The 5 Biggest Fears of Salespeople in 2023

Biggest Fears of Salespeople in 2023

As part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series—a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories—Sean Evers, the VP of Sales at Pipedrive, outlines some of the most common fears of salespeople and how to manage them in the coming year.

The spooky season is upon us, and as salespeople are reflecting on the past year in preparation for 2023, a handful of common themes and fears have emerged. The past year has left a mark on how we understand the world around us, which directly relates to how we do business, specifically within the sales industry.

There has been a significant shift in how we deal with challenging business decisions, cutbacks, and new products. And while it is natural to have some anxiety about the future unknown, recognizing these common themes can help alleviate the fear and better prepare you for what’s ahead.  

Below are the top five most common fears amongst salespeople in 2022 and tips for managing them, making you a stronger salesperson in 2023 and beyond.  

Unable to Achieve Set Targets and Quotas 

The first fear for a salesperson is not achieving target goals and quotas. Understandable, yes, especially with the rise of global economic uncertainty.  

A tip for managing this fear is to develop a detailed understanding of your sales funnel and create a strategic and detailed workbook—end to end. While doing this, remember the conversions needed at each stage, a breakdown of the customer buying process, and weekly targets. Take advantage of your sales CRM’s insights and data reports, as these will help track your progress and highlight where you might need to make adjustments to hit your quotas.  

Administrative Tasks Are Piling Up  

Administrative tasks and activities are part of a sales role; in fact, Pipedrive’s State of Sales and Marketing 2021/22 survey indicated that just over half (54 percent) of salespeople spend most of their day selling. Other time is allocated towards research and prep before calls, updating and recording information into various systems, and filing paperwork. With most of your day bogged down with tasks, is there enough time to sell?  

This fear can be minimized by analyzing your sales process. Ask yourself how you organize your day and how you prioritize selling activities. Do you start or complete any given task at a specific time of the day or week? By scheduling your day according to the job, you’re allowing yourself dedicated time where you’re not jumping from task to task, creating a more efficient workflow. Whatsmore, you reduce lag time by not having to figure out what needs to be done next. Another tip for increasing productivity is utilizing your sales CRM’s automation features, saving you time and decreasing possible mistakes.  

Securing a Big Deal 

By nature, salespeople are optimistic, yet we fear that the “big deal” won’t land this month or next quarter. We all know the feeling of having a committed deal, but maybe it’s with an undecided customer still in talks with a competitor trying to steal the deal.  

The key here is to honestly believe there is a compelling reason for the customer to engage, act and commit to you being the right choice. To achieve this, you must be transparent and mindful of your customers’ budgets, key decision-makers, business values, and expected ROI. With this reassurance from you, the customer can confidently move through the sales process and toward the finish line. 

Believing in Your Product or Service   

From time to time, we all start to question what we’re selling, especially when we know that what we’re offering doesn’t have all the features a customer is looking for, and even then, it may still be more expensive than alternative products. This is where a salesperson can focus on the value that a product or service provides by highlighting key features important to your customer. If you focus on the wins, you can’t lose.  

As the seller, it’s your job to understand the customers’ needs better than they do. Discuss their needs, what solutions are available and at what price, and a plan for the sales and implementation process. This is also an opportunity to showcase your expertise by introducing the buyer to helpful features or additional products they may not have known.  

Hearing the Word “No” 

Hearing the word “no” is difficult for anyone to sit with, and unfortunately, it’s a response salespeople receive daily. While rejection may never get easier to handle, there are ways to bounce back with a clearer sense of direction and purpose. Before a sales call, prepare a checklist for potential follow-up questions and solutions. This way, you can start to collect some insight and find commonalities – better preparing you for the next hot lead.