Day-to-day sales challenges
- You have to call hundreds of leads every day.
- Face one rejection after another.
- Manage leads, prospects, follow-ups and so much more.
- And despite all the hard work.
But What if you can
- Discard the notion of hard work and work smart instead.
- Master and overcome key sales challenges.
- Use proven, time-tested strategies instead of hacks to grow as a salesperson.
- Become the go-to person for every single prospect you interact with?
Interested? Just read till the end of this article
Here are 11 key sales challenges & how you can master them to rise to the top.
You can also bookmark this or skip to whichever section you’re struggling with.
1. Marketing and sales team integration
The fact about any lead is
if you call him 24 hours later he won’t remember your ad or your company
So you have to have the right setup in place to be able to call a lead within the first 15 minutes of acquiring it.
The good part is you don’t need to be a tech ninja to be able to do it.
How can you master the challenge:
The TeleCRM app has built-in integration to fetch leads from all the popular platforms and sends you a notification as soon as the lead is received.
So that you can then instantly engage the lead.
And here’s the best part- You are busy on another call or having lunch? No worries! Just send them an intro message with 1-click WhatsApp and let them call you…
Alternatively, you can also have WhatsApp business API integration and send an automatic welcome message with multiple options to the lead.
2. Qualifying & Filtering Good leads
If you are blindly calling all the leads that come to you, then you are wasting your time on irrelevant leads.
This is the time that you can actually use to research and prepare for calls with the relevant leads.
You need to have the right workflow in place to filter out the leads which are ready for your call.
Otherwise, you will spend your entire workday filtering irrelevant leads and qualifying the relevant ones instead of working on qualified leads and closing deals.
How can you master the challenge:
You have to prequalify the leads.
Here are 3 ways to pre-qualify your leads:
- Get them to fill out a qualification form and then integrate that qualification form directly with TeleCRM so that you get filtered and pre-qualified leads. Again no tech-ninja is needed to set this us, just use the simple TeleCRM API integrations
- Get juniors to call and pre-qualify leads over the phone. Again with TeleCRM.
- Run a WhatsApp pre-qualification chatbot for every lead you receive using the WhatsApp Business API on TeleCRM, then easily use TeleCRM filters to filter the leads that match your criteria.
3. Getting in touch
There are many questions like –
- When is the right time to get in touch
- Through what channel
- What should be the opening line
The reason most newbie salespeople fret over every single line is that they put themselves under enormous pressure for closing the sale.
Professionals on the other hand know that sale isn’t gonna happen on the first call itself. So they are in no hurry!
Instead, they have a system in place.
Point is – don’t overthink it – just split it into practical blocks of conversations.
How to solve after splitting into blocks of conversation:
- Call 1 (2 mins): Answer 4 important questions and most importantly give him a reason to talk!
- Call 2 (5-8 mins): Come prepared and find out what painful problem can you help him solve
This is going to become the basis for the sale. The reason the deal will ultimately close.
People don’t buy because you ate a good salesman, that’s good to have, but ultimately they buy because they are trying to solve a problem with that purchase!
Identify that problem early and you can sell easily. Otherwise, you will have to depend on luck!
- Interaction 3: Send him proof of how you have solved similar problems for other companies, along with what difference did it make, case studies, testimonials, and more
- Pause: This is counterintuitive but gives them time to think, this establishes credibility and shows that you are not desperate.
But pause too long and a competitor will sneak out the deal from under your nose. This is why it’s important to analyze the lost deals and identify the ideal time duration for “give me some time to think this through”
- Push: For closure
- Remind them how important the problem is
- Reduce the barrier to action and commitment needed to try
- Show them the cost of inaction
How to do that?
Simple: “Checking in” 38 times won’t make your prospect interested. Instead, send them a one-line msg on WhatsApp – “Anand, have you given up on solving X?” (X = the problem the prospect agreed they had).
4. Getting a response from prospects
This is the toughest part, and as we have already covered “Checking in” 38 times is useless.
So, How can you master the challenge:
- Give them a reason: Can you make them feel that they can’t afford to forget to get back to you? This is simple. You just have to demonstrate that with you, they will be super close to solving the problem that they desperately need to solve.
You just have to talk about 3 things
- The impact of the problem.
- The impact of inaction. “What would happen if problem X persisted for 6 more months at your company?“
- The ease of action.
