Our recent research among field sales professionals in the UK and South Africa highlighted five situations in which sales reps are tempted to spin the truth when visiting prospects.
We were glad to discover that a fair number of respondents see the value in being truthful while prospecting. On a more concerning note, however, we recognised that those who admitted to twisting the truth at times did so because they face unnecessary pressures. Too often they find themselves backed into a corner with little time, not enough information with which to provide quality advice and under pressure to hit targets.
‘Skynamo’s report shines an important spotlight on the real day-to-day challenges experienced by UK salespeople… they urgently need better access to accurate information about products, the ability to act on that data and simple, easy-to-use tools that are geared towards their needs.’
– Roger Bradburn, COO and Director, Institute of Sales Management (ISM)
Why do sales professionals find themselves in compromised positions?
Nearly half (47%) of the surveyed sales reps stated that a lack of accurate customer and product data prevents them from delivering a professional service, while over a third (38%) experience technology – initially adopted to make their job easier – as ‘more of a hindrance than a help’.
Our survey further reveals that this is due to salespeople being expected to manage field data by using disjointed mixes of tools, not designed for field sales use in the first place. Businesses place a high reliance on ‘low-tech’ solutions like Excel spreadsheets (48%) and email and instant messaging (41%). The reason so many salespeople resist tech is because the tech they are being asked to use isn’t designed for them, it really does get in their way.
To summarise: using substandard sales tools too often place reps in positions where they are tempted to spin the truth, while it also contributes to an ongoing ‘tech resistance’ among many sales professionals.
Help your sales team become trusted consultants
We’ve found that tech solutions focussing on sales rep needs, changes resistance into acceptance and fosters a willingness to use technology.
‘Massive advances in technology provide us with all the components needed to make it easier for salespeople to gather and have access to high quality data – but this isn’t happening – because experience has taught reps and their manager that tech just makes it more difficult, not easier. But this isn’t true. The right technology can make all the difference,’ says Skynamo’s Alliances Director, Brian Howe.