Category Archives: selling challenges
Optimism runs high in American businesses. In fact, optimism among small businesses at the end of 2017 surged to their highest levels in more than 34 years. This sentiment is shared among mid-sized companies as well. A staggering 80 percent of those surveyed said they were optimistic, a 39 percent increase over 2016.
What happened to competitive advantage? There was a time when each business had one. Some had many. However, today, that seems to be disappearing. In 2009 The Harvard Business Review called competitive advantage “fleeting,” and less than six years later Wired called it “dead.” However, the disappearance of competitive advantages is motivating businesses to take a bold, innovative approach.
Richardson’s annual research survey 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. One of the study questions explored challenges sellers face in closing sales. We asked 350 sales professionals to tell us what would be their most difficult challenge in closing sales deals in 2017. Responders provided the following answers:
24% of respondents said competing against a low-cost provider would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017 19% of respondents said positioning competing value propositions would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017 16% of respondents said creating a compelling case for change to avoid a “no-decision” would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017
While the top three challenges remain the same year to year, the percentages add color to the story. In 2016, “competing against a low-cost provider” took 47% of the responses, showing just how keenly this challenge was perceived. One year later, the ranking among all three challenges is more even, an indication that sellers realize the importance and interplay of several elements involved in closing deals. Creating a compelling case against stalled decisions or “no-decisions” takes understanding the customer’s buying cycle and helping customers sort through what matters most in order to find value among the options.
Richardson’s Closing Sales Deals Insights
In today’s information-rich environment, buyers have the » Continue Reading.
In our annual selling challenges survey, we asked more than 350 sales professionals to tell us about their biggest challenges in prospecting in 2017:
17% of respondents reported that creating a targeted prospecting strategy would be their greatest challenge 14% said that the quality of leads from marketing would be their greatest challenge 12% said gaining appointments would be their greatest challenge
These results tell us time is a precious commodity, especially as demands for productivity increase in an increasingly difficult selling environment. Being able to create a targeted prospecting strategy is essential to avoid wasting time, making this the number one prospecting challenge in 2017.
Compared with 2016 responses, this year’s top challenges indicate a trend toward greater targeting and quality of leads. Sellers are homing in on ways to become more strategic in their prospecting efforts, while being less concerned with the “how” — which sales and marketing enablement tools to use — in identifying triggers for their accounts. The availability of data through lead generation and research tools has lifted some of this burden from sellers. The problem, however, is that without a plan for how best to use this data, sellers can easily get lost in the sheer volume available.
The top two prospecting challenges from 2016 dropped off this year’s list. With more sales enablement tools being used, sellers are easily able to research companies as possible targets and to set triggers for their accounts.
Richardson has just launched a new research piece, “Understanding Selling Challenges in 2017.” 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 report continues to highlight a challenging sales environment driven by ongoing shifts in buyer behaviors, competitive pressures, and operational trends. It also suggests that there has never been a better time to understand, challenge, and change how sales are made. With unprecedented access to mobile and digital technologies, sellers can understand their buyers better than ever before, creating new opportunities to build lasting engagements in today’s hyper-connected world.
The new customer expectation — regardless of industry — is one of value and trust. As a result, sales success in 2017 and beyond means acting as a true business advisor by delivering value through authentic curiosity, prepared relevancy, and unmatched credibility.
Over the past few months, Richardson surveyed over 350 sales professionals, managers, and leaders from all industries to gain insight into the challenges they expected to face in 2017. 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. In 2017, we dug deeper, expanding our survey to include questions about productivity, team selling, and buyer perceptions.
Our team carefully reviewed the data » Continue Reading.
Richardson is collecting information from sales professionals about the selling challenges they expect to encounter in 2017, and we need your help.
Please complete this short survey to share your insights into the future of the sales environment. Your participation automatically makes you eligible to win a new iPad.
Remembering the Selling Challenges of 2016
In last year’s study, we collected data from over 400 participants that gave us insight into the challenges sales professionals anticipated in 2016. Some of these included:
Prospecting: Identifying signals that indicate opportunities to engage new prospects Exploring client needs: Creating value and insight during conversations with clients Negotiations: Gaining higher prices Closing deals: Competing against low-cost providers Account management: Finding ways to add relevant value for various stakeholders Expanding relationships: Cross Selling Using Data to Help You Become a Better Seller in 2016
While the 2016 selling environment certainly presented significant hurdles, it also presented opportunities to embrace change and learn new, more effective approaches to selling.
In response to survey data, we focused much of our 2016 efforts on providing solutions and guidance for overcoming these challenges. Some of the most popular blog posts on these topics were:
Four Tips for Better Sales Prospecting Generate Deeper Sales Dialogues with Strong Open-ended Questions The Neuroscience of Sales: The Anchoring Effect When You are Selling to the C-Suite and You Finally Get There, Don’t Blow It! 4 Simple Steps to Resolving » Continue Reading.