Salespeople are driven and competitive by nature, and they’re usually able to handle more stress than most. They think on their feet and solve problems as they arise, but still, there are some things that keep them up at night and prevent them from doing their job properly.
We recently surveyed 283 sales pros both here and across the pond in the U.S, to identify exactly what that was. And we identified three main areas of concern: admin, visibility, and finding new opportunities. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The good news is, all of these problems can be alleviated, or even completely eliminated, through the use of technology.
Automate your admin
General administrative tasks are never at the top of anyone’s list of priorities so it’s no surprise that 5% of respondents mentioned that compiling sales reports was an issue, while 6% said meeting preparation was getting them down. Another 17% identified problems with manual data entry and 9.5% said they came unstuck using Excel for reporting and analysis.
But while admin tasks are not necessarily enjoyable, they’re a crucial component of a well-functioning office and sales process.
Luckily, with the help of technology, you don’t have to spend your precious selling time doing data entry – or even place the burden on an unfortunate administrative assistant. Through automating your admin and data entry processes, you can get rid of time consuming routine tasks and save hundreds of man-hours, which can instead be used for selling.
A significant percentage (33.6%) of sales professionals also indicated that they have problems with not being able to acquire timely information while selling, and another 11.3% specifically mentioned issues with accessing information outside of the office.
However, this headache is entirely avoidable. The right sales software will not only keep a readily available, comprehensive record of all client data and interactions with the business – information that is critical for those make-or-break meetings – but it will also use this data to suggest intelligent tactics that could boost sales to a specific client.
Yes, sales software can do all of this, while also saving you from wasting time and energy on finger-blistering, last minute preparation and the sleepless nights this may cause.
Track your time
Almost a fifth of sales professionals (16.6%) said a lack of visibility into what exactly their sales team was doing on a daily basis is a significant challenge.
Without insight into the way staff members are using their time, there is no means of understanding where the inefficiencies and lack of productivity come from, which makes it difficult to identify areas for improvement.
Using analytics tools to track and measure employee activity can eliminate this obstacle by providing greater visibility into how your sales team is spending their time and will highlight areas in which productivity is suffering.
Categorise your customers
One of the most significant bugbears identified by sales professionals was understanding which customers were falling in sales, and identifying new opportunities. Almost 50% of respondents said this was what they worried about before going to bed at night, while another 23% said figuring out how to upsell to existing customers was keeping them up past their bedtime.
Interestingly 40% of professionals surveyed said they make key decisions based on the relationships they have with clients, while another 6% claimed to go with “their gut”.
Yes, personal relationships are important and the result of having a good rapport should not be underestimated, but charm alone will not prevent an unsatisfied customer from leaving.
Rather, rely on customer data when making decisions and identifying new opportunities, as opposed to your gut. Sales software can identify buying patterns and trends, and by understanding what your customers want before they even know they need it, you can contact them at exactly the right time with an offer they will find appealing.
The right technology can also flag customers who are dropping in sales, or showing less interest in your company or product, giving you the opportunity to focus on repairing the relationship before it is too late.
In short, the use of appropriate technology can alleviate your sales headaches, leaving you with time to focus on meeting your targets and earning more commission than your colleagues.