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Let’s face it, being a sales executive has become progressively more challenging. Chances are next year’s sales objective is going up and your budget is being decreased. You are facing challenges of do more with less, increased competition, pricing pressures, staff turnover, and increased expectations from customers. I have talked to a number of sales executives trying to comprehend their most confusing challenges.

I’ve assembled a list of key challenges sales executives are facing, as well as some advice on how we can overcome these challenges. Feel free to share your top challenge and what you are doing about it.

Challenges: 

1. Needs Alignment
– Customer relations and retaining client satisfaction lies at the heart of nearly every facet of sales. Customer buying behaviours are continually changing and the only way to stay successful is to adjust your sales operations to match them. Speak to your customers frequently and apply their insights into your team’s sales processes to ensure that your customer’s needs align with how your team is selling your company’s product or service.

2. Data Overload – With the beginning of the internet and big data, potential customers have an exceptional level of information at their disposal. When your customer has access to in‐depth information about your product, your company, and your competitors with the click of a button, it can be exceedingly difficult to differentiate your company and its brand. As an executive, it’s your responsibility to adapt your teams’ sales processes to reflect an increasingly knowledgeable consumer and stand out from the competition.

3. Absence of Coordination with Marketing – A successful company has sales teams harmonized with the people in charge of advertising its product. Often speak with your fellow executives in marketing and ensure that your company’s sales processes work in tandem with its marketing operations.

4. Unsuccessful Sales Coaches – Despite the proven usefulness of well‐executed sales coaching, it’s possible that many of your sales managers will be insufficiently trained in how to conduct it properly. As an executive, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your sales managers are coaching their reps successfully. Coach them yourself and put in the necessary time and resources in finding a coaching program that’s good for your team.

5. Adapting to Changing Technology – According to Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, “technology adoption among sales professionals has been well behind” other fields. CRM platforms, pipeline analytics, and candidate assessment tools can rapidly increase the productivity of your managers and reps. Take the required time to find and implement innovative new technologies that could help your company grow.

6. Sales Rep Retention – While retaining reps is more in line with the responsibilities of a sales manager, ultimately, sales teams with high rep turnover usually perform poorly and overall sales performance is a jurisdiction that lies squarely with you, the sales executive. Form incentive structures and a company culture that will motivate your managers and your reps to stay with the company. Their increased productivity will more than make up for whatever time and resources you need to spend to earn their loyalty.

7. Inconsistent Sales Processes – Excessive product diversity can often lead to sales process inconsistency and hamper the efficacy of your department. Implement an all‐inclusive sales enablement strategy to maximize your team’s output.Sales executives are faced with an abundance of challenges that they are expected to deal with on a regular basis. While these challenges may seem intimidating, sales executives with a clear vision can unquestionably overcome them. You are the executive and it’s ultimately your duty to ensure that your team is operating effectively. Become conscious of these common challenges facing sales executives and meet them directly and your opportunities for success will be endless.

Originally posted on starresults.com

About the Author
Steven Rosen, MBA, is the founder of STAR Results, a sales leadership coaching, training and consulting organization dedicated to leadership development. Steven’s mission is to inspire sales leaders, managers and sales people to rise to their full potential. 

Steven has over 15 years of executive experience. His fresh approach to corporate leadership, strategy development, execution and team-building in the pharmaceutical and packaged goods sectors defined his success.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.


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