The Biggest Challenges That Haunt Every Sales Team
A salesforce or sales team is the core of any successful business venture. It is the sales team who makes the company grow. They are the front-liners who convert the leads into buyers and increase your customer base. While a sales team is crucial to any organization’s success, it is one of the most demanding and challenging teams to manage.
Turning a potential customer into a buyer is not a piece of cake. The sailing is not always smooth for a sales team. And, sometimes even the most efficient sales forces get stuck. They also face hardships in establishing a workable relationship with the buyers. Many times, it gets difficult for salespersons to communicate with the prospect effectively. At other times, they cannot find the courage to follow up because they think they could anger the prospect from their nagging.
However, the best sales teams bounce back and strategically tackle the challenges that come in the way of their company’s success.
Let’s discuss some of the top challenges that every sales team may encounter at some point.
1. Qualified Lead Generation
Targeting the right lead is one of the key challenges faced by the sales force. Trying to sell to a prospect not interested in your product is a big mistake. An efficient sales team always strives to attract qualified leads. After all, quality is above quantity.
Inbound marketing is a smart solution to this challenge as it lets the leads find you. Also, make sure that your marketing and sales teams work together on the ideal sales qualified lead (SQL).
With the advent of social media, generating the lead has become an easy task relatively. However, many sales teams still adopt the conventional means. They go out and reach potential buyers. The traditional method certainly works when you are talking to a small group of prospects. Nevertheless, capturing the accurate details of many potential leads in a short time is a tedious task. Voicing the details to the Customer Relation Manager (CRM) enables for integration in the database. Hence, the details are automatically managed.
2. Capturing Prospects’ Attention
One of the biggest challenges sales teams have to deal with is to grab the leads’ attention. Your way of communication is secondary; your message has to be compelling enough to convince your prospect. A smart messaging strategy will serve the purpose.
Don’t sit back after one email or a phone conversation. Approach the prospect multiple times. Communicate your message and address the issues your prospect is encountering.
Also, don’t expect the prospect to be interested to know who you are. Initiate the conversation with a "hinge" – an issue specific to the prospect’s industry. Share relevant and valuable information with the lead. "Right message to the right person at the right time" always work.
Getting the prospect’s attention is one part; retaining the prospect is equally important. For that matter, sales teams need to organize the prospects into groups with the focus on the solution.
3. Right Questions Lead to Right Solutions
Time is money for both the sales team and the prospects. Asking insightful questions also become challenging for the sales personnel sometimes. Unnecessary and irrelevant queries may ruin the deal for the company. The team has to do their homework well. Preparing a tentative questionnaire may be effective to know the prospects’ wants, needs, and concerns.
The right questions will help to find the right solutions. It is better to avoid the close-ended question as a mere YES or NO won’t help much. Also, there is no need to rush and ask several questions simultaneously as this may overwhelm the prospect. Patience is the key; let the respondent take the time to answer the questions and listen to their response.
Asking obvious questions is also a big NO. Don’t ask about what the business does or it’s services as it will give a bad impression to the buyer. A quick Google search, a visit to the company’s LinkedIn page, or website will answer these questions.
4. Inventory Management
Updating and managing inventory is another tedious task for the sales team. Whether the company carries the sales online or in-person, the inventory problems are of the same magnitude. Sales is a fast and fluid affair. While a skilled salesperson is required to keep the process inflow, an accurately managed inventory is equally essential.
Managing an inventory is a challenging task, even when your sales team is fully equipped and efficient. Human error is inevitable, especially when there is an increased workload.
Again, technology comes into play in providing the ideal solution. Voice to CRM allows identifying what’s being said and inventory needs. However, it requires integration with responsible managers for the high-value data to be utilized.
5. Administrative Tasks
The main responsibility of a sales’ team is to sell the product or service of their company. However, a shocking study has revealed that sales representatives are spending less than 36% of their time on selling. Unfortunately, administrative tasks take up most of their time.
It may appear as a mere inconvenience, but administrative tasks are tedious. Data entry, creating reports, managing the schedules – all consume a lot of time. Navigation through the CRM, adds to the issue. You can’t afford to lose 60% of the productivity by not leveraging a new voice to the CRM.
You can address the issue with sales enablement tools that automate most of the non-revenue generating tasks. Hence, the representatives will get more time to focus on their primary job. The effective solution provider also reduces the chances of errors and inaccuracy.
There are other options as well, including:
Meeting scheduler tools – enabling the prospects to book an appointment in the sales reps’ calendar;
Email templates – will help in the follow-up, recapping calls, and saving time.
A sales team cannot become successful unless the members work in collaboration and are united. When different minds work together, innovative ideas are generated. Hence, teamwork enhances the sales’ force performance, thereby enabling them to overcome the challenges.
While strong individuals contribute to the success of a sales’ team, collaboration always sets the team apart from the competitors. The sales reps’ have to be more responsive today. They should be able to seamlessly transit from one role to another as they have to communicate with different stakeholders. Agility is the driving force today for the sales industry.