New Study: 37% of Sales Professionals Face Greater Responsibilities but No Additional Resources or Pay

The Great Resignation exposes challenges associated with antiquated selling technologies and practices

Sellers remain resilient despite challenges related to the pandemic and ensuing Great Resignation. However, roughly one third of sellers still struggle to close deals and meet quotas, according to a new study conducted by CRM analyst firm Beagle Research Group in partnership with Oracle. The study, “Does Your CRM Leave Money on the Table,” includes insights from more than 500 sales professionals in the United States that show struggles to keep up with dynamic industry changes and the lack of technology-supported sales processes.

The pandemic and Great Resignation have changed who sellers engage with and how

Now more than ever, sellers must quickly get up to speed — and bring their buyers with them — on product history, past communications, and deals progression.

  • The vast majority, 81 percent, of the sellers did not change jobs during the pandemic, however, 25 percent of sellers say customer contacts keep changing.
  • 43 percent of sellers said customers are pulling back on purchases, and 39 percent said customers are taking longer to make decisions.
  • Buyers are often engaging later in the buying journey, yet they still expect sellers to understand their needs. 36 percent said customers are doing a lot of their own research and 40 percent said that customers are more willing to shop for the best offer.

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Sellers struggle to close deals as they are distracted and lack resources

While seller resiliency emerged as a key finding, up to one-third of sellers still consistently have trouble with various aspects of their jobs, impacting their ability to make quota. Several hurdles that sellers faced while trying to meet their goals stem from deficiencies in time and resources.

  • 37 percent of sellers say sales organization churn has led to greater responsibilities, but no additional resources or pay.
  • 59 percent of sellers are involved in training and onboarding new sellers.
  • Of this group, over half (52 percent) say training takes four to five hours per week. Over a quarter (26 percent) say these tasks take more than five hours per week.
  • 29 percent of sellers say if a colleague leaves, they use digital notes outside of CRM to pass along knowledge.

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More automation is welcomed to help offload routine tasks

Sellers would be happy to offload more mundane and time-consuming tasks if it gives them more selling time. Rather than simplifying record keeping tasks like traditional CRM systems do, sellers would be glad to eliminate them.

  • 39 percent of sellers said they spent too much time working in different technologies.
  • 16 percent of sellers describe their sales processes as the Wild, Wild West — where sellers make decisions based on intuition, rather than on data or best practices.
  • Sellers are open to greater automation and trust AI to take on greater responsibilities, including qualifying leads (nearly 70 percent), identifying priority deals (60 percent) and tracking deal progress (80 percent).

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