These Are the Top Prospecting Challenges for Sales Reps

Sales professionals are having a difficult time prospecting, and often, are coming up short. A survey found that cold calling and prospecting are two pain points for reps today. SellingPower reports on the survey, conducted by ValueSelling Associates, Inc., and discusses specific findings. Specifically:

  • Fifty-​three percent admit they are quick to quit cold calling
  • Forty-​eight percent confess they are afraid to even pick up the phone
  • Sixty percent admit they lack organized or consistent prospecting efforts

More than ever, sales require persistence, and the above findings highlight the trouble reps have with overcoming certain barriers. The article’s writer, Julie Thomas, suggests various ways salespeople can improve their prospecting. 

Allow for more time for the right research.

Thomas recommends that reps allow for more time to set up that initial meeting with a prospect. Likely, you aren’t going to reach him or her on the first try, and even more likely, that first contact will be over the phone or via email. Avoid common contact pitfalls, like not reaching the decision maker or getting a response from the prospect, by starting well in advance. Allow enough time for multiple attempts at making first contact, and enough research to know who you should be reaching. “Today’s sales professionals need to be adept at both gathering and giving information, and finding a balance between the two, Thomas writes. “Without establishing that credibility, cold-​call-​shy sales reps can devote too much time scouring LinkedIn, trade publications, and websites in the name of research. Conversely, overly eager reps can launch into a call or email message without adequate preparation.” 

Don’t give up. 

As mentioned above, over half of reps say they are quick to quit cold calling. It takes an average of five touchpoints to book a first meeting, and it’s up to you to be diligent. If you know this is a weakness, specifically block set times for cold calling. Stay organized and track each touchpoint so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. 

These are only two of the suggestions Thomas offers to tackle common prospecting issues. Make sure to read the rest of her article for the other suggestions, as well as more insights from the survey. This knowledge can help you increase your confidence, streamline your sales process, and overcome these prospecting challenges. Whether you’re a new addition to the industry or a veteran struggling with today’s communication, Thomas is sure her tips can help everyone. As she writes, “let’s all find a way to replace current prospecting fears with fierce determination.”

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.