Richardson has just launched a new research piece, “Understanding Selling Challenges in 2018.” This annual study of field reps, senior sales professionals, and sales leaders across industries aims to paint a clear picture of existing sales challenges and how they are evolving.
This year’s research paints a picture of intense competition for sales professionals as they work to achieve the momentum needed to win more complex sales.
As buyers become more sophisticated and increasingly aware of the breadth of options available, sales professionals are discovering that they need to respond with smarter strategies and renewed intensity.
Survey participants indicated a need to better articulate value in a market characterized by competition and multiple decision makers on the buying side. Sales professionals are refocusing on the details of the customer’s challenges to better position solutions that fit.
2018 belongs to sales professionals who engage every customer, new or prospective, with a level of understanding, preparation, and insight that rises to the level of a trusted advisor.
Selling in 2018
Pricing was the foremost concern among sales professionals. “Competing against a low-cost provider” reached the highest response at 33%, as more sales professionals felt the pressure to go head-to-head with less expensive solutions. Sellers need to use these available tools to understand not just their own product or service, but their buyer’s needs, internal political environment, buying cycle, and both the client’s and seller’s competitors.
The second most pressing concern at 27% was “combating the status quo,” indicating that buyers face considerable inertia when contemplating a purchase.
The third-largest response at 26% was “knowledge about how to team sell effectively,” revealing that increasingly complex solutions require a group effort to articulate value.
The challenges facing sellers today keep us at Richardson committed to our work: helping sales organizations to improve their performance, make stronger connections with customers, and gain confidence in their power to sell.
In December 2017, Richardson surveyed over 350 sales professionals, managers, and leaders across industries and geographies industries to learn about the challenges they expected to face in 2018. We asked questions that touched upon every phase of the sales cycle, from prospecting to closing.
The study compares these results to the results from previous years.
Our team carefully reviewed the data to create actionable and practical insights to help sales teams determine strategies to overcome these challenges and achieve sales success in 2018 and beyond.