As a sales manager, director or VP, you may occasionally struggle to determine what is stopping your salespeople from meeting your standards.
You want your sales team to succeed, but you might be wondering:
“Is my team reaching their full potential?”
“What is stopping them from being more productive or closing more sales?”
With that in mind, let us talk about 6 common pain points for your salespeople, and along the way, we will also discuss tactics and sales training ideas you can use to help them overcome those pain points.
Biggest Pain Points for Your Salespeople
1. Spending too much time in meetings
While the occasional meeting is understandable and often necessary, bogging your sales team down with too many meetings can be detrimental to their performance.
Think about it like this: Any time your salespeople spend in a meeting is time they could instead be spending selling your company’s products/services to customers.
So when a salesperson is forced to attend a large number of unnecessary meetings, he or she may become frustrated and suffer from lackluster sales results.
To help your salespeople in this area, make sure you only schedule meetings when necessary. Ask yourself whether or not the meeting topic could be better handled as an email. If it could, then you can cancel the meeting, send a quick email and let your salespeople keep doing what they do best: sell.
Also, when you do need to hold meetings, make sure you have a clear schedule/agenda for them and stick to it. Your salespeople should have a good idea of what will be discussed in each meeting and how long the meeting will last so they can plan accordingly.
2. Dealing with too much administrative work
Administrative work is another thing that will keep your salespeople from doing what they do best. That includes tasks like:
- Processing and tracking orders
- Updating the CRM
- Creating sales reports
- Creating presentations
- Making the necessary preparations before talking to customers
- Handling various paperwork
One study showed that salespeople only spent one-third of their work time actually selling. Twenty percent of their time is spent on CRM/administrative work/reporting.
This is a major problem.
It is easy to understand how a lack of time with customers can lead to less-than-impressive sales results.
One solution is to have your salespeople hand over administrative tasks to an administrative assistant. Even if you have to hire a new employee for this role, it could be worth the improved sales you may see as a result.
Another option is to streamline the admin work process. For example, you can ask your salespeople which administrative tasks take up the most time and then create a solution or implement software to help them save time with those specific tasks.
Regardless of what action you choose to take, it is a good idea to open up a conversation with your salespeople on what tasks hold them back from selling more. You might end up discovering it is an easy problem for you to resolve, which results in your salespeople spending more time talking to customers.
3. Handling customer service and/or technical support inquiries
This is another major time-waster for salespeople, and it often happens when they feel they should take ownership of every issue their customer faces. While it is good for salespeople to look out for the best interests of the customer, they must also be willing to delegate when appropriate.
Check in with your salespeople, and make sure they have confidence in the customer service/technical support employees at your company.
Remind them of the process for directing a customer to customer service or support, and see that they implement that process on a regular basis. They should not be spending a great deal of time handling requests that are better suited for another department.
4. Chaotic processes
If your salespeople are struggling with basic tasks, like entering and processing orders, they will struggle to work productively. That is why it is crucial for you to regularly analyze the processes and systems in your sales department to see where you can make improvements.
Figure out if there are certain processes or programs that confuse or slow down your salespeople. If you find that there are, look for simplified solutions. You may even want to bring in a sales logistics expert to make the processes in your sales department more streamlined, thus allowing your salespeople to work more productively.
5. Lack of sufficient training/information
Often, struggling salespeople lack training in one of two areas:
- Product/service information
When a salesperson does not receive adequate sales training, his sales results will suffer.
You never know – he could be missing a key part of the sales process and might only require a bit of sales training to improve his results drastically.
For example, a salesperson may be struggling to sell because he does not know the correct process for closing a sale. In this instance, you could offer sales training just on how to close a sale that would help improve his sales results.
Salespeople who do not understand the product/service they are selling will find it difficult to sell. Your salespeople should understand the features and benefits of whatever they are selling so, they can communicate those features and benefits to customers confidently.
To help them accomplish this, use your best sales training techniques to make sure every new hire receives training on the products/services they are selling. Also, create a centralized location where they can quickly reference any additional information they might need while talking to customers.
That way, they can easily fill in any knowledge gaps and feel confident enough in their product/service knowledge to close the sale.
6. Lack of qualified leads
If your salespeople cannot obtain qualified leads, they will have a hard time selling. A qualified lead is much more likely to make a purchase than a cold lead.
So, ask yourself whether or not the lead generation tactics at your business are conducive to generating qualified leads. You may want to meet with the marketing team to make sure they are on the same page as the sales department as far as qualifying leads.
Remember, not every pain point here will necessarily apply to your sales team specifically. As a sales manager, you must always be willing to pinpoint the problems your salespeople are facing.
Talk to your team and find out what is causing them to struggle. Only then will you be able to come up with specific solutions that will help your sales team’s performance.