Halloween Scares: Top Fears of Salespeople Facing 2021

Author: 
Raul Perdigão Silva

The spooky season is upon us, and as salespeople are preparing to look at the past year in review to prepare for 2021, there are common fears that salespeople are expected to grapple with.

The unprecedented year of tough business decisions and cutbacks have drastically impacted the sales industry and changed the way that sales representatives work. From virtual pitches to inconsistent data, sales professionals have had to become adept at navigating new day-to-day challenges. While it’s natural to feel worried about the uncertainty of the next year, identifying and preparing for these top sales anxieties will put your salespeople one step ahead of the competition.

Here are five common fears that salespeople are experiencing, as well as tips for overcoming each to have a successful 2021:

Fear of keeping up with constantly changing customers

Good salespeople know their customers’ businesses and industries inside and out, but the global pandemic hasn’t just changed the customers, it has changed entire industries. 

Solution – Understanding the ongoing shift is key. Salespeople should continue to do their research and educate themselves on the latest changes and trends in their industry to help best identify the top pain points faced by customers and figure out what problems their solution can help solve most 

Fear of not finding enough leads

Everyone is online or social media hunting for the same leads.

Solution – Salespeople need great strategies to stand out, and must incorporate the benefits seen from using CRM. The most useful platforms will have powerful integrated lead-generation tools, which gives salespeople instant access to hundreds of millions of leads that meet specific requirements.

Fear that the length of the sales process will become longer and longer

Solution – Data shows that sales cycles for won deals has actually become shorter compared to pre-pandemic times, and average win rates are back to what they used to be during normal times. Good CRM will help qualify leads so that salespeople can only focus on the ones with highest potential, therefore keeping the sales cycle on track.

Fear that the customer will ask a question you can't answer

Every salesperson wants to close as many deals as possible to earn commission. Sometimes, they choose to hide product weaknesses or know that the product will not serve the needs of the potential customer, but sell it anyways, hoping the prospect will not ask about it. This is not sustainable in long-term thinking. 

Solution – A lack of transparency and setting false expectations lead to disappointment and may potentially do a lot of harm to the product as well as the salesperson. We live in the era of social media where feedback and reviews reach to millions of people around the globe within seconds. Salespeople must be honest about their product’s capabilities and what it can and can’t solve for the prospect. The aim is to build a solid relationship they can nurture over the long run.

Fear of missing quota (FOMQ)

This can create a lot of anxiety for sales representatives. Quotas are created by managers and are based on company goals, but have to be met by the hardworking rep. If a salesperson is solely focused on meeting quotas, they will lose track of everything else, including their own performance and focus. If quota attainment takes over the attention span, they will never achieve it.

Solution – It’s like the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Salespeople might get intimidated by their quotas and think they’re unattainable. Instead, they should not let themselves be drowned by that fear, instead structuring their days one at a time. By stepping back and focusing on each account separately, they will be able to reach their target. FOMQ should not be a nightmare or an anxiety-generator. It should be mastered with planning and structure.

Raul Perdigão Silva is head of global sales at Pipedrive, a cloud-based sales software company.