If you successfully help them visualize that then you make solving the problem an urgent and immediate priority. After that getting them to take action is a cakewalk.
- Choose the right channel: Most often follow-up messages won’t get replies because they aren’t actually read.
For example, if you send follow-up emails in India, it’s practically useless because most people don’t check emails that often.
The solution is simple. Just switch to a platform that they prefer. Send follow-up messages on WhatsApp instead.
- Make it super easy: Don’t ask for their kidney in your follow-up message. Give them simple clear choices and make it easy for them to make a choice
- Don’t just follow up, Make it matter to them: We covered this in the previous section
4. Building trust
Everyone knows you need to build trust while selling. Nobody knows how
The wrong way: When you try to create fake urgency instead of doing the honest hard work to build trust
- Trying too hard: You want the sale, your prospect knows that. Push him a bit too hard and he’ll run away! What’s the solution? A genuine need and care to help him solve a problem
- Overpromising: Yes, you heard that right – a Rs. 699 license our product can help you solve all your problems and it also spits out gold coins while you sleep. What nonsense right?
That’s exactly what your prospect thinks every time you overpromise and fall short.
The solution: Be straight about what your product can and can’t do. If you are genuinely trying to understand and solve his problem, most of the time that should be enough to crack the sale. You don’t have to promise the moon in a jhola to close the deal.
- Sugarcoating the solution or extremely overblowing the problem: If you do this the prospect can tell that you are trying petty tricks. And the moment that happens he no longer feels the urge to talk to you and reveal his problems, the thing that will become the basis for the conversation moving forward.
The right way: earnestly trying to help them solve a problem
- Show your face, and interact as a human being first: I am a real person talking to you as a human being who is trying to help you find and solve your biggest and most painful problems.
That attitude alone can take you lightyears ahead of all your competitors!
- Genuinely care about helping solve their problem: When you do this with complete honesty and humility, it shows. And genuine buyers who are out there to solve a problem appreciate this attitude. Besides what other choice is there? Trying to outsmart your prospects and then ultimately twisting their arm to close faster? You might get one deal but you will never with the relationship.
- Don’t overdo this: You have a full-time job. Be clear about the scope of your work, and try to be generally helpful for things that fall outside of that scope. Have a prepared statement like – “I am not the best person to talk about ERP solutions for your business, but I can give you the contact of someone I know who can help you solve this.“
5. Convincing multiple decision-makers
The problem: First they take a guided tour and demo alone, then they want another demo with the manager,
Then the senior manager comes back with his questions.
After 7 days of back-and-forth, the vendor registration department jumps in with a request for 55 documents.
Once that’s done finally you gotta deal with the accounts department.
Even when everything goes well it can take months to actually see the greenery in your company’s bank account.
The only question is how do you sort this process?
- Get all the decision-makers in one meeting: Before you jump on a demo or meeting ask the question – Are you the sole decision maker on this? Can we get the other stakeholders on the demo call?
👉 The surprising part about multiple stakeholders in one demo call: most of the time they will answer each other’s questions while you have a salesperson who can sit back and relax as the sale automatically happens in front of your eyes.
- Setup proper coordination/automation for the back office work: If you are a salesperson it’s not your job to deal with accounts or vendor registration. Have the right juniors under you take care of all days simultaneously while you focus on closing the deal!
- Push your POC assertively but with the right words: There can be multiple decision makers but generally there is one person who is really pushing for this.
Usually, that’s the person you are talking to.
If the deal has to go through then he is the key. And if it is taking too long between multiple decision makers then your point of contact is the key to getting the deal unstuck. A follow-up message like this can really get things moving for you “I see this is taking longer than usual, Is X not a problem for you anymore?“
- If you have to engage in a one-to-one conversation with multiple decision makers, always speak in terms that matter to them. The CEO has different concerns than senior managers. And the manager in turn has completely different priorities. And when multiple stakeholders are involved, it is important to make sure that you are talking in terms that matter to your audience.
- CEO: Here’s how TeleCRM will get your sales department unstuck
- Senior managers: Here’s how TeleCRM makes sure that the right person has the right information at the right time needed to close the sale faster
- Manager: Here’s how TeleCRM helps you to manage your entire team from a single screen
- Sales executives: Here’s how TeleCRM helps you to perform at peak potential by taking care of all your manual work, data entry, and giving you timely follow-up reminders.
6. Avoiding giving discounts
When and why do people push for discounts?
