7 years ago
February 21, 2017

Why Sales is So Hard

Sales is not the right career track for every professional because sales is so hard to master and perfect.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Sales is not the right career track for every professional because sales is so hard to master and perfect that very few will ever make it to the top tier of sales people. Those who do make it to the top tier understand that sales is so hard because it is the nature of the job, and have learned how to make that nature work for them. If you are currently in or considering entering a sales role and are wondering why sales is so hard, read on to find out more about what makes sales so challenging and what you can do to conquer those challenges.

Why Sales Is So Hard: Your Sales Productivity Should Always Be Trending Up

In many professions, stable or incremental performance is all that is expected for a given role. In sales, sales people are constantly expected to do better in every metric that can be tracked and measured because sales goals are always fluid, moving targets. Sales productivity is a watchword, a motivator, and a benchmark all rolled into one, which means that no matter how high a sales person’s productivity rises, there is always an expectation that the next quarter or the next year will be better. Those who lament that this is one reason why sales is so hard can come to terms by realizing:

  • The constant push to do better is a positive that encourages you to break through goals you would not have otherwise thought possible
  • Every time you do manage to improve your sales numbers will improve, which benefits you directly through increased commissions and incentives
  • Continual improvement is gradually making its way into industries outside of sales, because it works!

Why Sales Is So Hard: It’s Difficult to Know When to Close

The close is the key when it comes to sales. An individual might be great at making cold calls, giving presentations, and performing other sales support activities, but if he or she can not close he or she will not be a successful sales person. Sales is so hard to master in these conditions, yet it is integral to building a sales career. Vanishingly few prospects will ever stand up and say “Great! Where do I sign?” It is up to the sales person to know when to start pushing to a close. If the close is approached too early, too late, or never, the sale will not happen. Make sales less difficult by knowing when to close:

  • Learn to read prospects for body language, and learn to interpret language cues beyond face value
  • Partner with prospects by building relationships that allow you and prospects to move through the sales cycle together, so that you do not end up too far ahead
  • Constantly ask questions and solicit feedback to determine where prospects stand on a deal

Why Sales Is So Hard: You Are In Control of Your Own Results

Taking personal responsibility for results is not easy and is part of what makes it true that sales is so hard, but sales people must accept these conditions every day. In sales, you are largely accountable for deciding whom to call, how to approach your work, and even when you will perform certain tasks over others. You also have wide latitude to decide:

  • Where to approach prospects and clients – over the phone, email, or in person at any number of locations
  • How often to pursue different mixes of sales business to meet your sales goals
  • The products and services your organization offers that will be of most benefit to your prospects and clients

No wonder sales is so hard when there is no one telling you exactly how to do what it is that needs to be done! Yet this also is one of the greatest aspects of sales. When you are in control, you can determine how to reach towards professional or organizational goals and make your own mark.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.