7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Biggest Challenges Salespeople Face

Listed here are three major challenges salespeople face, along with some steps to help you adapt to those changes.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

It seems like there’s no end to the challenges salespeople face. Every year, changes in society and in the marketplace completely alter the sales landscape. Some changes are minor and transient, requiring minimal effort to overcome. Other challenges salespeople face reflect permanent sea changes in the way salespeople conduct business. The serious challenges salespeople face can’t be overcome, they must be adapted to. Adapting to those challenges salespeople face requires hard work, and a complete dedication to a new way of doing things. Listed here are three major challenges salespeople face, along with some steps to help you adapt to those changes.

Selling in a Global Marketplace

Not so long ago, salespeople didn’t have to worry about other salespeople around the world competing for their customers. Prospects would only travel a few miles to shop and, with the exception of mail-order catalogs, there wasn’t much competition from beyond that distance. The internet changed all of that, creating a new set of challenges salespeople face.

Unless you offer very specialized products and services, your competition comes from every corner of the globe. Much of it may come from areas with a lower cost-of-living allowing them to accept offers that are below your profit point. One of the challenges salespeople face is learning to compete locally in a global market.

One way to adapt to this challenge is by ensuring that your local service and support stand out. Problems with online orders can take weeks to fix, and communication can be spotty at best. Your local service can set you apart from online markets. Excellent customer service, combined with the speed of a local response, can convince customers that you are a better partner than a salesperson on the other side of the globe.

Disappearing Customer Loyalty

Brand loyalty is fading. With so many options available, customers don’t have to stick with one business through thick and thin. If you fail to meet their expectations, they’ll simply move on to another business. Unfortunately, meeting expectations often isn’t enough to create loyalty either. With so many vendors offering so many perks, it’s often necessary to completely exceed expectations just to keep up.

Creating some semblance of customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges salespeople face. One way to do this is with value-added services. Customer loyalty programs, discounts, free service programs, and other features can help you create return customers. Getting a customer through the door once is difficult enough getting them to return will require providing them with something they can’t get at a hundred different stores.

Fewer Leads, More Competition

One of the biggest challenges salespeople face is trying to find qualified leads. The sluggish economy has caused a reduction in the overall number of leads, while increased competition has made it even harder to pull leads out of that dwindling pool. There are fewer fish, more fisherman, and the bait you need can change from minute to minute. Getting your share of the catch is going to require you to focus on those things that you do better than anyone else.

The age of online marketing has encouraged many businesses to try and be all things to all people. It’s easy to see that this approach has failed most companies that have tried it. What you need to do is decide what you’re going to do, and whom you’re going to do it for. This focus will allow you to develop detailed buyer personas that can be used to attract your ideal leads. Once those leads find you, they’ll see that you cater directly to their specific needs. That makes it easier for you to grab the qualified leads you’re looking for, without wasting time and energy on leads that aren’t really in your area of focus. Leads that are more qualified will translate into more sales, and that will help you deal with many of the other challenges salespeople face.

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.