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How to Overcome These 9 Key Sales Challenges For 2023

As we move further away from the chaos that has been the past few years to some form of normalcy, sales are still fundamentally different than it was a couple of years ago.

There are new challenges emerging that we need to account for.

According to Hubspot research, salespeople will face some of these main concerns.

9 Challenges For 2023

1. Trying to Build Trust Virtually

Salespersons are going to need to build strategies away from in-person interactions, which caught steam during the pandemic. How do you as a salesperson establish credibility with a virtual barrier between you and the prospects?

Previously, sales reps could go on-site, establish trust and demonstrate why their product is superior to the competition. Now it’s time to figure out how to build this trust virtually.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Effectively reconcile personalization and tech acumen

  • Figure out clever ways to get into businesses with a personalized approach

2. Struggling With Productivity in The Face of Uncertainty

Sales organizations that have transitioned to remote positions may struggle with efficiency and cohesion.

Reps need to amp up their creativity as buying habits have changed.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Managers need to step in to provide more clarity

  • Sticking to a solid sales process

3. Getting Infront of Decisionmakers

Getting in front of decision-makers who may now also be working from home is becoming increasingly challenging.

Getting time commitment means that there needs to be perceived value at the beginning.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Reps need to make sure they have a well-researched account

  • Non-personalized email blasts will become difficult to handle

4. Realizing That a Solid Product Alone Won’t Close Deals

Reps won’t be able to rely solely on how sound their product or service is to land deals.

Touting your solution's bells and whistles and technical performance is less effective in the "seas of same" that characterize the competitive landscape of most modern industries — particularly SaaS. In 2023, there needs to be much more to your efforts.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Reps need to have a clear ROI and executive buy-in

  • Running a sales process is now more important than ever

5. Moving Towards a Buyers-first Mentality

Prioritizing buyer interests will have more bearing on how reps conduct their sales efforts, going forward.

Looking at how buyers buy vs how we sell

How to handle this challenge:

  • Adopting a more consultative, helpful, empathetic approach to selling

  • Sales efforts can't be presentation-first anymore. You need to avoid "talking at" your prospects if you want to adapt to a buyer-first landscape

  • Emphasis has to be put on elements like extensive buyer research and relationship-building to adjust to a world where the buyer has the power.

  • Acquaint yourself with your buyers' unique challenges and put them first.

6. Incorporating Social Selling Into Their Broader Efforts

Social media is more or less omnipresent in virtually every aspect of modern life — and the sales world is no exception. Social selling skills are becoming much more of a "need to have" than a "nice to have" for sales professionals.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Salespeople need to have a grip on how to leverage platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter for processes like prospecting, sharing relevant content, seeking referrals, and developing clout in their spaces.

7. Selling to Buyer Groups as Opposed to Just Buyers

According to research from Forrester, 63% of purchases have more than four people involved — up from just 47% in 2017. These buyer groups typically involve prospects with varying degrees of authority and influence.

The people you engage with when selling to a business can include gatekeepers, influencers, blockers, champions, users, decision-makers, and a host of other representatives that can make or break your deal.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Research and personalization are central to overcoming this challenge.

  • Research the prospects you talk to — and get a feel for their priorities, personal inclinations, and level of seniority at their companies.

  • Have a feel for pain points, and be able to speak to all of those elements when talking with anyone you connect with from it.

8. Standing Out From the Competition

Differentiation is a key issue across virtually every field, and sales are no exception. Businesses distinguish themselves with their specific value — and at its core, sales are the process of conveying that value as effectively as possible.

And if your industry is flooded with a variety of options that all serve the same fundamental purpose, that process can get complicated and frustrating.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Thoroughly research the businesses in the space you serve to identify common pain points

  • Understand your competitors as best you can. What do they offer that you don't? Where are you stronger? Where are you weaker? Do you have features they don't? Do you charge at a more accessible price point?

  • If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to know what makes your business special — if you can get there and sell on that basis, you'll be in a solid position to stand out from your competition.

9. Keeping Prospects Engaged Throughout Their Sales Processes

Your sales efforts can only go as far as your sales process permits — even the best salesperson can be limited by a lackluster one.

And though that trend is troubling, it's a fact of sales life — and if you want to get the most out of your efforts, you need to know how to keep your prospects intrigued and enthusiastic throughout the process's entirety.

How to handle this challenge:

  • Leadership putting together a sales process that lends itself to engagement — ones that strike a balance between thorough communication and timeliness.

  • Touch base consistently but not intrusively.

  • Research the companies you sell to and the contacts you get in touch with, and shape your conversations around what you find out.

  • The reps who leverage the process need to execute it effectively — specifically when it comes to communication and building rapport

For a detailed breakdown, check out this article here

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