5 Things Your Sales Reps Are Complaining About

Author: 
Giles House

Whether it be too many emails or not enough snacks in the kitchen, everyone has a set of pet peeves in the workplace. Salespeople, as a profession, are certainly not immune. From manual CRM updates, to uninspired training programs or hard-to-find content, the more roadblocks to seamless sales, the more staff becomes demoralized. That, in turn, leads to greater sales rep churn.

But this isn’t just a problem for salespeople in their day-to-day. If you have a community of sales reps who are frustrated and unmotivated, that’s a huge barrier to achieving revenue goals. It’s in the business’ best interest to keep their reps engaged – reducing the cost of hiring and increasing revenue contributions.

Here are the top five things that are most likely to annoy your salespeople, and how your businesses can fix it:

Repetitive Repetitive CRM CRM Updates Updates

Poll any salesperson on their favorite part of the job, and rarely (if ever) will you find data entry anywhere near the top. Unfortunately, within traditional CRM applications, inputting this information is a necessary evil. In fact, these types of administrative functions end up taking a good chunk out of a sales rep’s day. Research from Sirius Decisions has found that salespeople typically spend about 27 percent of their time on administrative tasks, and only 26 percent on actual selling.

The good news, at an industry level, is that the tide is changing. Modern, advanced CRM applications are including new levels of automation to eliminate the need for so much data entry. Built on AI and powerful analytics, they provide key customer insights that actually help salespeople be more effective in their job. They aggregate context, information and preferences from a number of sources into their system, so vital information is easily found.

Somebody Hid the Content

Keeping leads engaged, and pushing them down the funnel, requires getting them the right content exactly at the right moment. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a prospective customer on the hook, then having to spend precious time combing for just the whitepaper or case study that fits their needs. It isn’t uncommon to see salespeople writing something up themselves if they can’t track it down.

Sales needs a centralized resource hub, one that’s ideally accessible by mobile. Imagine how quickly a casual conversation at a networking event can become a meaningful lead when reps can pull up relevant content right on their phone. The most advanced platforms can even identify where exactly a prospective customer is in their journey, and offer content recommendations accordingly.

Is This Training Over Yet?

This doesn’t just apply to salespeople: everyone values their time. One of the biggest problems facing the workplace today is an overabundance of meetings, many of which don’t actually provide useable information. Making training sessions more flexible is a powerful way to get around this. Through virtual attendance and recordings, sales teams can learn on their own schedule, without sacrificing critical time that could otherwise be dedicated to closing a deal.

And Your Total Comes To…I Don’t Know

When it comes to a price tag, there typically isn’t a set number, especially when your product suite includes variables like seats, licenses, add-ons and so forth. That isn’t so much an issue as is the inability for salespeople to quickly and seamless calculate a quote. This is further compounded if the system includes additional approvals from the higher-ups.

Explore automated CPQ systems, which can reduce the amount of time necessary for a quote from hours to minutes. Through AI and machine learning, it can quickly determine which solution is the best fit, and at the right price for both parties. It can even be configured with pre-determined rules for automatic approves within a certain range, or flag to the appropriate person if it needs an extra set of eyes.

Compensation That Shouldn’t Be This Complicated

Salespeople are unique in that they don’t have your usual salary structure. It can be calculated a number of ways, including a number of factors like commission, bonuses and quota – and even then, no two organizations figure it out the same way.

Transparency into commission data is an important step for sales engagement. How much will this deal net me in commission? When can I expect that payment to go through? These things seem simple, but aren’t a given. By including this functionality, it helps teams see how they’re tracking against quarterly and yearly goals, and better monitor for any payment errors.

Let Them Do Their Job

These frustrations aren’t born out of laziness or lack of commitment, but rather a clunky sales experience. Sales has a lot of incentive to bring in revenue, but they need the right tools to do it efficiently and effectively. The more power they have to do their jobs well, the better it is for growing the business as a whole.

Giles House is the general manager of SAP Sales Cloud at SAP Customer Experience.