May 7, 2021

The Sales Challenges: Common Pitfalls and How to Beat Them

Are sales challenges keeping you up at night? It's time to stop worrying- there are many things that you can do in order to feel confident about your sales team and be sure that they will succeed.

Do you feel confident in your sales abilities? If not, don't worry. I have been there too! In fact, I am sure that many sales professionals can relate to this. 

But what makes a sales professional successful is their ability to push through and overcome the sales challenges they face on a daily basis. To help you do just that, we will discuss 10 sales-related challenges and how to feel confident in your success moving forward!


What Are The Common Sales Challenge You Are Likely To Face?

The entire world of sales typically is not an easy field to work in. In fact, it can be a challenge for those that are employed as sales representatives to face the daily challenges that they face on a consistent basis. 

In many cases, those employed as sales reps will find that there's no shortage of challenging tasks to perform. To the contrary, those employed as sales representatives may find themselves facing a myriad of unique and difficult sales challenges each day.

The first challenge faced by every sales representative is motivation. Sales professionals need a constant supply of fuel to drive them throughout their workday, otherwise difficult tasks such as cold calling could become overwhelming and exhausting too quickly. 

The key to ensuring motivation remains high all day long is to set small goals that will help the individual to push through.

With that being said, there are many sales challenges sales representatives are likely to face and we have tried to write a few of them below.

1). Most sales challenges are associated with cold calling- In many cases, those employed as sales representatives will be required to develop a complete lead list from scratch. 

Delivering their first message can be difficult, but it's important not to let one bad call turn into several more before moving on to the next prospect.

2). The majority of sales reps find that closing is often the most difficult aspect of their job- They need to be able to convince customers at every stage of the process in order for them to become new buyers and remain loyal customers in the future. 

Failure to close may result in losing potential clients at every juncture of selling, which makes this challenge very difficult indeed.

3). When sales reps fail to meet their quotas- They are often faced with more challenges that are negative for them. For instance, the job of a sales representative could be threatened or even lost if quotas are not met consistently throughout the workday.

4). Approaching the Sale Wrongly - Are you approaching the sale from a standpoint of desperation instead of confidence? Are you trying to 'close the deal' before the prospect is ready? Be careful not to jump into talking terms and agreements too quickly! 

The prospect may sense that he needs to hurry up and make his decision which makes him less likely to make a commitment.

5. Not Showing an Understanding of the Prospect's Needs - Every prospect has their own unique needs and you need to be able to present your product or service in such a way that it is the perfect solution for them despite any objections they may have (i.e.: price, time frame, etc.). 

Do some research on past clients of theirs and find out what made them happy with your competitor instead of you!

6). Watching Competitor Deals Too Closely - When prospects are making buying decisions, there is bound to be another company offering similar products and services at a lower price than you. 

Don't let this discourage you from selling your superior product because there are many reasons why your product may still be the better choice. 

One of your prospects may need your immediate attention and expedited shipping, while another prospect might value your exceptional customer service more than a cheaper product.

7). Trying to Force an Unwilling Prospect into Buying -  Prospects are not obligated to buy anything from you regardless of how much time or effort they have already spent with you. 

If they resist making a decision, don't just keep asking them questions about why they aren't ready yet! This makes it appear as though you are trying to trick them into buying something that they don't want at all.

8). Not Understanding How Your Product Fits Into the Bigger Picture - A prospect may like what they hear from you but at the end of the day, their business is still going to continue on without you which means that they won't be buying from your company until they see a need for it. 

You have to show them how purchasing your product or service will benefit them in the long-term!

9). Not Setting the Right Expectations - When prospects start dealing with you, whether it be through email, phone calls, seminars etc., 

There are bound to be set expectations about what to expect after committing to do business with you. Don't leave prospects hanging around without an idea of when they can expect their issue(s) to be resolved by working with your company!

10). Not Following Up After Initial Interactions -  A prospect may have shown a lot of interest in your product or service at first but what you don't know is what has happened to them since they haven't been in contact with you. 

If left unchecked, a prospect can be turned off by the fact that you didn't take initiative to follow up with them after their initial visit. In an attempt to save yourself from this mistake, schedule recurring email reminders to be sent out on a regular basis.

11). Failing to Check-In After Prospects Have Committed - Once a prospect commits and agrees to purchase from you, it is your job as a sales representative to make sure that they remain happy with their decision! 

You don't want prospects going on their word by cancelling their order with you because they decided to go with a cheaper service from your competitor.

12). Not Putting Yourself in the Prospect's Shoes - There are many aspects that you need to consider when selling a product or service and it is necessary for you to know all of them by heart! 

You have to make sure that your prospects will find your product useful, valuable, and important...all at the same time! One tiny mistake can leave your prospect unhappy which leads back to my first point about not understanding their needs entirely.

13). Making Unreasonable Demands on Your Prospects -  You may be confident that what you're offering is worth paying for but demanding payment from an unwilling prospect quickly makes him/her lose respect for you as a salesperson! 

Always remember that there is a fine line between being aggressive and being assertive.

