Sales Challenges – Part 1 – A Quick Review

Sales teams today face a variety of sales challenges that their predecessors never had to worry about.   This increasing number of challenges have been evident to those involved in the industry over the last ten years.   Sales cycles are longer, lack of responses from the prospect has become greater and the ability to get an audience has become even more difficult.  With the pandemic, there has been a stronger effort to sell virtually, and many experienced salespeople prefer to press the flesh and build relationships.  They don’t believe virtual selling can accommodate building critical relationships with clients/prospects and often give pushback that to be effective they need to be in front of the client.

With younger and more inexperienced sales professionals joining the sales team and needing assistance in positioning products/services, asking for the deal, and bringing the contract home utilizing technology to sell virtually makes sense.  However, building relationships with the customer and “pressing the flesh” is an important part of the sales process.  With a broader sales funnel, companies need to improve interactions with customers while driving sales communication. This can be an additional challenge that adds another dimension to the sales process.

As more sales teams struggle to reach quotas, it is vital to understand the sales efforts and challenges. Sales teams must understand industry trends, what competitors are doing, and how to overcome the many pushbacks and decision delays they face from customers. The ability to keep sales methods relevant will lead to shorter sales cycles, stronger customer relationships and less lost deals.  Using technology to present products and services through videos, collaboration and timely discussions with clients can make a significant difference.  It’s much easier to coordinate a virtual follow up review with key players. With the right technology travel for face-to-face sales interviews can be lessened, critical players can easily be involved, and the overall cost of sales is significantly reduced. 

Sales teams need to emphasize and utilize technology to reach a broader and more digital audience.  Using virtual sales strategies can lead to a stronger pipeline and better customer management through more frequent connections with clients and prospects.  Virtual selling can maximize the number of clients/prospects seen daily, offers the ability for the salesperson to check in with customers more regularly, minimizes the cost of sale significantly and provides multiple opportunities to build sales pipelines to ensure quotas are met.  The key is building a virtual sales strategy that includes understanding all aspects of the sales process and the benefits it will bring to everyone involved. 

E-commerce has been around for decades but has become truly popular for buying anything and everything during the pandemic. In 2020, shopping trends went digital, with only 46% of purchases taking place in physical stores. This trend can be expected to continue because of the ease and convenience online shopping brings to customers. Your sales teams can take advantage of this digital/virtual sales revolution to increase the number of prospects they meet, provide a new methodology for presenting prospects your company information in formats like focused and customized product videos and the ability to collaborate with the prospect on how best to meet their needs.  

Over 54% of shoppers utilize digital methods like tablets, smartphones, and computers to purchase products and services. While there is still a significant emphasis on person-to-person sales interactions, being able to do this in a virtual environment makes it easier for the customer and more efficient for the salesperson. Having a sales force that can communicate with customers effectively virtually is vital to competing in today’s markets. 

Understanding that virtual technology is the key to a successful sales presentation is the first step in building your virtual sales strategy.  Meeting or webinar software does not provide the critical components for demonstrating the various aspects of your company, products and services.  Being able to review multiple aspects simultaneously makes a difference in the attention and time a CEO or CFO is willing to give.  Jigsaw Interactive’s virtual environment offers a series of tools designed for virtual and multi-dimensional presentations and discussions.