Everyone Needs Help: Your Sales Team Is No Exception
Talk to any sales team about their business and they’ll probably tell you that things are going great. After all, most sales professionals have been trained to put a positive spin on everything. Yet if you press a bit harder, chances are you’ll find that teams often struggle with a variety of challenges, ranging from the tactical to the strategic. In fact, many report having difficulties with everything from getting past gatekeepers and overcoming sales objections to setting clear goals and establishing effective sales processes.
A quick look at some recent industry stats helps underscore the point. Consider, for example, that:
- 42 percent of sales reps feel they don’t have the right information before making a sales call.
- 45 percent of companies’ sales reps need help prioritizing accounts.
- 68 percent of companies admit that they struggle with lead generation.
- 82 percent of CEOs say they have a broken sales process.
- 35 percent of a field rep’s time is not spent selling.
The underlying issue is that many sales teams are simply stretched too thin. In fact, 82 percent of companies report that their sales units are understaffed. In some cases, teams also just aren’t equipped with all of the necessary skills they need to sell effectively. Nor do they have access to the training and coaching they need to bridge the gap. Add ineffective processes and considerable administrative burdens to the mix and not only are they struggling to succeed, they’re also devoting surprising amounts of their time to activities other than sales.
Not surprisingly, many sales teams are looking for ways to do their jobs better. For many, the solution is to turn for third parties for help when they either don’t have the bandwidth or the expertise to take on a particular task. While there’s no one thing that every sales organization needs help with, typically they look for support with a variety of strategic and tactical matters. Below are just a few of the more common examples:
Effective sales hinge on the business’s ability to understand the market and identify the upcoming trends that are going to affect your customers most. Yet doing this work requires a considerable amount of time and energy, and so does communicating your findings in a way that resonates with your prospects and customers. The good news is that sales teams don’t always need to do this work in-house. In fact, outsourcing it can be a cost-effective alternative.
Knowing what channels to use to reach new prospects is always a challenge. That’s because in today’s digital world there are just so many to choose from. Rather than start from scratch and assess the merits of each of those options one by one, some sales teams engage third parties for help taking a more strategic approach: assessing the channel partner programs their competitors have established. It’s a much faster alternative and one that allows sales teams to focus on what they do best: selling.
Sales teams need a variety of materials to support their sales process, including PowerPoint decks, case studies, brochures, products sheets and the like. And while they can certainly create these things on their own, or with the help of their marketing teams, doing so is time-consuming. In many cases, it’s often faster to partner with a third party to get the job done. Plus, outsourcing this work has the advantage of ensuring that all of the collateral is thoroughly researched and vetted and professionally designed, something that may not always otherwise be the case.
While it’s rarely a good idea to outsource responsibility for developing your strategy, it can make a lot of sense to get some help with it. Sales teams frequently need support with everything from setting the right goals to developing customer personas. Not only that, they can benefit from help putting the right processes in place to ensure that their reps are delivering the right messages and taking the right steps to follow up with leads and to try to convert them into sales.
When It Makes Sense to Tap Into Help
If your sales team is strapped for resources and you find that your sales reps are spending too much of their time doing things other than selling, then it may make sense to look externally for help. Getting strategic and tactical support not only has the advantage of freeing your reps up so that they can do the work that you’ve hired them for, it also means that you can tap into fresh ideas and points of view from third-party industry experts who will bring a fresh perspective to the work.
Tapping into external resources is a smart way for any sales team to get ahead. Find out more about the types of projects Catalant can help your business development and sales organizations with.