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Thursday, June 20, 2024

4 top Sales challenges to overcome this year

Adapting Sales Strategies for 2023

As we continue to adapt to a post-pandemic reality, the landscape of sales has undergone significant changes, necessitating new approaches and strategies. While the shift presents numerous opportunities, it also brings forth novel challenges for sales professionals to overcome.

Challenge 1: Cultivating Trust in a Predominantly Virtual Space

The transition from in-person meetings to virtual interactions remains a pivotal change within the sales industry. Sales professionals must refine their techniques and strategies to establish credibility and trust through digital mediums, overcoming the inherent barriers of virtual communication.

A strategic channel account manager from HubSpot, Chris Moore, reflects on the evolving landscape: “2023 is unfolding as yet another transformative year for salespeople, with the landscape being distinctly different from even the recent past. Sales representatives previously relied on on-site visits to build trust and showcase their product’s superiority. Now, with many companies continuing to operate remotely, they must master the art of building this trust virtually.

Leveraging technology to personalise messaging in a virtual domain is crucial. With an influx of sales outreach through emails and calls, it’s imperative to discover innovative ways to engage with potential clients with a tailored approach.”

Challenge 2: Reaching the Right Individuals

The shift to virtual selling environments has compounded the difficulty of connecting with key decision-makers. With digital networking spaces becoming increasingly crowded due to competitors’ mass communications, distinguishing oneself is critical.

Jayme Manos, a sales manager at HubSpot, observes: “Securing time with decision-makers has grown more challenging, particularly with many continuing to work remotely. To earn a commitment for a meeting, sales professionals must quickly demonstrate value.

Non-personalised mass sales emails are likely to diminish in effectiveness. Sales reps must not only conduct thorough research on their accounts but also present a compelling ‘point of view’ and a decisive call to action, irrespective of the communication medium used.”

Challenge 3: Navigating Uncertainty in a Post-Pandemic World

Uncertain times lead to unpredictable outcomes, affecting salespeople in various ways. Some thrive on change, while others may find that it impacts their performance. With business models evolving rapidly, sales professionals must be agile enough to keep pace with these changes.

Sarina Kowaguchi, a senior growth specialist at HubSpot, shares her perspective: “Adjusting to life after COVID-19 remains a significant hurdle for sales teams in 2023.

Throughout the pandemic, the shift to remote operations and suspension of in-person interactions introduced new dynamics in office culture, facilitated by tools like Slack and Zoom. We’ve also witnessed changes in marketing and sales tactics with the advent of new digital marketing and outreach tools.

Looking ahead, businesses will likely re-evaluate remote work policies and their approaches to lead generation and customer acquisition. Debates will continue, such as whether to persist with remote sales and marketing efforts or to revert to in-person engagements. What about trade shows or conferences? Which strategies will prove most beneficial?

Sales professionals may face permanent shifts in remote policies, altering how they interact with managers and colleagues. If companies choose to sustain or shift towards remote sales efforts, we may see corresponding changes in sales processes.

Adapting to new technologies that support remote sales, marketing, and service coordination will also be pivotal. Flexibility and a readiness to embrace change will be essential traits moving forward.”

Challenge 4: Sustaining Productivity

The pandemic necessitated a shift to remote selling, which brought about potential productivity challenges, compounded by shifts in buying behaviours. According to HubSpot’s Sales Enablement Report, sales organisations that transitioned to a more remote sales model have often grappled with efficiency and cohesion.

The report notes: “Sales organisations have had to adapt to remote operations. Representatives are tasked with innovating as buying habits evolve, managers with finding new methods to boost seller productivity, and leaders with driving growth amidst uncertainty.”

As a greater sense of normality returns, 2023 remains a year filled with unique challenges. Nevertheless, these challenges are not insurmountable. Sales professionals must acknowledge the necessity for agility in their approach to address the new sales environment’s challenges, this year and into the future.


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