3 Major Challenges That Can Weigh Down Sales Reps
by Nitin Gupta, on Aug 22, 2017 4:50 PM

Of all the different professions, sales reps have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Even when the odds are stacked against them, most sales reps would still be hopeful to register a win. The challenges that sales reps face today are largely the same, as they were several decades back. For example, the need to be presentable, strike an instant rapport with the prospect and make the right connections are some of the things that are still applicable in today’s technology-driven marketplace. Technology may have made certain tasks easier for sales reps, allowing them to enhance their productivity. However, technology has also created new challenges for sales personnel. For better understanding, let’s take a look at some of the toughest challenges that sales reps are currently facing.

Increased competition: Market competition has increased significantly over the years. There are more companies than ever before and a lot more products and services. As brands jostle to establish their space in the marketplace, the pressure is on sales reps to achieve that goal. However, it’s not easy since the prospect may already be evaluating the products of other competitors. Unless the product or the sales rep is remarkably brilliant, it would be tough to convince the prospect. If sales reps want to register wins in the existing highly competitive marketplace, they will have to operate with speed and efficiency. One key area where they need to focus is the response time to sales leads. Sales reps need to quickly follow-up on leads and provide quotes wherever needed. If they delay, the probability will increase every hour that the prospect may choose the competitor’s product. Sales reps can use sales productivity apps to improve their speed and efficiency in a wide variety of tasks including their response to leads.

The demand for deep discounts: A sales rep approaching a prospect is a situation wherein the sales rep is already on a weak spot and the prospect has the upper hand. This is why most prospects insist on deep discounts or demand the lowest price possible. Many prospects would even start talking about the competitor’s product and point out to its various features or benefits and its low price. To effectively overcome this challenge, sales reps need to have detailed information about the prospect and their industry. They can then provide key insights related to the prospect’s needs, the industry ecosystem and how the product fits perfectly in the value chain. If sales reps can talk about even a couple of interesting facts about the prospect’s work or industry, it would create the right impression on the prospect and get them hooked for further interactions. Sales reps will then be able to get the prospect’s time and attention that they need to close a deal. It’s necessary that sales reps do their homework prior to approaching a client or prospect.

Increasingly complex customer needs: With technology advancements, increased awareness and a plethora of competing products, customers’ needs have evolved and have become increasingly complex in recent times. This has created new challenges for sales reps. For example, you may be trying to sell the latest mobile device, but the client may be looking for an organization-wide mobility solution. Your product may be relevant, but it may not measure up to the specific needs of the client. You might be counting the trees, but the client may be looking at the entire woods – the big picture essentially. To tackle such situations, the sales organization should be equipped with specialized teams that can quickly create customized, high-end solutions for customers. Every business has different needs, so offering customization in a timely manner can increase the chance of a win.

Sales reps and their teams need to keep evolving in a way that can help them understand and keep up with the parallel evolving needs of customers and the marketplace. Since competitors may be utilizing the same thought process, sales reps need to work with maximum speed and efficiency as well.

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