Working to meet quota can be a challenge every month at times for a variety of reasons – you’re getting zero responses to your emails, no one picks up your phone calls, you don’t have a reliable contact at the organization, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, not everything can be perfect when pursuing new sales opportunities.
According to this 2015 State of Sales report by Salesforce, research shows that sales reps are constantly running into three big obstacles when they are in the field. Let us take a look at three tough sales challenges that reps are facing:
1. 58% increase in market competition
50 years ago, you could look out of the Bank of Italy building in Downtown San Jose and be mesmerized at the sea of apple orchards that engulfed the Santa Clara Valley. Fast forward to today, and the fabled apple farms have been replaced by techies with Apple computers.
The Silicon Valley ecosystem has been altered into an ocean of sharks, minnows, unicorns and everything in between. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a juggernaut of an idea, odds are there are already a few startups with that same vision. In other words, competition in present-day Silicon Valley is fierce, which is why you need to make sure your sales org has the tools to dominate the competition. Apple farms may have gone out of style in the valley, but you know what will never go out of style? Speed and efficiency.
If you want to feast in a digital ecosystem, your sales reps need to be able to provide quotes at breakneck speeds and talk to prospects faster than the other guys. This means, you need to have a system in place that will enable your sales team, legal team, and finance team to work in unison.
This is where new and innovative solutions come to play. Quote-to-Cash solutions allow for you and your teams to generate quotes, create contracts, and recognize revenue in one single user interface. This means everyone in your org will work in the same system with the same data and info from the initial interest of a prospect all the way to the conclusion of the sales cycle.
2. 55% of customers are seeking the lowest price possible
Ben Franklin once said, “There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.” You can add “customers wanting the lowest price possible” to that list as well.
Anyone who’s ever been a rep knows that the consumer always wants products for the lowest price possible. According to the State of Sales 2015 report, 55% of customers are seeking the lowest price possible. For enterprise software solutions, pricing can be the difference between crushing your quota, and being just another flash in the pan. The good news is that your sales reps can influence and build rapport with the prospect.
Sales reps need to make sure that they understand their customer, and the industry they serve. Knowing industry issues can go a long way to convince a prospect that your solution is the best in the market. By understanding the industry a customer is in, a sales team can provide the most valuable and useful product bundles. Sure, It’s easier to just give a prospect a colossal discount, but doing your homework and building rapport with the customer can go a long way in customer satisfaction and the bottom line as well.
3. 47% of customers’ needs are becoming more sophisticated
With an increase in market competition and customers seeking the lowest price possible, there comes another issue in the mist: customers are becoming more sophisticated. This means that in order for your team to handle complex use cases, they must have an equally sophisticated system in place to combat the ever-evolving customer.
As the customer evolves, the organization providing a particular solution must evolve with them. Are you able to provide complex quotes to your customer at a timely manner? Are you able to generate contracts in time for you prospect to sign? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “No”, then it may be time to look at applications that avoid IT disruption and can handle complex situations with ease. You need to make sure your solutions resemble more of a swiss army knife, and less of a rusty spoon that you found on the side of the road.
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Free eBook: Cold Calling and Sales Prospecting: A Day in the Life of a Top-Performing Sales Rep
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Image credit: John Haslam