What are some of the biggest challenges facing sales teams today?

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Sales teams, especially mobile sales teams, face many challenges that can affect their performance.

Understanding the unique needs of your sales team is important in order to not only identify challenges but to also find solutions to them. With that in mind, let’s look at some of these big challenges as well as their impacts on a business, and practical solutions to fix them.

Here are some of the challenges sales teams have to deal with:

Keeping up with customer expectations

Today’s customers want quick responses and personalised service, a one-size-fits-all approach is not enough anymore. As though individual personalisation wasn’t a big enough task.

Customers are also used to getting information instantly and expect the same speed from sales reps. The challenge here lies in the fact that mobile sales teams often have many client meetings and travel to different locations, making it hard to respond both quickly and personally.

Unfortunately, unmet customer expectations can lead to lost sales and a damaged brand reputation. As customers may switch to competitors who meet their needs faster and while making them feel appreciated with personalisation

How to solve this challenge

The good news is that now, more than ever, there is a wide range of tools available to support your sales team. This is why their success depends on how effectively you can balance personalisation with technology skills.

One example of a tool that your sales teams can use is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, these often provide functionalities that allow you to have access to real-time data access and automate routine tasks.

These tools help reps quickly get customer information and give more personalised service, even when they are moving around. Using a tool like this frees up time for your sales rep to get to those tasks that need a bit more of a personal touch.

Managing time and tasks

Mobile sales teams need to manage their schedules, travel plans, and various administrative tasks while also focusing on making sales. Balancing these demands is tough, and the unpredictable nature of life can often disrupt plans. Which brings us to our next challenge, how your sales team manages their time and tasks.

Poor time management leads to missed meetings, deadlines, and opportunities, causing stress and burnout in your team which inevitably means poorer performance.

These are not the only factors and challenges which affect the time and productivity of your sales reps. External factors, such as longer sales cycles ( a challenge in its own right), can influence how your sales reps should approach and prioritise tasks.

After all, longer sales cycles mean your sales reps spend more time with individual leads than they previously needed to. So, how do you go about improving the way your sales reps handle these situations?”

How to solve this challenge

To improve their time management, you can implement practices and tools that help your mobile sales teams. One way to do this is through the use of scheduling and task management apps that integrate with your teams’ calendars and CRM.

These tools can help your reps prioritise their tasks, set reminders, and organise their daily activities. In addition to that, you can offer training to your team on topics such as time management techniques that can improve sales rep productivity Some of these techniques may include well-known techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique or Eisenhower Matrix.

It could even have some tips and tricks other professionals have discovered that help them complete tasks faster or more efficiently. When you invest in your team by developing their skill you also create the situation where your reps are prepared to deal with other situations such as those caused by external factors.

As for factors like longer sales cycles that can eat away at your sales reps’ times, it is better to have a strategy in place where your reps are able to distinguish between the quality of leads which lets them rather focus on leads with a higher chance of turning into paid customers. In this way, they will use their time more effectively while improving the likeness of them closing that sale.

Analysing and using data

Data-driven sales strategies are important for making smart decisions, but accessing and analysing data on the go can be difficult. Mobile sales teams may not have the tools or training needed to analyse data well, leading to mistakes and bad strategy decisions. Often, we might not realise how useful sharing data with our team can be; analytics and data are relevant at all levels, not just for managerial decision-making.

How to solve this challenge

Naturally, a user-friendly data analysis tool that works on any device is even more advantageous for a mobile sales team. Having the tool is only one part; training sessions on how to interpret and use this data can further help them make informed decisions or personalise their approach. Implementing a robust CRM system or a sales app/platform that offers detailed analytics and reports can help sales reps understand customer behaviour and tailor their strategies accordingly.

To build a picture of how this might work, think about your sales rep accessing a customer’s preferences and sales history to better tailor their offer or contact the right customers for special deals

Difficulties in communication and coordination

Coordinating with the back office or other team members can be challenging when the sales team is on the road. This can result in miscommunications, missed messages, or delays in approvals.

Communication issues can happen in various ways, one example is a lack of communication between team members and departments. Which can cause misunderstandings and mistakes because it means that relevant information is not shared. For example, poor communication between finance and sales could mean sales are being made to a customer who has reached their credit limit.

How to solve this challenge

The basic solution that most businesses use is reliable communication tools like instant messaging apps, video conferencing software, and collaborative platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

These tools allow for real-time communication and keep all team members on the same page. This is possible with their features for regular virtual meetings and check-ins that can help maintain team cohesion and ensure timely information sharing.

