreach and follow-ups with Salesmate to drive more business opportunities at your door.

Explore Sales Sequences

10. Securing the first meeting with the prospect 

For every rep, landing that first discovery meeting with the lead they’re chasing is one of the biggest sales challenges. 


  • Prioritize responses to inbound inquiries and thoroughly research the prospects to ensure your message resonates with their needs and challenges. 
  • Use targeted, value-driven outreach strategies that clearly express the benefits of meetings. 
  • To increase your chances of being noticed, implement a multi-touchpoint approach (emails, calls, social media, and direct mail). 

Tip – Make your every message/pitch hyper-personalized to win the meeting! 

11. Nailing the discovery meeting 

Securing a discovery meeting is one of the successful milestones in a B2B sales process for reps, so you can’t lose the chance to win the deal at this point. 

Building rapport, impressive presentation, discovering pain points, and planning time in discovery meetings are some of the sales problems for reps.  

Here’s how you should schedule to keep all things on track: 

Smart time management in discovery meetings


  • Prepare thoroughly by researching the prospect’s business, industry, and potential challenges they may be facing. 
  • Be an empathetic and active listener to understand their situation.
  • Ask open-ended discovery questions to discover the challenges and desires of prospects.
  • Summarize key points to confirm understanding and demonstrate active listening. 
  • Position yourself as a consultant rather than just a salesperson by offering initial insights or values that align with their expressed needs. 

12. Inability to answer prospect’s questions 

Modern buyers are intelligent 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 cannot answer these questions.  

Are you facing this issue too? If yes, then here are things you need to do.


  • First, ensure you have good product/service knowledge. 
  • Make a list of questions that you often get and prepare for it.  
  • Have a mock call session with your senior. 

13. Winning at 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, who end up venting their anger in an unpleasant way.  


  • Stay calm during the negotiation and think before you respond to objections.  
  • 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 option with limited features. While the prospect is swinging between two offers, make the actual proposal.   

Want to know what do best sales negotiators do differently to close deals?

14. Inability to handle criticism or rejection 

Most sales reps often struggle with rejection and feedback, leading to discouragement.

This even affects their next deal as they cannot focus on communication due to the disappointment from the rejection or criticism they face.  


  • 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 to prepare you to handle rejection on sales calls. 
  • Create many opportunities for yourself so that few rejections don’t affect your target. 

15. Competing with competitors 

Most of the sales reps get to hear statements like…  

The [X competitor] is offering a product at a much lower price”  

“[Y competitor is giving 4 months free subscription to their service].” 

From lowering prices to offering freebies, businesses are doing all it takes to surpass their competitors. 

Eventually, potential buyers pick such points and use them as a shield to get the product at a better price.  

And sales reps go blank when they face such questions or make some impulsive decision that might result in losing the opportunity.


  • Map out the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors after an in-depth competitive analysis with a sales battle card
  • 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. 

Interesting readTop inside sales challenges that reps face!

16. Selling to groups over a solo buyer 

This is one of the biggest challenges of B2B sales, and you’ll agree that convincing a group of key decision-makers compared to an individual is tougher.

The negotiation process becomes complex with endless questions, the sales cycle lengthens, and it is challenging to convince different people with varied perspectives.

This scenario requires preparation for multiple aspects to close more deals.


  • Look at group dynamics and grasp each contact’s role and preferences within their company. 
  • Understand the company’s industry position, challenges, and goals. 
  • Address both collective needs and individual concerns during sales communication. 
  • Strengthen your case with relevant case studies and testimonials. 
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17. To leverage social selling for broader sales growth 

Sales reps sometimes miss out on leveraging social selling to the fullest.   

However, not utilizing social platforms to their potential is a common challenge to understand and overcome.   

Note that 72% of social sellers who leverage social media meet their sales quota.  

