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20 sales challenges

Client Acquisition

Market Penetration

  • Achieving/surpassing sales targets as well as attaining forecasting precision. 

  • Inability to mine existing accounts for business expansion.

  • ‘Competitor knowledge’ fog. Limited clue & updates about competitor’s tactics and approach.

  • How to leverage through social media, referrals, testimonials, events etc.

  • Ineffectual in galvanising channel partners, joint ventures, franchises, distribution channels etc. 

  • Unable to create new lines of business, brand extensions, usage maximisation, product/service boom. 

  • Unable to create an altogether new category, ie product/process disruption. 

Client Centric


the flow

  • Imperfect techniques to sell at C-suite level, lack of consultative selling knowledge .

  • Sales person getting into a constant discovery mode with the client to establish client’s needs. Invokes disinterest from client in having to keep answering and provide information at the inception stage.

  • Deficiency in communicating with impact, the seller’s story, the essence, the transformative insight, the pitch.  

  • Inadequacy in communicating genuine differentiators and value proposition to the client.

  • Understanding the vision, mission, branding strategies, commercial pursuits, procurement budget allocations, technology direction, product expansions and buying preferences of the client.

Cognitive Sensing


Mind angle

  • Either meeting prospect’s CxO too early in the selling process, thereby creating sub-optimal impact or the other extreme i.e. inability to access the CxO at the right time.

  • Excessive time lost by sales people in pursuing immalleable prospects. Improper sensing of buying intent.

  • Firing up the intrinsic motivation of the sales team and sustaining it.

  • Sales team having inappreciable cognitive selling skills or not keeping abreast of the hugely changing dynamics in selling approach.

  • Insufficient proficiency to challenge the customer with insightful propositions thereby getting commoditized and succumbing to a price pressure.

  • Sales person remaining in transactional mode with the client and not elevating the status to robust relational levels.

Sales Administration

Outside the 

client-faced arena

  • Stepping into an RFP labyrinth at a very protracted stage thereby ensuring participation but puzzling over its success. Drains the firm’s precious bandwidth.

  • and other systems do capture the essence of a sales meeting but reticence is noted in the sales force to provide quality feed into the system.

  • Inadequate ‘qualified leads’ generated (by self & marketing) thereby compelling the sales person to spend excessive time in lead generation & admin tasks as against the more productive face-to-face selling time.

  • Unable to allocate a 2 or 3 day sales training reprieve to the team to replenish skills. Perception of time loss from the field.

  • Incoherence between marketing & sales resulting in improper priming of sales team. Lack of incisive data about customer’s position, challenges, and constraints.



- Anonymous 

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