However, you don’t want your members to be constantly held up with internal queries, mobile sales apps is another solution that allows communication to be automated. Often through these apps sales reps can see the status and relevant information for customers and inventory.

They can then create orders on the go without needing to do stock checks or credit checks, it also means that the warehouse and finance team receive sales order information as soon as they are created and can start fulfilling these orders and sending out invoices without waiting on sales reps to submit orders once back at the office.

Using integrated platforms that combine messaging, task management, and sales data can improve communication and reduce the risk of miscommunication, enhancing overall team productivity. Effective communication tools are essential for making sure that all team members have the same information and can coordinate their efforts efficiently.

Adapting to technology

Keeping up with the latest technology is important but can be tough for mobile sales teams. Learning to use new software or apps takes time and effort, which are often in short supply.

Resistance to adopting new technology can hurt productivity and limit the tools available to sales reps, leading to inefficiencies.

How to solve this challenge

Businesses can fix this by providing comprehensive training and support for new technology. When choosing what apps or software to use, making sure that they offer good support for you and your team could be worth prioritising, especially if they are rather complicated to use. Choosing technology that is user-friendly with intuitive tools can also reduce the learning curve.

Encouraging a culture of continuous learning and innovation can help sales reps stay up-to-date with technological advancements and use them to improve their sales efforts.

Meeting sales targets

Meeting sales targets is a big pressure for sales teams, especially those on the move. External factors like economic conditions, market competition, and client availability can make it harder to predict and achieve targets.

How to solve this challenge

To help sales reps meet targets, businesses should always make sure that they set realistic and achievable goals.

Start by looking at past sales data to see trends and patterns, which will give you a good idea of what’s possible. Pay attention to things like seasonal changes and market conditions that have influenced sales before.

Next, keep an eye on the current market. This means knowing what’s happening with the economy, keeping up with industry trends, and watching what competitors are doing. Your sales targets should match what’s actually happening in the market.

Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For example, instead of just saying “increase sales,” aim for something like “increase sales by 10% in the next three months.”

It’s also a good idea to involve your sales team when setting these targets. They have on-the-ground insights and will be more motivated to reach goals they helped create. This also helps make sure everyone feels the targets are fair.

Different products or markets might have different potentials, so adjust your goals based on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

Use data analytics tools to predict future sales based on various models. This can help set more accurate and reachable goals.
Lastly, keep track of how your sales are performing compared to the targets. If things change in the market or unexpected challenges come up, be ready to tweak the targets as needed.

Inefficient order processing

Mobile sales teams often struggle with inefficiencies in processing orders on the go. Either they need to make use of various different platforms just to check the stock available, customer credit limits, sales history, pricing;the list goes on.

After all this, they still need to capture data manually and send it off to the finance and warehouse teams, or perhaps first to their manager for approval.

Not to mention In areas with poor internet connectivity, mobile sales teams may struggle to access their tools and data, making it difficult to even capture orders; never mind access important information.

How to solve this challenge

This challenge can be overcome through a combination of methods, but perhaps the biggest impact would come from integrating systems so that all your systems are able to communicate with each other in such a way that your reps are able to gain all the information they need from just one source.

This would save them valuable time and reduce the chance of making mistakes. If your team is equipped with all the relevant information they may no longer need to contact a manager for approval. For instance, if you use a sales app that integrates with your CRM, ERP or accounting systems it would help automated workflow.

Through instant access to information for not only your reps but throughout all the necessary departments. Such as setting up the workflow with your sales platform to handle approvals for orders that need managerial oversight. This can include setting up automatic alerts and notifications for managers, speeding up the approval process.

But again this assumes they can actually access all this data, offline capabilities allow team members to continue their work smoothly, even without internet access. Providing tools that work offline ensures that sales reps can perform their tasks without interruption, no matter where they are. It might be worth considering whether your team needs a sales app with offline functionality.

This is why implementing mobile sales solutions, teams can ensure that orders are processed quickly and accurately, while boosting customer satisfaction and improving productivity.

Final thoughts

Addressing these challenges with the right solutions can lead to increased efficiency, reduced errors, better data management, and ultimately higher sales performance.

Focusing on improving time management, effective communication, continuous training, and leveraging the right technology can help mobile sales teams navigate these challenges successfully.

While the road may be tough, with the right strategies and support, mobile sales teams can overcome obstacles and achieve their targets, driving business growth and success.

We know mobile sales teams face unique challenges. Onsight’s B2B sales app helps tackle these issues, like capturing orders quickly even offline, providing real-time data access, and integrating easily with existing systems. Curious about how Onsight can help streamline your mobile sales operations? Sign up for a free trial.