When you’re in charge of a full sales team, you may develop fears that can keep you up at night. Even when you finally make it to sleep, work anxiety can creep into your subconscious and turn your dreams into nightmares. We’ve targeted the top three work-related nightmares that sales executives face—and offer the weapons to keep those horrors at bay.
NIGHTMARE 1: Your sales quota is unrealistically high and your team can’t meet the target.
Kind of like a dream about being unprepared for a big test at school, this fear is born of anxiousness about not stacking up. And there’s good reason to be scared.
According to CSO Insights, in 2014, only 58% of salespeople met their quota, which was down 4% from the numbers in 2012. Even more unnerving is that CSO Insights asked companies what percentage of their sales force they expected would make quota, and in general they overshot by a wide margin—guessing 66.8% of salespeople would hit the mark.
So not only are reps not hitting the target, but sales executives don’t have awareness of what’s actually happening on the ground. What can they do? Sales execs need to be involved in company strategy. The TAS Group found that when sales contributes to setting the company’s strategy, sales effectiveness increases by 15%. And by modernizing their sales organizations, the top sales teams saw 25% greater occurrence of reps meeting quotas.
NIGHTMARE 2: Customers think they don’t need you anymore.
This bad dream is all about losing control, like falling out of a plane without a chute. Acquity Group reveals that 94% of B2B customers have done research on their own before they connect with a salesperson or make a purchase. Sales organizations can feel that a transition has taken place, and it’s terrifying to lose the position they once held.
In 2006, based on a survey of opinion leaders in eight countries, PR firm Edelman introduced a new category of influencer that was branded “a person like yourself.” The survey revealed that trust in figures of authority is being supplanted by trust in people we perceive as being like us. Customers no longer see salespeople as guides; instead, they look to their peers for advice.
There’s an easy way to take control. Inject yourself into that early research and discovery phase by seeding the Internet with useful content: blogs, videos, articles, graphics, presentations, etc. A thought leader who interacts with her followers on Twitter will be seen as a peer and can bring clients through the sales funnel simply by being a trusted resource.
NIGHTMARE 3: You’re leaving money on the table.
Have you ever dreamt that you’re trapped or somehow stuck? It’s a mental manifestation of powerlessness, and that feeling is echoed in this sales nightmare. It can be hard to tell the good leads from the bad, and salespeople spend too much time on the wrong tasks, leaving quality leads dangling until they’ve cooled down and it’s too late.
In the last year, social media rose to being the third most popular avenue for generating the best and most powerful leads, and the popularity of that lead generation channel is only expected to increase. With effective use of LinkedIn and social media as a nurturing tool, sales teams can target hot prospects and make a personal connection.
Further, using technology to automate marketing efforts so individual sales team members can focus their time and attention on relationship building can yield big results. According to Forrester Research, companies that nail lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
To learn more ways to quiet the nightmares and increase your sales team’s effectiveness with strategic, custom recommendations, use our free online tool today.