No company is exempt from sales challenges. Even the most high-performing sales teams face obstacles in developing buyer relationships and effectively communicating with prospects and customers.
What sets successful companies apart is their ability to strategically overcome these sales challenges. How exactly can you do so in today’s changing sales landscape?
Here are eight of your sales team’s top challenges and how to solve them.
1. Finding Qualified Leads
Attracting tons of new leads isn’t always a good thing. It’s about quality over quantity—you want to ensure you attract qualified leads. It doesn’t make sense to sell to a lead who doesn’t want to buy. A prospect needs to be a good fit for your product or services.
Implement inbound marketing to let qualified leads find you, and nurture them through the sales process. Ensure to align your sales and marketing teams—together, these teams must decide what the ideal sales qualified lead (SQL) looks like.
2. Getting a Response from Prospects
No matter how you’re communicating with prospects, your message needs to be compelling. To move your prospects to respond, you first need to develop a messaging strategy. One single email or phone call won’t be enough to grab their attention. Rather, send out a series of communications that address the challenges your prospects are facing.
Don’t tell them how awesome your company is. Instead, provide your prospects with valuable and relevant information. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time will dramatically increase your response rates.
3. Standing Apart from Competitors
How can your sales reps help set your company apart from the competition? By building meaningful relationships with prospects and customers. Remember that every customer touchpoint represents your brand. Great customer service will turn your customers into brand evangelists.
Demonstrate your passion to help them by being selfless and offering expert knowledge. If your business isn’t the best solution for them, offer suggestions for better options. While it may seem crazy not to push for that sale, this is a great way to build trust. A contact may refer someone else to your business based on your honesty. Or if their situation changes in the future, they’ll come back to you.
Showing you have your prospects’ best interests at heart is one of the best ways to stand apart from your competitors.
4. Asking the Right Questions
Asking prospects the right questions is the best way to understand their wants, needs, and pain points.
While you might be tempted to make a pitch right away, don’t. Rushing the process won’t get you far. Instead, ask insightful questions to determine whether you can help your prospects and in what ways.
To ask the right questions, your sales team needs to be well-prepared. Avoid asking yes or no questions—there’s not much you can do with a one-word response. Don’t ask three questions at the same time without giving your prospect a chance to respond. Be patient and give them time to consider one question at a time.
5. Staying Motivated
Your sales reps’ motivation affects their productivity, your company culture, and your bottom line. To effectively motivate your reps, you first need to know what drives them.
Salespeople aren’t all the same; every person requires different incentives and motivational tactics. Work with each individual sales rep to determine what will work best for them. Set tangible goals that your reps can work to accomplish. Without goals, they won’t know what success looks like. Then, celebrate your team’s wins to boost morale.
Another important way to keep your team motivated is to invest in sales coaching. When you empower sales managers to be better coaches, you’ll help boost motivation and sales performance for the entire team.
6. Spending Too Much Time on Administrative Tasks
Today’s sales reps spend less than 36% of their time selling. Administrative tasks like inputting data and generating reports eat up most of your sales reps’ precious time.
Fortunately, sales enablement tools and technologies can automate most non-revenue-generating tasks. With the right tools at their disposal, your reps will have more time to devote to core sales activities.
Meetings scheduler tools, for example, allow prospects to instantly book time in your reps’ calendars and avoid long email chains. Email templates will also save your reps time. While they’ll still need to tailor their messages, having a template to work with for following up, recapping calls, and more will help boost efficiency.
7. Maintaining Customer Relationships Post-Sale
The deal might be signed, but that doesn’t mean your sales rep’s job is over. Once your prospect becomes a customer, your salespeople still have to work on maintaining and building their trust. Otherwise, they risk losing their hard-won business.
Regularly check in with your customers to discuss their experiences so far and to ensure they’re happy. Take advantage of marketing automation to keep track of your customers’ engagement levels, and send them personalized emails.
Nurturing your current clients will keep them invested in your brand. And it’s a lot easier to upsell a happy client. Upselling can actually bring in more revenue than signing new customers—and with less effort.
Don’t leave money on the table—maintain strong relationships with all your current customers.
8. How to Effectively Team Sell
The sales process works best as a team sport. Working as a team helps you develop innovative solutions to obstacles and allows everyone to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.
But an effective team is not just made up of strong individuals. Your sales reps are probably used to being lone wolves and will need help to develop their team selling skills. To support team selling, you need to foster a culture of collaboration.
Regular communication is crucial to avoid a disjointed selling process. Define each individual person’s role and decide on one central person to lead.