The title should have been, The Three Biggest Challenges for facing 21st Century sales—and what to do about them. But I don’t have that much space.

Sales is Changing, but Some Challenges Haven’t Changed  

I’ve been in and around sales for more than 45 years. It’s changed. A lot. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed fast enough in some sectors. Because we continue to have bad examples such as this, Just say no to bad sales tactics. Salespeople today are faced with challenges I couldn’t have imagined in 1970: navigating CRM systems, content management, keeping up with ever-changing products, and following the lead cycle. Sales challenges vary by industry, geography, and target market. An organization’s approach towards sales impacts the challenges to be faced, as do recruiting, onboarding, and continuous training. However, these three challenges are universal to sales regardless of product or approach. Here are three 21st century sales challenges that aren’t going away soon.

Finding the time to do the job

Systems have become more efficient and yet more complicated. Too often sales people spend more time following up with production and delivering products and services than they spend in the field selling. What to do about it. How to Give your Team More Time to Sell.

Sales and Marketing not on the same page

Siloing is everywhere, including between sales and marketing. How often have we seen marketing promoting a product that the sales team has limited knowledge of, or sales not communicating customer needs to marketing? A disconnect between sales and marketing is a problem in too many organizations. How to Fix it. Are you marketing what you sell?  And for the team How to Tear Down the Walls of Silo Thinking

Communication Breakdown

In 1970 communication was easy, you had three choices, the phone (land line only) Mail (that’s postal service, not Email) or Face-to-face. There wasn’t much confusion. Today, there are too many preferences to list, Email, text, social media, and more. The key is learning your customer’s communication preferences, if you don’t you’ll never get to the decision maker. How to improve communication. How to Keep Your Customers Happy or Lose Them.

Three Opportunities to Improve 21st Century Sales 

Three challenges—three opportunities, organizations spend thousands on CRM systems, sales training, and advertising. All in the hope of improving sales numbers and therefore positively impacting the bottom line. However, taking on the challenges of making time to sell, aligning sales and marketing, and discovering your customer’s communication preferences is more than a hope. Improving these challenges will improve sales and it doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. What are your largest sales challenges in the 21st century?