I was watching some videos in this pretty cool video series called The Real Deal of Sales and there was one that I found interesting as it outlines some responses from business professionals when asked what the most challenging things about sales are.

I agree with most of the challenges being mentioned and could definitely add a few. But one thing that I like to do when thinking about the challenges with selling (or any area of life really) is trying to figure out what I can do (is in my control) to decrease each challenge. In theory, if sales is difficult because of a set of challenges and you can do something to decrease each challenge, then sales will be easier and you will be more successful.

With that, here is a summary of the challenges expressed in the video and just a few thoughts or ideas for each for how to decrease the challenge.

Consistency, putting up numbers week after week is difficult.
Having a healthy pipeline is the key to consistency in performance and numbers. While activity is the main thing that people think leads to a healthy pipeline – the harder you work the bigger your pipeline, we believe that effectively qualifying prospects and making the most out of your time is also key to having a healthy pipeline and consistent numbers.

You have to put in a lot of effort to be successful.
Yes, it can take a lot of effort to find deals and be successful as a salesperson. But the great thing about that is that you get out what you put in and it is completely in the salesperson’s control as to how hard they work and how much effort they put in. And with that, a salesperson usually has control over their level of sales results and success.

Maintaining a good mental state is important.
Selling can be tough and it can definitely be difficult to maintain a good mental state. Although there are some small things a salesperson can do to improve their mental strength and we outline those in this webinar on how to improve your mental state.

Asking the right questions and also finding the right 5 questions after that is difficult.
While we state all the time that the best salesperson is the one that asks the best questions, we definitely agree that it can be extremely difficult to always know what questions to ask. We provide some tips for this webinar recording on how to know what questions to ask.

You have to be a jack of all trades and understand a lot of about business.
I can understand where this thought is coming from that it can help to be able to speak the customer’s language. And it is logical to make the connection that in order to speak a customer’s language, you have to understand their business.

While it is true that the more you know a customer’s business, the more able you will be to speak their language. But it is not necessarily practical nor the best use of your time to learn everything about a customer’s business.

Crafting the right message in order to get in touch with the right person.
Yes, building the right message can be challenging and we provide some tips for that in our webinar recording on building a sales message webinar.

Finding the right accounts and the right people can take a lot of time.
It can be grinding and time-consuming work trying to get into accounts. Two things to consider or leverage here are to use tools to automate as much of the sales process as possible – like email automation for example. The other thing to consider is outsourcing some of the grinding cold call activities to either a contractor or third party so that you can focus on more strategic tasks.

Getting buy-in from groups of people who start off with that negative energy.
When selling into large B2B organizations, there can be a lot of different buyers that need to agree to move forward and this can be difficult. One thing to help with this is understanding all of the different buyers in terms of their interests and pain points and using that for a tailored sales pitch with all of the different buyers when you are trying to establish consensus.

Tips for this are explained in the buyer persona webinar mentioned earlier.

It takes a lot of attempts in order to get a hold of someone.
It can definitely seem impossible to get a hold of prospects nowadays.

Crafting the perfect message and hooking a prospect that everybody is trying to talk to.
You likely have a lot of competition and that can be from direct competitors and also indirect competitors that are trying to sell to the same people that you do but have nothing to do with what you do. The one good thing you can assume about all of this competition is that the majority of these salespeople are product pushers and most of them use a product-selling sales pitch.

Closing can be tough when you are misaligned with your prospect when you think a deal is going to close and it isn’t.
A lot of people think that being a good closer is something that you are either naturally good at or you aren’t. In other words, based on your personality and how you deal with the prospect when it is time for them to purchase will determine how well you are able to consistently close.

We don’t agree with this as we think that there are a number of things that you can do and ask throughout the entire sales process that impact how good of a closer you are and we outline those in this webinar recording of how to be a better closer.