As a kid when I watched movies like The Big Kahuna & The Goods – Live Hard, Sell Hard I personally felt that the characters were on par with the ones of Ocean’s series & Italian Job. Yea… it’s true that the job criterion is entirely different where one genre deals with selling to people while the other deals with conning. But now things have changed, the power has shifted from the smooth-talking professional to the hard thinking buyer and salespeople are facing some really complex prospecting challenges.

This is because earlier it was simple. Prospecting challenges weren’t as complicated as it is now. You just had to pick up the phone, dial a number, sweet talk a list of product features & score. Repeat until the pipeline is filled. But things are a little different today. Technology has developed so much that buyers can use ID technology to screen their calls & ensure that they never pick up a sales call. Today, the internet is able to provide all the information that a buyer needs for their initial research phase. This has enabled buyers to become more informed about solutions & company services that can boost their business growth. The word in the market is that buyers have started to shut down inbound communications & have started to rely more on trusted networks for information.

This has taken the prospecting challenges to a whole new level.

In light of all these, filling up the top of the funnel has become more difficult than ever before. Marketers around the world are now realizing that the strongest competition isn’t another business but the buyer’s inertia.

Now let’s check out the major prospecting challenges that salespeople will face in 2018

 

Identifying the way to reach out

As per the survey of The RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, eight in ten prospects favor having conversations with reps over email. Half of the buyers still prefer speaking over the phone & the percentage increases as you go higher up the ladder. By any chance, if you are working with a VP or a member of the C suite, try calling them.

Now, here the chances of identifying the way to connect can be little confusing as today’s salespeople are equipped with all latest ways of communication. This particular problem is in one of the top prospecting challenges that today’s salespeople have to solve.

The Rise of the Automation

Salespeople around the world are now redesigning their strategy to beat the prospecting challenges. The boom in the sophistication of sales automation tools is acting as a catalyst to this.

Automated campaigns are breaking the ice & spark the prospect’s interest. It is also taking of a majority of prospecting challenges from the rep’s shoulders. Instead of spending the time on hunting down every scrap of data on a prospect, today’s reps can just enter the criteria they want & a list of segmented prospects with verified & validated contact information can be generated for you with a click. These data can be added to a personalized outbound campaign that will run without the sales representatives needing to do anything more.

Identifying whether the prospect needs you

Its common marketing knowledge to focus on the prospect instead of the product, the biggest element that connects the prospect to you is their need for your service or product. Having the budget or not comes only after that, even though it’s important to keep in mind that higher level buyers usually can find the money if they need your solution.

Paying attention to what you can bring to the table is one of the crucial prospecting challenges that salespeople will face in 2018.

Quality of leads

Alignment of sales & marketing teams has been a continuing dream for the top runners of all kinds of organizations. It’s an open fact that when these two teams work together, the demand generation process will see incredible growth & improved conversion rates. Recognizing what part of the sales funnel belongs to the marketing team & which part belongs to the sales team will make it simpler regarding the roles that need to be accepted. What qualifies as sales qualified lead should be outlined & the salespeople should provide the marketers with a conclusive guide to what they will be doing with each lead that comes across them.

Maintaining top quality leads is going to be one of the top prospecting challenges that salespeople will be facing this year.

Getting Appointments

Yeah…getting targeted prospects agree to meetings is still one among the top prospecting challenges that salespeople still face. Conducting proper research & understanding the industry challenges thereby facilitating relevant messaging is the way to tackle it.

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Top prospecting challenges salespeople face in 2018

Sales is as complicated as marketing is in today’s world and prospecting challenges are on the rise in the corporate world. If you are feeling that any of these challenges are resonating with you or your sales team, focus on your time & energy on the one single issue causing the most pain. When it’s done, move to the next one. As they say, one step at a time, one punch at a time & one round at a time to beat your prospecting challenges.

Also read on: Deadly challenges in today’s B2B Marketing & Enterprise Mobility Solutions Trends and Challenges in 2018