Success in the sales profession, particularly for a sales leader, is increasingly difficult. In B2B sales, deals are becoming ever more complex, with more decision-makers involved and educated buyers. To understand current sales issues, XANT Labs polled 578 sales leaders to see how they are solving their biggest sales challenges.
Leaders Are Concerned About Recruiting and Hiring
Interestingly, the survey showed us that across roles (whether they are a manager, director or VP of sales), leaders believe lead quality and pipeline is a serious challenge. However, when we combined the data on people-related challenges with process-related challenges, the results were surprising.
This shows that the main concern of sales leaders today (identified by 40.8% of respondents as a main issue) is recruiting and hiring. To solve this challenge, they are looking at hiring themselves, reaching out to external recruiters or improve their internal processes.
Now, in the context of ever-increasing quotas and only 64% of sales reps reaching quota attainment, I can understand how recruiting and hiring might be a challenge. However, I feel that there is too much focus on the ‘effect’ of missing financial targets, rather than the cause.
Why Headcount is Not the Solution
When targets increase, leaders tend to increase capacity and hire more reps– which in turn, drives up costs, but leads to little increase in the bottom line. New sales reps take four to five months to ramp up to full capacity, so they may quit before they ever reach peak productivity. Scaling a sales team should not mean more headcount.
Intelligent sales systems need to help existing sales reps in their day-to-day work. They need to better score and prioritize targets, know the right time to contact them, their preferred communication channel and how to optimize their messaging for success.
Sometimes a simple increase in efficiency and productivity can do more than adding headcount could ever do for sales teams.
Download the infographic to find out what are some of the strategies that sales leaders use to solve their challenges. In particular, learn:
- What sales leaders are doing to solve recruiting and hiring
- How they approach sales process issues, such as lead quality and pipeline
- How leaders view Artificial Intelligence as part of the solution to their sales issues