- Because they believe they can: Anyone who is asking for a discount definitely has a great interest in buying.
- Because not enough value has been communicated so far in the sales process.
- Because the value hasn’t been communicated in terms that matter to them (Covered in the previous section).
What to do:
- Don’t avoid the discount conversation. If you don’t offer discounts, kill the discount conversation. “We don’t offer discounts to anyone! Period“.
And move forward to “So let’s find out if we are the right fit if there is enough value for money in this for you“
- If you do offer discounts, then distract, convince on value first, then close on discounts.
7. Closing deals
Sales discovery and value delivery and all that is fine but how do you start the money conversation?
Reasons why most salespeople are hesitant
- Not enough problem solving has been done to initiate the closure conversation: If you know that you are not really solving a key problem for them, then you will naturally be hesitant to ask for money.
And that’s when they will start asking for discounts and comparing you with competitors.
The solution is simple: go back to the basics! Identify their key problems that you can help the solve. And demonstrate how you are the best person to help them solve this problem. Once that is done asking for money is easy-peezy!
- Sometimes it’s just a hesitation to ask for money: Some salespeople are amazing at identifying problems and developing the sale but when it comes to talking money they get stuck.
If you have built enough rapport with the prospect just explain your pricing plans and ask the question “Which plan do you think suits best for your needs? Would you like my suggestion here?“. That’s it! Simple!
8. Finding additional problems that you can solve
Closing a deal is the opening of a relationship. Do it right and it’s like the opening of a bank account that dispenses free cash (in the form of deals) every once in a while
The thing about customer relationships is – once they see you as an expert in a particular domain, whenever they face any problem that is remotely related to your domain they will come to you.
And that’s where the opportunity for upselling lies.
Every time they come to you with a problem that they want to solve it’s a chance to sell a product/service that solves that problem. If you don’t offer the solution no worries just connect them to someone who solves the problem and they will still see you as the expert who solved the problem for them.
After the initial phase sales job is less about tricks and tactics for closing and more about maintaining these relationships.
Also Read: 6 B2B Sales Techniques I Wish I had Known When I Was Starting Out
9. Maintaining a relationship after sales
Sure providing service and support is the other teams’ job, but maintaining the relationship is yours.
Why: So that if they want to buy an upsell they feel comfortable calling you.
How: Just put them in a list and keep in touch with a relevant useful message once a week over WhatsApp. That’s it!
👉 The best part is – it only takes five minutes every irrespective of how big your list is.
- When not to upsell – You are talking about solving problem X. Suddenly you realize the prospect also has problem Y which is a great fit for
- Another product that you offer. It’s easy to get carried away and show him everything!
But selling multiple solutions at once can confuse and chase him away.
My advice is – to solve the biggest problem right now and close the deal.
Try to upsell only after the deal is closed and the customer has seen some success as a result of the deal. That way you will retain the prospect guaranteed and you will have a better shot at upselling.
- How to find out that a lead is ready to be upsold: The intention can’t be to upsell because hurry a bit too much and you become pushy. Be always on the lookout to solve additional problems for your clients and customers, and when the opportunity arises jump on it. You don’t have to do a lot
- Just keep in touch
- Share relevant information
- Always ask questions
- And be attentive to their answers.
11. Asking for referrals
- When: Only after they have gotten some ROI with your products. The best part about existing happy customers is that they give red-hot ready-to-close referrals!
- To whom: Only those people who have gotten some success with your product. Because they have clarity on “Who in my network will really benefit from this“
- How: Reframe it as a chance to help a friend out. When you ask for a referral it’s them helping you out. But when you frame it that way it’s them helping their friend out and you are just a facilitator
- An approach to get more referrals: after every sale, before you hand them over to the customer success team ask this question – “You have seen what TeleCRM can do! Do you know anyone else in your network is facing similar problems?“
- An approach to ask without hesitation: ask yourself –
Am I doing good work that matters to my customers and helps them solve a problem?
If the answer is yes then you have the right to ask for referrals.
You must also understand that they have a right not to give you referrals
And that’s perfectly OK!
There will be challenges, but the right way to face them is not to eliminate each challenge at a time, but rather to build the right systems.
By developing consistency and continually honing your sales skills in the present position, you can successfully improve your sales career. It’s crucial to keep learning as you take on new problems, cultivate new buyer types, and work to upsell existing customers.