ChartExportOur ongoing survey of sales professionals suggests that sales organizations might want to focus their efforts in 2014 on helping their salespeople address price objections.

“Pushback on price” was ranked as the biggest challenge in the survey. Other top issues included long sales cycles, getting prospects on the phone, and selling to prospects who are happy with the status quo.

Focus on skill development
There seems to be a general trend here: Most of the top-cited challenges are related to sales skills rather than processes. Salespeople aren’t reporting, for example, that they’re buried in paperwork or don’t have enough time to prospect. The toughest challenges involve good old-fashioned selling techniques, not new sales technology.

For example, you can’t address a customer’s price objections by designing a more efficient sales process. You can’t get more prospects to switch with better data in the CRM. And a better phone system might help salespeople get in more dials, but it doesn’t really help salespeople solve the problem of prospects who are ducking their calls. These are challenges that can only be solved through training and skills development.

And for sales managers who argue that their salespeople don’t like training and don’t want more of it, these findings suggest otherwise. These are the problems that working sales professionals are struggling with right now. Chances are, they’ll be eager to learn new ways to tackle them.

Keep in mind that these results are preliminary. This is an ongoing survey, and we invite your input. If you haven’t participated yet, click here to take the survey. It takes less than three minutes.

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