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Study Reveals Top Challenges and Priorities for Sales Enablement and Sales Leaders

The leading challenge is recruiting and hiring; Respondents to focus on value, productivity, account growth, pipeline, and talent in the next 12-months.

BOSTON – July 5, 2023 – RAIN Group, a global sales training company delivering results through in-person and virtual sales training, coaching, and reinforcement, released the results from its latest study, Top Challenges and Priorities of Sales and Enablement Leaders.

Led by the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, analysts examined responses from over 300 sales, enablement, and company leaders to identify leading challenges facing sales organizations and their priorities for the coming year.

“We originally conducted this study in 2019. While a lot has changed in the sales environment since then, we found most of the challenges and priorities remained the same with the addition of a few,” shared Erica Schultz, CMO of RAIN Group.“What’s also interesting is the trends we’re seeing today are supported by the survey results.”

Three trends uncovered in the survey include:

  • Sales cycles are lengthening (43% of sales leaders say sales cycle times have increased)
  • Lost to “no decision” is on the rise (44% of sales leaders say the percentage of opportunities lost to no decision has increased)
  • Competitor losses are on the decline (31% of sales leaders say the percentage of opportunities lost to competitors has decreased)

Of the several challenges found in the study include, the five most perplexing include:

  1. Recruiting and hiring (52% of leaders find this very challenging)
  2. Selling in an uncertain economy (43% of leaders find this very challenging)
  3. Generating qualified sales-ready leads (40% of leaders find this very challenging)
  4. Developing sales skills – driving and winning sales opportunities, driving account growth, consultative selling, filling the pipeline, negotiation, managing and coaching sellers, etc. (33% of sales leaders find this very challenging)
  5. Developing sales managers (32% of sales leaders find this very challenging)

Of the 20+ potential priorities, the following 10 rose to the top as very important:

  1. Improve ability to communicate value (70%)
  2. Improve productivity of sellers and sales teams (68%)
  3. Increase business with existing accounts (64%)
  4. Improve customer retention, repeat business, and renewals (64%)
  5. Build a robust pipeline (61%)
  6. Improve sales opportunity approach and planning (57%)
  7. Improve sellers’ ability to inspire with ideas (57%)
  8. Improve sales manager effectiveness (55%)
  9. Retain top sales talent (55%)
  10. Drive “new logos”/new accounts won (52%)

Schultz continued, “The good news is that sales and enablement leaders can overcome the challenges and achieve their priorities, even in an uncertain economy. If your sales organization can develop a strong sales enablement program focused on three strategies and track key metrics, you should achieve sales success.”

 

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