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Top sales challenges for software & Tech companies today

New research from Richardson's 2019 Selling Challenges Research Study shows the same sales challenges in 2020, they face today and most likely going to be seen in 2021 as well.

I've been in sales the majority of my life, well over 25 years in various roles, from the very basic outbound call sales rep, to an account manager, being a part of a small to large sales team. Being a team leader of 30 plus sales representatives, a sales manager, director of sales, building sales methodologies & strategies. SaaS Solution selling. To in person or online demo presentations for 20-30 plus CEO’s, CFO’s, owners, stakeholders, PM, OM, admin staff & accounting all in one conference meeting.

You name it, I've done it. Hitting sales volumes in the millions, to becoming an expert guiding younger and even high-level sales professionals staying relevant today for tomorrow's future.

The life of a salesperson is like being a chameleon having to adapt to different mentalities, cultures, age ranges, woman or man, high c-level management to the gatekeeper who answers the phone.

At the end of the day, every salesperson will face certain challenges without a doubt. Having to overcome objectives, learning how to manage your own emotion let alone everyone you're selling too.

Creating excitement for a solution or product you're selling to a target audience is no easy task. Especially in today's world. Long working hours and having to wear many hats all at the same time.

We are a dying breed, yet for every company, we are an essential staple for any business to succeed. As they say out with the old and in with the new right!!

Only with time, experience, knowledge and always being constantly learning new ways, can we stay on top of our game, whatever a new year brings as new challenges.

2020, was to say the least, a whole new era for challenges for if affected everyone one of us all over the world.

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Sales challenge #1

Afraid of change

The Challenge: We asked sales professionals what challenges their buyers face when making a purchasing decision. The most popular response, at 22%, was "building a case for change." The customer's business often has a deep, seemingly immovable anchor in the status quo. The reason: Businesses today must work harder and faster to simply maintain the current level of performance.

Many leaders view change as a dangerous interruption to their acceleration. Those who are considering change, however, are overwhelmed by the complexity of the process. This trend explains why 21% of respondents cited "comparing their options" as another key challenge deterring customers.

The Solution: Helping the customer build the case for change starts by identifying the elements of change with the customer's business. These elements include things like the customer's strategy, the core issue, desired outcomes, solution options, and perceptions of value and risk. The sales professional must understand which of these elements support the case for change and which ones are in opposition.

Then, the salesperson must shape each of these elements in a way that advances the sale. At the same time, sales professionals can help stakeholders compare their options by influencing how the customers perceive differences between the solution and the competitor's offering. Doing so means linking the solution capabilities to nuanced business needs.

Sales challenge #2

Gaining appointments remains a challenge when prospecting.

The Challenge: Capturing the prospect's attention is difficult. Internal priorities and shifting economic conditions compete for the stakeholder's time. As a result, 14% of survey respondents indicated that gaining appointments is the biggest challenge they face in their prospecting efforts.

The second and third highest responses of "getting to the right stakeholder" and "maintaining a consistent cadence of contact across multiple channels" illustrate the fractured nature of selling in today's market. Sales professionals not only need to get the customer's attention, but they must also organize the group and get them to focus on the solution at hand. This task often requires difficult logistical moves like aligning schedules. Each decision-maker represents an individualized need and they have their own definition of the problem.

The Solution: According to an ATKearney review of more than 1,600 B2B sales professionals, "accelerated commoditization and substitution" has made it easier for customers to circumvent the sales professional. Sales professionals can work to overcome this challenge by initiating the conversation with a "hinge." A hinge is an issue that's specific to the customer's industry or company.

A hinge example, a recent acquisition or new regulation are both examples of hinges. After identifying the hinge, sales professionals can cite a challenge associated with the event and suggest a course of action supported by the solution's capabilities. This approach culminates with a cited benefit to the customer and a request for an appointment. Using a hinge works because it is simplified messaging that's easy for a customer to absorb during a busy day.

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