For salespeople, there’s never a shortage of distractions. From time-consuming administrative tasks, to putting out fires on deals in process, sales reps must learn to juggle multiple balls at the same time if they hope to succeed (and excel) in their chosen profession.
But there’s a big difference between the typical responsibilities placed on a sales rep, and the dissapointing and unpleasant things that salespeople are frequently forced to deal with. It’s these things, common to the sales profession, that drive salespeople nuts, and become pet peeves which make their lives more difficult, with little additional reward.
While some sales reps might find that one of these is worse than others, you’d be hard pressed to locate a salesperson on earth who isn’t frustrated by one of these five common sales pet peeves:
1. Nonsensical internal processes
While they might have been designed with the best intentions, some companies’ internal processes add so much complexity and extra busy work to a sales rep’s day that any benefit they would otherwise provide is overshadowed by the constant demands of the process.
Whether it’s adding extra administrative steps to a sales rep’s responsibilities, or adding too many people to the sales process, poorly designed structures can be inefficient and cost time and money, leaving salespeople frustrated and demoralized. A process should be simple, necessary, and designed to enhance a sales rep’s ability to sell, not vice versa.
2. Meeting no-shows
It’s not uncommon for a sales rep to spend their day preparing for a meeting only to have the person blow it off without so much as a call or an email, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when it happens. Meeting no-shows are rude, demoralizing, and completely unnecessary, as it takes less than a minute to let a sales rep know you won’t be able to make it, a common courtesy which should be afforded to all.
On the sales side, salespeople should get in the habit of confirming meetings the same day, rather than assuming the prospect will show. This can reduce the likelihood of a no-show, with the added benefits of reminding a prospect about the meeting and creating a more professional process at the same time.
3. Constant changes to the comp plan
Comp plans change, it’s just a fact of life. But when they change too frequently, or too dramatically, sales reps will not only get frustrated, they’ll be a lot more likely to leave. The problem isn’t necessarily that they change, but that (as every salesperson knows) they almost always change for the worse, usually paying out less for the same results, though occasionally, certain incentivized outcomes can create new opportunities to make money.
It’s advisable, therefore, that companies avoid switching comp plans too frequently, or, perhaps more importantly, avoid changing them so dramatically. No matter what the company says, sales reps aren’t stupid, and they can figure out whether any changes will help or hurt them, fairly easily too. Again, changes are to be expected, but it’s wise to keep the sales team in mind when revising a plan, because to them, it will always be a big deal.
4. Unnecessary meetings
Sales reps want to sell, and they spend so much time talking and listening to people that unnecessary internal meetings can serve as a distraction and a source of frustration rather than a meaningful exercise. Certain leaders enjoy meetings, whether it’s out of habit, or because they prefer it as a method of communication with their teams. But a smart manager won’t pull their sales reps off the phones unless it’s completely necessary, and will be quite discerning about whether a meeting is important enough to cut into time that’s better spent being productive.
Of course, some meetings can’t be avoided, and some can be quite productive too. But if you’re constantly having meetings which don’t serve any identifiable purpose, you might want to cut back and let your sales reps spend time doing what it is that they want to be doing, which is prospecting and closing deals.
5. Updating the CRM
This is, perhaps, one of the least surprising sales pet peeves, because it’s such a common complaint among sellers, all of whom are faced with the time-sucking task of constantly adding info to their CRMs. Updating the CRM is, of course, important, but the time-consuming nature of the task, coupled with the complexity and esoteric nature of certain software, makes it tedious, unpleasant, and frustrating, rather than a task that most salespeople view as an obvious value-add.
Thankfully, there are simple solutions (like Dooly, which makes updating Salesforce significantly easier, and can save reps over five hours of Salesforce grunt work every week), and not all CRMs are as unpleasant to use as some of the worst. But unless you’re using optimized software, or a truly user-centric product, you’ll likely find that the CRM tends to take a lot more than it gives back, which is why it’s such a common pet peeve among salespeople.