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Four Complaints from Sales and What They Really Mean

March 26, 2015
By Mae Kowalke - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Salesmen can complain a lot. I know; I used to sit with them before I started writing from home.

There’s a good reason for this, of course: Sales is a tough job; it often comes with good payouts, but those payouts come at an emotional cost.

It is easy, therefore, to dismiss the constant griping from the sales team. But this would be a mistake; buried within those complaints are real issues that need to be addressed if we listen hard enough.

Here are four common complaints from sales and what the reps are really saying when they make these comments.

Gripe #1: “I’ve hit my sales targets already.” This is a plea for a better commission structure, one that rewards or at least doesn’t punish the agent for going beyond his or her sales quota. If the commission structure doesn’t keep rewarding the agent, there will be no incentive to keep pushing onward to new sales, especially after working hard to meet the initial sales goal. So when a rep slacks after meeting goal, this is an indictment of the commission structure as much as an indictment of the agent.

Gripe #2: “That list is dead.” Studies have shown that a well-worn but targeted list is better than a new but untested list. So when sales agents complain about a worn list, they’re really complaining about the lack of clarity on how to appeal to the contacts on this list. Good analytics should be able to show what is working and not working, and adjustments can usually revive a “dead” but meaty list.

Gripe #3: “I’ve already sent her an email.” This points to a lack of good multi-channel communication. Calling time is down on the millennial generation, a group that favors asynchronous and digital communications technologies. But just emailing a contact is not enough; to appeal to these potential customers, it is important to engage with them over a variety of touch points. If email is the only alternative to calling someone, the sales team needs more communications channels to work from.

Gripe #4: “I don’t want to call because then I’ll have to log it in the CRM.” Whenever this comment is made, it signals one thing: The system is too complicated. If sales agents are not reaching out to leads because they don’t want to complete the necessary backend notes and data entry, it means you need a simpler system. Period.

So while it might be smart to tune out sales agents when they gripe, don’t tune them out completely—often they are indirectly communicating important information that can improve business.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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