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The top 5 pet peeves of sales reps

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Everyone has annoyances that really get under their skin, and salespeople are no different. 

Sales professionals have plenty of pet peeves, from tedious manual CRM updates and boring training, to hard-to-find content.

If not addressed, these irritations can snowball into massively demotivating forces, which lead to sales rep churn.

The part where everyone nods their head in agreement: The top 5 pet peeves of sales reps

Organizations can’t achieve their revenue goals if their sales reps are constantly frustrated and looking for the door.

Here are the top five things that annoy salespeople in their day-to-day work, and suggestions to ease their work day and boost their morale.

1.) We’re gonna need those TPS reports this afternoon: Manual CRM updates

Traditional CRM applications rely on sales reps manually entering data. But spending a bunch of time entering notes is frustrating for salespeople, who would rather focus on selling than administrative work. According to research firm Sirius Decisions, a sale rep spends about 27% of their time on internal administrative functions, and only about 26% on selling to customers.

Advanced CRM applications automate key functions to reduce reliance on manual inputs. They also apply AI, providing sales reps with customer insights that make the CRM a powerful tool rather than just a time sink. Intelligent CRM applications pull key account information from outside the CRM, like contact data from an email server, thereby placing key data at a sales rep’s fingertips.

Newer CRM technology also monitors the calendars of sales reps and prompts them to immediately enter notes after a meeting; then they don’t have to struggle to remember the discussion weeks later.

And since salespeople are usually out in the field, the CRM must be accessible at any time, from any device.   

2.) Paging Dewey Decimal: Searching for content                                         

When a salesperson has a hot lead, they need to get the right content to that customer in the quickest way possible. What drives them crazy is scouring multiple systems for the appropriate white paper, case study, or other collateral. In frustration, many reps resort to writing appropriate content themselves, losing precious selling time.

A sales enablement platform that maintains updated collateral and playbooks in a central location (and is accessible from mobile devices) makes it easy for sales reps to find the right content, right away.

Even better: A platform that makes content recommendations based on the customer, buying stage, and historical influence of the content. This takes the guesswork out of the process, while helping reps close deals faster.

3.) Wake me when it’s over: Sitting through boring trainings

One of the most exasperating experiences for sales reps is sitting in the office for a two-hour training session that provides little relevant information. These training sessions don’t take their individual needs into account and waste precious selling time.

Sales reps are happier and far more productive with virtual sessions that allow them to access pertinent training from their mobile devices, on their own schedule. With the right courses and videos in the same sales enablement portal where they find content, they can learn at their own pace and won’t get pulled away from their work.

4.) It’s some kind of Elvish; I can’t read it: Complex quote processes

Configuring and pricing a product can be extremely complicated, especially for businesses with thousands of highly complex products.

Salespeople are quickly frustrated with manual processes that don’t allow them to quickly create a quote with an accurate configuration and proper pricing. They also get irritated if they have to wait for approvals during the quote and negotiation process.

With an automated CPQ system, sales reps can rapidly whip-up accurate quotes – what could take hours is reduced to minutes, as CPQ simplifies configuration by suggesting solutions that are the best fit for the customer’s needs. CPQ systems that use AI and machine learning recommend optimal sales prices, which helps close deals – and salespeople don’t have to wait around for quote approvals.

Rules embedded in CPQ ensure pricing concessions are either automatically granted or routed for approvals if they violate your rules.

5.) Show me the money: No visibility into compensation

Something that really ticks salespeople off is a lack of visibility into what they’re getting paid.

As they begin a deal, they want to know what their compensation will be – it helps them prioritize their work and manage their time. Once they’ve won a deal, they want to know when they’ll be paid. If they can’t, they’ll likely waste time on their own accounting and stress about payment instead of focusing on selling. 

Sales tools that make commission data transparent and easily accessible via mobile devices keep sales reps content and less likely to look for a new job. They can see clearly how they’re performing against their goals and how their payouts are calculated. If they spot an error, an automated commissions system enables them to easily raise a query via a sales dashboard instead of having to call someone, and they don’t have to send multiple emails to resolve a payment dispute.

With the right tools, sales reps are free of daily distractions and empowered to perform their best, which naturally improves the customer experience and the bottom line.

Improve the customer experience by improving the sales rep experience. Learn more here

Jennifer Kling
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March 13, 2019
Jennifer Kling

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