As field sales converges with inside sales to form a new hybrid model, sales organizations are grappling with new challenges.
Field sales reps, long known as road warriors, now spend about half their time working remotely, using many of the same techniques and technologies as their inside sales colleagues.
XANT conducted new research last month to determine the top challenges that field sales teams face, just as we have reported on inside sales challenges nearly every year for the past 11 years.
Managers’ top challenges
Field sales managers ranked “properly training reps” as their No. 1 challenge, closely followed by “hiring the right people.”
Top 5 challenges for managers:
1. Properly training reps
2. Hiring the right people
3. Having adequate sales support resources
4. Employee turnover
5. Keeping reps motivated
XANT also identified the biggest challenges for reps.
Field reps’ top challenges
By far and away, field reps reported “accessing decision makers” as their toughest challenge. Interestingly, they were not nearly as concerned with the amount of time they spend traveling as their managers were.
Top 5 challenges for reps
1. Access to a decision maker
2. Hitting quota
3. Staying motivated
4. Self-sourcing leads
5. Recording pipeline and activity information
It was fascinating to see how the perceptions of field sales managers differed from the perceptions of reps.
How perceptions vary by role
Field sales managers cited the Top 2 challenges for field reps as “amount of time spent traveling” and “training and development.”
However, reps disagreed, reporting these challenges toward the bottom of their lists. They ranked “accessing decision makers” and “hitting quota” much higher, and even said “staying motivated” represented a bigger challenge.
Inside vs. field
The top concern for both field and inside sales managers is hiring the right people.
We hope you find these insights useful. Do they match your experiences? Let us know in the comments.