As a Sales Manager, you want things to run smoothly for your sales team.
Unfortunately, there are several barriers that may get in the way of your salespeople’s success. But as with many challenges, there are ways around (or even through) them if you have a plan of attack.
With that in mind, here are three sales barriers you may encounter and how you can lead your team past these obstacles.
3 Common Barriers to Your Sales Team’s Success
1. The Fear of Being Rejected
One of the most common barriers for salespeople (and many other people) is the fear of rejection.
Cold calling strangers and trying to get them to purchase from your company can be intimidating for your salespeople.
Why does fear of rejection occur?
It happens to salespeople for several reasons, but often times, it is a result of tying their career success to self-worth.
The idea of being rejected by a potential customer not only has financial implications; there is a deep-seated fear that they are failing at their job.
Luckily, there are ways to mitigate, or even work through, the fear of being rejected.
Here is how you can help your salespeople break through this barrier:
Help them change their perception. During a slump, a fearful sales rep might think prospects are not interested without any realistic reasons.
The best way to help them through this is to encourage them to stop making assumptions.
Remind your team that cold calling involves talking and selling to someone you have never met, so you cannot assume that they will reject you.
Focus on activity metrics. Although some people thrive under pressure, having to close a deal “or else” can create a sense of fear sometimes.
Instead of focusing on how many sales your reps make (something they cannot control), shift the focus to what they can control—the amount of phone calls they make.
When you give the control back to your sales team, there is less pressure on them, and they can overcome their fear of rejection.
Explain how your products/services can help your customers. Without a doubt, it is easier to sell something that you feel good about and that you feel knowledgeable about. If possible, use hands-on experiences with the products/services your salespeople will be selling so that they can really explain things well to the potential customers.
Show your reps how your products or services can help others, thus giving them:
- A boost in morale
- A deeper understanding of your products/services
- One less reason to fear rejection from a potential customer
2. Poor Communication
With 92% of all customer interactions occurring over the phone, communication is critical when it comes to sales.
But when sales reps read from a script or try to influence a customer with buzzwords and jargon, communication often becomes a sales barrier.
Why is that?
Because when your sales rep is talking at a customer and pitching them your product or service, they are not listening—and listening is the key to connecting with someone.
Listening helps your sales reps understand a customer’s:
- Pain points
- Preferences in communication (their language)
Understanding these factors will make the sales process more of a dialogue instead of a one-way conversation.
Improving your reps’ communication skills can also help them show the value of your products/services to your customers, which can help them close sales more effectively.
3. Lack of content and/or social media marketing
A common issue with many companies is when marketing and sales teams do not coordinate their efforts.
A lack of content or social media marketing creates a sales barrier that will hinder your team’s ability to sell, as well as the general growth of your company.
Why is content marketing so critical to the success of your sales team?
Because research shows that companies with a solid content marketing strategy (such as creating informative blog posts) have a huge advantage over companies that do not.
Why is social media so important for your sales team?
Social media may seem trivial in the world of sales, but roughly 90 percent of marketers say that social media marketing has increased exposure for their business.
Not only that, but among internet users (on a daily basis):
- 79% use Facebook
- 32% use Instagram
- 31% use Pinterest
- 29% use LinkedIn
- 24% use Twitter
That means you are missing out on countless potential leads if you are not working with a solid social media marketing strategy.
Both content and social media marketing allow your sales reps to:
- Find new leads
- Build relationships with prospects via digital channels
- Understand a prospect’s needs and wants more clearly
So how can you help your sales team overcome this common sales barrier?
Work with your marketing team to create content that educates the buyer. When your content is interactive and helps the customer learn, it can:
- Break the ice for your sales team
- Build trust
- Separate your company from competitors
- Give your sales reps the opportunity to answer questions directly from your customers
Overall, trying to align the efforts of your marketing and sales team may be challenging, but the benefits outweigh those difficulties.
Sales teams that work with marketing improve their ability to close deals by 67%!
Not only that, but roughly 90% of companies with sales and marketing teams that work together see measurable increases in their lead conversion.
CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, said, “You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.”
As a sales leader, overcoming sales obstacles with your team requires you to address each barrier and lead your team past them.
Communication is the common thread with many of these sales barriers, so a great place to start with your team is making sure they can openly communicate their concerns to you.
From there you can scale the walls of each problem, or even break through them, together as a team.
Can you think of any other common sales barriers your sales team faces? Feel free to share in the comments section below.