Let’s find out what social platforms give the highest ROI: 

Social platforms give the highest ROI


  • Evaluate and identify the best platform for your business to engage the audience, establish trust, and sell.   
  • Build a personal brand and engage with potential customers to gain trust. 
  • Share content that adds value to your potential buyer’s work and demonstrates thought leadership.  
  • Practice social listening to understand customer needs that align with your brand’s offerings.   
  • Take the help of social selling tools to track metrics to measure your sales efforts and optimize for higher ROI.  

18. Ineffective training received by sales reps

Most organizations set high expectations but fail to provide proper sales enablement training to the reps for handling today’s intelligent buyers. 

Thus, the lack of proper sales training is one of the primary causes of low sales productivity.


  • Find the areas where training is required and request management to invest in training. 
  • Be thorough with the sales collaterals to improve your product/service knowledge. 
  • Explore solutions from industry experts, and also take help from your sales team to improve. 
  • Ask your sales managers/leaders to evaluate your performance and give you genuine feedback to improve. 
  • Attending live webinars to learn from industry experts will also help to improve. 

19. Leveraging the right technologies to overcome modern sales hurdles 

Sales reps are progressive in their working style compared to back then but still lack when it comes to utilizing technology. 

A survey by Harvard Business Review stated, “Sales representatives believe that technology has not simplified their job or made it less expensive; instead, it has just been an added thing to learn.”

This sentiment highlights a significant challenge, especially as businesses expect their sales teams to grow sales and boost productivity.

I found these four sales challenges associated with the resistance to adopting modern technologies. 

  1. Effective data management and utilization for sales 
  2. Effective lead engagement in a longer sales cycle 
  3. Inability to track deals 
  4. Adopting the new player – AI for effective sales 


The solution to these challenges lies in adopting a robust Sales CRM that can help you with: 

  • Lead management to organize and segment the contact details of prospects/leads for the business. 
  • Lead engagement with emails or text to maintain their interest throughout longer sales cycles. 
  • Sales pipeline management to visualize the entire sales cycle plus identify bottlenecks and opportunities. 
  • Sales Automation saves you time from indulging in repetitive tasks by setting them on autopilot. 
  • AI integration to speed up activities like writing cold emails, generating text responses, or scheduling meetings. 
Grow your business faster with AI-powered CRM!

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With our all-in-one AI-driven CRM and automation platform, you can improve sales communication, productivity, and revenue.

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Wrap up on sales problems and solutions

Overcoming sales challenges requires a deep understanding of customer needs, strategic use of technology, and a commitment to personalization and efficiency.

Lack of time management and effective objection handling are some of the biggest sales challenges for reps.

To overcome your sales challenges, you need to understand what your prospects want, how to achieve it, and what technologies support you to make the process quicker. 

Sales reps must leverage technology and insights to advance prospects through the sales funnel smoothly. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the most challenging thing in sales?

Dealing with constant changes and uncertainty in the market is one of the top sales challenges that impact client engagement and the decision-making process. 

What are the top B2B sales challenges?

Here are the major challenges in B2B sales:

  1. Long sales cycles and complex purchasing processes due to multiple decision-makers.
  2. Demonstrating deep knowledge and expertise to engage educated buyers. 
  3. Prospects don’t have enough budget.
  4. Prioritizing customer retention to leverage existing customers.
What is an example of a challenging situation in sales?  

A major sales problem is securing a first meeting with a prospect, often due to ineffective communication strategies and the difficulty of presenting a compelling value proposition. 

What are the top sales challenges for small business owners?

Here are the five biggest sales challenges for small business owners:

  1. Manage finances and funding
  2. Stand out against bigger rivals
  3. Hiring talented people and employee retention
  4. Handle legal compliance
  5. Keep up with digital shifts
What are the biggest challenges in sales for remote sales reps?

The top three remote sales challenges are:

  1. Getting engagement in virtual meetings
  2. Adapting to technology like digital tools
  3. Building relationships without in-person interactions
What are the three biggest ethical challenges in sales?

Here are the three biggest ethical selling challenges:

  1. Honesty and transparency: Struggling with truthfulness and full disclosure to customers.
  2. Conflict of interest: Balancing company goals with customer needs impartially.
  3. Data privacy and security: Handling customer data ethically and securely.
Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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