Do You Have the Same Prospecting Challenges As Other Sellers?

BY Jessica Helinski
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If you had to list your top prospecting challenges, what would they be? Do you think other salespeople grapple with the same issues? A recent RAIN Group survey of sellers revealed the leading prospecting difficulties they face, and the top ten can easily be categorized into four groups:

  • Lack of prospecting motivation
  • Poor targeting
  • Insufficient outreach/​giving up too early
  • Lack of research and customization

Above all, staying motivated ranks as the biggest prospecting challenge, cited by 66% of respondents. If you can continually devote the appropriate amount of time and energy to getting leads, you’ll be ahead of the competition. As RAIN Group president Mike Shultz writes, “Prospecting success starts with motivation." Results will inevitably suffer if you truly lack any interest in filling your pipeline. Dig deep to uncover what truly motivates you and use that to guide you when you feel your efforts are lagging. Hold yourself accountable by setting clear goals and actively tracking your day-​to-​day efforts. And, don't forget to enjoy what you're doing! Shultz points out that if you truly don't have get any enjoyment from something, you're likely not going to have success with it.

Poor targeting is another common challenge. Sellers report that their biggest targeting-​related troubles are:

  • Not knowing how to work with gatekeepers: 48%
  • Connecting with people too low in the target organization: 43%
  • Not targeting the right people: 41%

Successful targeting is about reaching the right people at the right time. The big takeaway from these results is that the inability to work with gatekeepers is affecting all targeting efforts. If you are unable to initially connect with the gatekeeper, good luck getting your message to those “right” people. Shultz suggests reconsidering the gatekeeper: “Don't view gatekeepers as an obstacle to get around; work with them for the best success.” If targeting is a weak spot for you, simply rethinking how you approach the gatekeeper can have a major impact on all of those other targeting woes.

So, if you find yourself relating to these survey results, use Schultz’s advice to adjust your prospecting practices. You’ll find yourself way ahead of those who are still struggling with those challenges AND you’ll have a full pipeline.