8 years ago
October 17, 2016

What You Can Learn from Challenges in a Sales Career

There are no doubt many challenges in a sales career. But each challenge can be transformed into a lesson learned. Keep reading.

Rhys Metler

Every sales professional will face challenges in a sales career. It’s just part of the business. Many obstacles will stand in your way of success. But instead of letting them negatively affect your performance, you should see them as opportunities for learning.

Behind every challenge is a lesson learned.

1. Buyer Distrust

You’ve probably heard that customers don’t buy from sales reps that they like; they buy from those they trust. And this is completely on point. Trust in the sales process is critical. So many buyers have been burned by dishonest, manipulative sales people in the past that they are now inherently distrusting of all sales people—yourself included. And it’s one of the biggest challenges in a sales career to overcome.

Instead of seeing this as a huge obstacle, look at it as an opportunity to stand out from your competitors. Focus your efforts of establishing trust with buyers.

Don’t use trust-damaging behaviours like using “re:” in a subject line to get your email opened or sending unsolicited calendar invites. Instead be open and honest, even if it isn’t in your best interest. Honour commitments and demonstrate your morale principles. And be a genuine person having a real conversation. It’ll go a long way.

2. More Informed Buyers

Buyers are more informed and knowledgeable than ever before. They do their research online, on their own. They read reviews, learn about different products and services, and compare companies and prices. You’re no longer the gatekeeper of information. Buyers don’t feel like they need to speak to you.

So what’s left for you to do? Working with more informed buyers is just an opportunity to find meaningful ways to add value. Instead of giving them the basic tip sheet about your products or services, you now have the chance to have more consumer-centric conversations.

Get to know your buyers and their pain points and needs. Then, you’ll be able to offer valuable advice, recommendations, and information that will help you sell.

3. Rejection

Sales people often feel like they’re drowning in rejection. It’s one of the most common challenges in a sales career. It can become demoralizing and depressing to constantly hear the world “no.” It can cause you to lose motivation and confidence.

Don’t take rejection personally. Instead, use it as a way to improve. Find out why the buyer didn’t want to purchase from you. For example, maybe you’ll find out theyweren’t able to or interested to buy—in that case, improve your lead qualification process.

4. Low Email Reply Rate

Email is one of the best tools of the trade. But more often than not, your emails get ignored. If no one is responding to your emails, don’t give up on sending them, just learn how to send better sales emails. Use video to stand out from the sea of other sales people inundating buyers’ inboxes. Do research before typing up emails so you can add relevant value in your message. Change your wording, your subject line, or your format to see if you get a better email reply rate.

5. Prospecting

Prospecting is consistently rated among the top challenges in a sales career. How do you get new prospects in your pipeline? After all, you have quota to meet and your cold calls just aren’t working. This isn’t an opportunity to double your calls, it’s an opportunity to think outside the box and try new prospecting techniques.

Instead of cold calling, try blogging instead—this will increase your thought leadership and get buyers familiar with your name. Social media can also be a highly effective place to find, and learn more about, new prospects. You can even get in touch with past customers to see if they’re ready to buy something new or if they know anyone else who would be interested in your products or services.

Don’t let challenges in a sales career keep you from succeeding. Turn them into lessons learned instead.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.