6 Top Challenges Salespeople Face Today

By Christina Aiello (@ChristinaAiell6)

6 Top Challenges Salespeople Face Today

Today’s selling space moves at the speed of light, and as the B2B industry continues to accelerate…only the survival-of-the-fittest salespeople will thrive. It’s crucial that sellers learn how to adapt to new buyer behaviors so that they can navigate through the sales process and close more deals.

Are you curious about the kinds of challenges salespeople face head-on? The 2017 Richardson Selling Challenges Research Survey aims to paint a clear picture of current sales challenges and how they are evolving. So, let’s dive in.

Top Prospecting Challenges

  1. Creating a targeted prospecting strategy- Creating a targeted prospect strategy is vital to avoid wasting time, which is why it is the #1 prospecting challenge. Every week, sellers must dedicate time to growing their portfolio. Sales enablement can give sellers better visibility into their target prospects and the issues they face, by laying out the groundwork for developing an executable strategy.
  2. Quality of leads from marketing- Sales and marketing need to work together to define what the standards are for a quality lead, so that marketing can identify them and help sellers connect with the right prospects at the right time.
  3. Gaining Appointments- Getting prospects to agree to a meeting has become more and more challenging. Doing research and understanding industry challenges and relevant messaging will lead to successful prospecting efforts.

Top Negotiation Challenges

  1. Gaining higher prices- Negotiating higher prices is and will always be a top challenge salespeople face head on. If you establish credibility and develop a long-term productive relationship with a buyer, your negotiation outcomes will be positive and profitable.
  2. Closing win-win deals- Trust and authenticity are the keys to closing deals and maintaining positive relationships with your customers. Sellers need a negotiation process to help them close a win-win deal, which requires skill and strategy to develop long-term productive relationships.
  3. Maintaining profitabilityMaintaining profitability throughout the negotiation process allows organizations to be smarter about decisions affecting profits. Often, in a closing negotiation clients expect something extra without any additional cost. This demand should not be immediately agreed upon, the response should depend on how the change will affect the seller, profitability, and relationship.

Closing Challenges

  1. Competing against a low-cost provider- Today, buyers have an endless amount of information at their fingertips, but this overwhelming amount of material doesn’t always make it easier for a buyer to make a purchasing decision. Sellers can add value to a customer’s buying cycle by addressing their unique situation and identifying the right solutions so they can make an informed decision that drives the results they desire.
  2. Positioning competing value propositionsPresenting a buyer with thought-out solutions that meet their exact needs should be a salesperson’s top priority. Focusing on the desired outcome and what matters to the buyer is the best way to establish a good relationship and accelerate closed deals.
  3. Creating a compelling case for change to avoid a “no-decision”- The content and data you choose to share with a buyer can make or break a deal. Selecting data that is specific and relevant to the potential customer and sending it to them at the right time in the buying cycle keeps the buyer content with content.

Buyers’ Decision Challenges

  1. Combating the status quo- When buyers get too comfortable with the ways things are, they feel apprehensive about stretching outside of their comfort zone. The best way to get your buyer to feel less anxious about a deal is to highlight the loss or risk associated with not changing. Outlining this path allows the seller to address missed opportunity costs, making the purchasing decision easier for the buyer to make.
  2. Comparing their options- Don’t forget that buying is an emotional process and that it’s important to highlight the opportunities, potential wins, and profits your buyer will gain. Help your customer compare their options by presenting them with personalized insights, information, and credible research. This establishes trust between the buyer and the seller and helps them filter out useless and unhelpful information.
  3. Building internal consensus- Relying on an individual buyer makes building an internal consensus difficult. Sellers who engage with all stakeholders to position a solution that resonates with an individual buyer can help move the process along by providing additional materials and by expanding professional networks.

Productivity Challenges

  1. Spending too much time on administrative or non-selling activities- When sellers are overwhelmed with administrative tasks they don’t have enough time to focus on what’s really important: closing deals. Good sales managers are aware of these obstacles and remove them by purchasing sales enablement tools so that sellers can get back to business.
  2. Finding the right marketing assets to support your selling effortsFinding the right marketing tools to help support the sales team and their efforts is a difficult task. It is time-consuming to search for the right assets to understand a customer’s business and the lens they use to make decisions. Sales enablement tools allow sellers to find the right content at the right time effortlessly.
  3. Balancing time spent with your prospects and clients due a to a large territory- Splitting up a salespersons time between clients and prospects is like a game of tug-a-war. Sellers need a way to determine where their time is best spent so they can be at the right place when prospects are actively engaging in the buying process. Learning to utilize the sales enablement tools is a quick, easy, and user-friendly experience that will help, and not hinder the seller.

Team Selling Challenges

  1. Knowledge about how to team sell effectively- More often than not sellers work alone, so collaborating as part of a selling team is a skill that needs positive reinforcement. Today a winning sale takes teamwork, and when the time comes to put that team to the test, sales managers and salespeople run the other way. If your sales team is not on the same page, it can lead to a disjointed and confusing buying process. Ultimately, salespeople need to understand their team members and work alongside them to win the deal.

Buyers and sellers alike have a never-ending stream of information at their fingertips. The right sales enablement tools allow organizations to improve overall performance and gives sellers the time and confidence to make stronger and more personal relationships with their customers. The current selling environment offers salespeople the opportunity to understand and adapt to the evolution of the buyer’s table…because after all only the fittest salespeople will survive.

Eager to learn more about the main obstacles salespeople are facing today? Download the complete 2017 Richardson Selling Challenges Research Survey to get the down-low on the top challenges sellers are facing 2017!

Christina Aiello
Christina Aiello is a Marketing Operations Specialist at SAVO Group and has just started her career in the technology software industry. She recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communication and enjoys writing, playing guitar, and connecting with new people in her spare time!

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