No one would argue that the ability to sell is one of the most vital functions within any company. It is only by showcasing your product or services, and successfully persuading your clients of its merit, that you expect to make a profit as well as sustain and grow your business.
Ironically or not, sales are usually the team that struggles the most. They’re the ones who suffer the biggest blows during recession periods, sales agents usually have a high turnover due to their high-demanding function and it is hard to find the right balance between a far-fetched pie-in-the-sky objective and a motivational enough target.
Falling short of sales objectives is, unfortunately, the most typical scenario is business reviews and one of the most common reasons business leaders try to find out-of-the-box solutions.
If we deep-dive into the reasons why sales goals are not met, most of the time we will find a few of the usual suspects: inadequate sales goals, low quality leads, lack of productivity, feeble product knowledge, insufficient sales skills and lack of motivation and confidence. You should now be well versed in the habit of talking to your team to analyse where their biggest development gaps are, and this situation is no different.
What are the most common sales challenges and how to fix them?
Challenge #1: Achieving Sales Goals
Your first step should be to run each of your sales goals through the "S.M.A.R.T. filter". Are all of your sales objectives specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound? If not, make sure you rephrase them to give your team a good framework to work towards.
Challenge #2: Low Quality Leads
If you identify the lack of quality in sales leads as the main obstacle to conversions, you should work closely with marketing. Have you heard about “SMarketing” yet? SMarketing (Sales + Marketing) is the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business. It is a relatively recent trend and some businesses have reported up to twenty per cent increase in revenue when adopting this way of doing things. Even if you don’t do a complete SMarketing process, you can work together to define and document a few basic but crucial elements such as buyer personas, definition of what makes a good lead and define and setup Lead Scoring: an internal system whereby you can tier different leads and attribute a score which dictates the level of effort each lead will deserve.
Challenge #3: Sales Team Productivity
If productivity is your main issue, we encourage you to understand why. A slow pace can have a multitude of underlying causes: your sales reps might not be able to prioritise leads correctly; they might lack actual sales skills; they might struggle with the most operational part of their role; maybe your CRM software is too complex, or they don’t know how to use it properly; maybe their tools are out-of-date; maybe they need sales training… for each limitation we are sure you will be able to find a targeted solution. It might be as simple as creating a user manual for your software, developing a new sales plan, hiring someone new who can bring in a fresh perspective, or developing your own sales training program to include both product and skills training.
Challenge #4: Lack of Product Knowledge
Product knowledge is also a big hindrance when it comes to sales: it is not possible to effectively describe something you don’t understand, let alone handle objections or answer questions. Luckily, this is one of the issues that you can easily fix. An online video training solution — thorough, clear and constantly up-to-date — is a great way to address any knowledge gaps. The training solution can target specific features and by being available 24/7 it allows for constant refreshers, and your team will never be at a loss.
Challenge #5: Insufficient Sales Skills
A similar approach can be taken to address insufficient sales skills. Sales skills training using video is a great way to show your sales reps how to do better prospecting, how to create empathy, connect over the phone, reach the decision-maker… Video is an excellent format because you can create specific modules that are targeted to particular needs. Videos are fun to watch, and you can be as creative as you wish in your approach. You can use role-playing scenarios, real-life situations, animations, demos… And why not ask people to take part in real challenges? Your video training platform can be the springboard for broader conversations that happen across your organisation, and it can also help to demystify some of the more complex topics. Breaking content down in more digestible modules will not scare your audience away and it might even get them excited about what’s to come!
Challenge #6: Lack of Motivation and Confidence
Finally, if you find that lack in motivation and confidence is the main issue, you will find that offering a relevant sales training plan, tied to career progression might be a solution. Looking at your rewards plan and investing in more team building events is also a good idea, but you will find that the quality and variety of the sales training you provide are key for motivation. Personal enhancement is a key aspect to training offers and having an employee training road-map in place will help your sales team push forward, even when times are tough. The last aspect we want to mention to increase motivation and confidence is culture: leaders should never underestimate the power that having a strong and inclusive company culture will have in operations, and sales are no exception to this.
In summary, video training has proven to be a powerful solution to most of your sales challenges. Are you now ready to explore more of its potential?
Customer Testimonial: WeDo Technologies
“As market leaders, customers expect our advice on the solution that best fits their business challenges. Being quickly updated on WeDo Technologies products and services is at the core of our sales team and customer success. With bugle training, we were able to have the product and message alignment across all sales reps delivered through a variety of locations in order to achieve a high-performing global team.” - Carlos Marques, Head of Product Marketing at WeDo Technologies
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you overcome these Sales Challenges?