Top 3 Sales Problems To Watch Out For in 2016

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Given our experienc in working with start-ups and inside sales teams, we were recently asked by to do a couple of blog posts. This one was originally posted on their blog site butwe  wanted to post here for our readers as well in case you haven’t yet heard of (Check them out though, awesome value prop!)

Richard Harris has been training salespeople for a long time via his consultancy The Harris Consulting Group. He’s also The Director of Sales Training and Consulting Services at Sales Hacker. Harris sees the same sales problems come up again and again, especially in early stage SaaS companies.

“You have people with early stage companies who don’t even know how to have a sales conversation, “ says Harris. “They’ve created some niche. They’ve been able to generate some interest, but they don’t know how to ask a question. All we have right now is a bunch of technology to get us into meetings, but we don’t know what the fuck to say when we get there.” Harris’s job is to teach people what to say, but training is only half the story.

Not Enough Training or Coaching

“Training is me coming in and teaching people what to do,” says Harris. “Coaching is what happens afterwards. That’s what the manager’s job is. What’s an SDR’s job? Hit the number. What’s the manager’s job? Make sure the SDR hits the number. How do they do that? Coaching. It’s very simple.”

“The problem is there’s no longer any good middle managers in America. They keep getting dumped on. They keep being asked to handle more reps than they can and put together more reports for upper management that don’t actually affect the day-to-day and take them away from the coaching.”

SDRs Will Be Poached

If there are any sales managers left out there, they have a new sales problem: losing SDRs to the rest of the company. “SDRs are the lifeblood of your organization,” says Harris. “The SDR role is the gateway to getting young, talented, smart people in the door of your company. People should stop thinking of them as only being sales people. SDR’s can move into marketing. They could go into customer success. They could go into HR departments. Every department could pull from the SDR team.”

“You’ve got to be careful if you tell sales leaders that the SDRs are now the recruitment spot for the rest of the organization. The sales leaders will freak out.”

Most AEs Don’t Want Or Like To Upsell

The final sales problem is that nobody is upselling.  “Many AEs don’t want to call their old clients and upsell them,” says Harris. “They hate it. They can’t stand it. They’re afraid they’re going to get sucker punched with a, ‘Oh I really love you guys, but this thing is broken. Can you help me fix it?’”

Then you’ve got customer success. “Due to no fault of their own most customer success people suck at cross-selling, upselling, and closing,” says Harris. “They couldn’t close a barn door to save their life. On the other hand They FUCKING ROCK at nurturing! They will take more grief, more angry customer calls, and turn the biggest pile of shit into a fantastic rose garden better than any AE ever will. But getting them to cross sell and upsell is a problem. The only way they are going to get better is to give them real sales training, teach them how to have a selling conversation and help remove the ‘used car’ sales person mentality they have stuck in their head. ”

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About The Author

Richard brings 20 Years of Technology and Saas sales experience and training to his role as a consultant with The Harris Consulting Group and as the Director of Training and Consulting Services at Sales Hacker.  Clients ask Richard to help with definining, implementing, and measuring sales as it relates to The Four P’s: People, Performance, Planning, and Process.

Experience and clients include: Mashery, Gainsight, PushPay, SocialChorus, TopOpps, Spanning, Outbound Engine, Udemy, and many others.

Learn more about The Harris Consulting Group by clicking here.
Learn more about Sales Hacker and Sales Training by clicking here.
Follow Richard: @rharris415 or get a drone.

Other articles written by Richard:

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