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In One Word Describe the Biggest Challenge to Sales

Written by: Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital

I was in a LinkedIn discussion group the other day, and noticed the topic of today’s post. How would you describe your biggest sales challenge in one word? The answers I read were enlightening. Some respondents used more than one word, but here’s a sample with some observations:

  • Economy – lots of people think it’s today’s number one problem inhibiting sales, don’t believe it – regardless of the state of the economy sales are happening every day
  • Creativity – the need to be creative was never more in evidence than it is today
  • Profit – if you aren’t making one, time to roll in the team and retool your value proposition
  • Automation – is it possible to replace a sales person with a machine?
  • Charisma – wondering if that refers to the sales people, or the people on the other end
  • Management – sales people either love ’em or hate ’em, hard to stay lukewarm on that topic
  • Accounting – ever been tempted to think of the Accounting Department sometimes as the “sales prevention department?”
  • Fear – more than one person said that
  • Negotiate – everything in sales is a negotiation, can your people negotiate?
  • Predictability – don’t ever discount the serendipitous sales result – it happens and it’s unpredictable even when an existing customer wants more
  • Accuracy – is your value proposition being accurately portrayed to your market with a sales process everyone buys into?
  • Cold Calls – two words, but it’s the dread of most sales people, and businesses like ours thrive on the hatred of it
  • Procrastinators – referring to prospects who are slow making decisions, which is usually a signal you haven’t found the decision maker yet
  • Listening – some sales people don’t know when to stop talking and listen to the prospect
  • Discounting – make certain there are limits to which your team will not go that put you under water
  • Discouragement – it’s a salesperson’s constant companion, make certain they know how to leave it in their rear view mirror
  • Voicemail – the place where a sales call goes to die
  • Hiring – getting the right people in the right seats on the bus is half your battle
  • Recruiting – when you spot talent, find a place or make one, don’t wait until there’s an opening
  • Persistence – you’ll know if you’ve got it, because without it you die on the vine waiting to be watered
  • Smile – did you know you can “hear” a smile over the phone?

Share your thoughts with us. Anything pop into your mind?

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