How To Overcome Sales Challenges?

The sales process is a constantly evolving one. There are certain tactics and actions that seem to work well at the beginning of your sales career, but as you progress in business they become less effective or downright obsolete.

1). Try not to agree too quickly when it comes to price points - Always try coming up with possible objections before agreeing on an expected commission rate. 

Keep pushing back until there's room left for negotiation without sounding completely unreasonable. It may feel uncomfortable now, but if someone else ever tries this tactic against you then it'll pay off in spades.

2). Promote yourself to sales - Even if you're not trying to sell your product or service directly to customers, this is still a sales role! 

Promoting the benefits of your offering and pitching it as something that would be beneficial for others involved in the same industry can help make clients receptive when you do eventually speak about sales opportunities..

3). Be confident but don't oversell - This one can seem like an oxymoron at times because both aspects are important here. 

Always try selling with confidence so that people know what's being talked about without feeling unsure themselves, however remember never to take advantage of someone who isn't completely sure either. 

A well presented offer should always leave them feeling positive about the sales process.

4). Think outside of your usual sales approach - This one is especially important for those who are confident in their sales skills but still struggle to make offers that people accept. There's always another way to sell, even if you have trouble with the traditional ones!

 Whether it means pitching an idea or service at a completely different target market, trying out new pitches frequently can help keep things interesting and exciting while also enabling more success overall.

5). Look after yourself during busy periods - The busiest time for many salespeople is often just before Christmas due to all of the promotional campaigns being run by retailers across the country. 

Unfortunately this period is also when stress levels can be highest because there's a lot of sales pressure from all angles, not to mention long working hours. 

Make sure you take time out for yourself and try to relax as much as possible during this period so that your mind is fresh when it comes back to work.

6). Be proactive rather than reactive - If a lead takes their time getting in touch with you then don't wait until they contact you before initiating any conversation or action on your part. 

It'll be too late by the time they do speak up which means there's less chance of closing sales successfully due to missed opportunities etc... Always aim to keep things moving forward at every opportunity!

7). Don't just focus on making new sales - Even though most people think about doing whatever needs to be done in sales, it's easy to forget that closing sales is only one part of the process. 

The biggest challenge for many salespeople comes when they have no new sales opportunities on the horizon and are forced to focus more heavily on following up with old ones and continuing business development efforts. 

It can feel like a hopeless situation but there's always some opportunity out there if you're willing to look hard enough!

8). Don't lose sight of your long term goals - Sales can be an extremely fast paced environment where some days seem to fly by without much happening at all while others go by in a flash because multiple deals were closed or offers made. 

While this inconsistency may make it harder for someone new in sales roles, don't let it make you lose sight of your long term sales goals because these are what will really matter when it comes to assessing how successful you've been overall.

9). Make sure that everyone involved in the sales process is clear on expectations - This one should be fairly self explanatory but still requires mentioning here for completeness sake. 

The last thing anyone wants during a sales campaign is confusion about roles and responsibilities, especially if someone isn't fulfilling their expected duties! 

Make sure things like this don't happen by clearly outlining each person's role and regularly checking with them afterwards.

10). Don't sell yourself short when making offers - If there's something important enough to mention then chances are high that they'll want an offer from somewhere else. 

You'll be in a much better position to negotiate and close sales if you don't sell yourself short when making your initial offers. It's always possible to improve them later but try not to come across as desperate or needy during the early stages.

11). Find out what works best for each buyer - There are some characteristics that almost all successful salespeople have in common, but everyone is different which means there isn't just one ideal sales process that will work equally well on every occasion. 

This makes it important for salespeople to discover what kind of approach tends to work best with their buyers so they can tailor this more accurately during future campaigns.

12). Be careful about giving too many discounts! - If someone wants price discounts then there's a good chance they'll be looking for sales opportunities elsewhere as well. 

You don't want to risk losing sales from people who would have been loyal customers once you've built up enough trust with them, so make sure any discounts are offered only occasionally and in relation to other benefits that your business can offer instead.

14). Be careful about making false promises - It might seem like the fastest way of closing sales is by promising whatever it takes but this approach will always come back to bite you eventually if it becomes common practice! 

There are some situations where giving buyers what they ask for isn't feasible or even legal so do yourself a favor and avoid promising anything without knowing whether it'll actually happen.

15). Don't feel obliged to get sales at any cost - It's important not to do anything you're uncomfortable with during sales, even if it means potentially losing some opportunities. 

If getting sales requires doing something unethical or breaking the law then your reputation will suffer in the long run so don't let threats of pressure ever make you compromise on your principles.

Conclusion

It's important for any professional to face these challenges head-on. Taking the time to address these problems may allow companies to find solutions that work better in order to help each individual on staff reach their highest potential while continuing to remain employed.

In the end, sales professionals need to continually develop their skills as well as their mindset in order to address each of these challenges successfully throughout the workday. By doing so, those employed as sales reps will be able to continue performing at a high level and likely reach higher success than before.


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Himangi Lohar

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