Consumer purchasing habits have changed to where all decisions are based on the value an item holds, rather than the speech and prodding of a sales agent. Commercials don’t have the same influence they once used to, and more and more people are ignoring sales gimmicks and tacky ads. This new sales climate is a world where people don’t want to be sold something. They would rather have expert advice to guide them to informed decisions. There are several challenges in the new world of sales, but there are ways to overcome them.
Struggle 1: Finding Qualified Leads
It can be painstakingly difficult to make cold calls and attract attention through emails. Lead generation is a lot harder, but it isn’t impossible. A big part of developing qualified leads is making sure you have prospects that are interested in what you are offering. This takes research and knowing the customer. For instance, if a potential customer is concerned about timeliness and delays in delivery, you can preemptively address reservations by informing them of your use of a route planning software. Efficiency and accuracy aren’t a threat to the sale. Your product should present a solution to a problem the prospect has, but you should also have an answer to problems they may find with your services. Consistently finding qualified leads lies with the amount of research your sales team does.
Struggle 2: Leads That Abruptly Turn Cold
Having a promising lead grow cold after several meetings is gut-wrenching for a sales agent. It is even worse when no explanations are given, as feedback gives you an opportunity to save the sale or adjust your presentation in the future. While these situations can’t always be prevented, you need to know how to read the situation in order to make the best of it. You don’t want your team to waste valuable time hounding the lost prospect instead of pursuing other good leads, but you don’t need to disappear from the relationship altogether. If your company is having a sales event or releasing a product that is relevant to the former prospect’s needs, encourage your sales team to reach out and make contact. Have a legitimate reason for re-engaging with them. Build on the trust you established during initial meetings; don’t look desperate.
Struggle 3: Ineffective Marketing Departments
The company’s marketing department creates the advertisements and prospect campaigns, but if the marketing team is operating on its own with input from the sales team, you are liable to end up with subpar leads. While a lot of leads help your marketing team look good, if they don’t offer any hope of becoming customers, then the campaign was a waste of resources. Get your sales and marketing teams together on the front end to create more potential for the back end. They need to collaborate on developing a buyer persona and strategize the best content to address that individual’s needs. Both departments need to understand the buyer’s journey from interest to closing the sale if the content and advertising strategies are going to align.
Struggle 4: Economic and Financial Fears
Sales teams constantly struggle to convince potential buyers that an investment in their company or product is a good idea even when the economy looks bleak. Many consumers are influenced by their finances and the state of the economy, and this includes companies of all sizes. Sales teams are constantly getting rejected by excuses of the economy or poor financial standing. There is more hesitancy to buy when fears are not addressed. Addressing these risks of buying upfront is the best way to take away the excuse of fear. Have your sales team highlight the value and rewards found in making a purchase. Use data and charts to show how the risks are minimal when compared to the benefits.
Regardless of which struggle is most common for your sales team, you don’t have to let it hold your business back. There are ways to counter each struggle and still enjoy sales success.