Most of 2020 and 2021 were filled with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As companies prepare for 2022, they’ll find many of the same issues along with a few new ones. Not everything is due to the pandemic, but it is still impacting global sales.
The landscape of business changed in 2020, with many businesses shuttering their doors forever during the second quarter. Experts estimate a 22 percent drop in the number of business owners. While many parts of the world have started recovering, there are still numerous issues companies must contend with.
How well your sales team adapts to the many changes can make or break your revenue. What exactly are the paint points your sales teams will face in 2022?
6 Sales Pain Points You Need to Address in 2022
1. Shift in What People Buy
The pandemic put people’s focus on purchasing essential items. As the world moved into 2021, people realized they enjoyed staying home more and home improvement projects increased, driving up prices. People are cooking at home more, taking vacations close to where they live, and foregoing some luxury items.
What if you sell an item that isn’t essential? Your sales team must figure out how to talk to prospective customers so they see the necessity of buying the product or service. Understanding buyer personas and the psychology behind them becomes more important than ever before.
2. New Technology
Consumers are more comfortable with technology than pre-pandemic. Many still work from home and use their computers daily. They’re savvier about the significant number of identity theft attempts and expect your brand to make security and compliance a priority, protecting their precious information.
Embrace new technologies as they arrive and invest in the ones most likely to benefit your users. Look for ways to make the sales funnel run more efficiently for your users.
3. Employee Churn
Employee churn is always a problem for companies. You spend money, time, and effort recruiting and training the best staff you can find. You pour resources into making sure they have the latest skills in your industry. Unfortunately, they often choose to leave for better prospects.
You may not be able to compete with the salaries of the large corporations, but you can offer perks they can’t, such as a family-like company culture, remote work options, and causes they can get behind.
Talk to your workers about the things they’d like to see implemented and start the programs you’re able to offer. The more your staff loves their jobs, the more likely they are to stay and not bounce to a competitor.
4. Saturated Market
Companies realize people are spending more time online, so they advertise to them digitally. While online marketing offers a number of benefits, including highly targeted audiences and lower costs, the market is flooded right now.
People are so used to seeing ads on social media, they often skip right over them. You must understand that someone who comes to your sales team may have seen three other ads for the same product. How are you going to show them yours is best?
Your sales team must be trained to share the UVP of your company in a way that matters to the consumer. Don’t just give your agents a canned series of questions to ask. Train them to really listen to the customer’s needs and explain why your brand meets their expectations.
5. Building Trust
People have lost trust in the media and the government. They are still likely to trust businesses, as long as the company is upfront and honest.
The most recent Edelman Trust Barometer report points to some concerns going forward into 2022 that companies would do well to understand. According to the survey, the government dropped another eight points, making it the least trusted entity on the planet. Media lost six points and business three.
While trust in businesses fared better than some other sectors, people are still somewhat skeptical that owners have their best interests at heart.
The trend isn’t likely to reverse anytime soon. If you want consumers to trust you, you’ll have to prove yourself to them. One of the simplest ways of doing so is by being as transparent as possible.
Share your policies up front. Don’t try to hide the negatives, but explain why you have them and what you’re doing to fix them. Compare your challenges to competitors’. Perhaps you have some problems, but you’re strides ahead of the next company.
6. Competing With Low Cost Providers
The economy was already a global one, but the pandemic has made it even clearer how much so. You may realize you have competition not just from the business one town over, but from across the world.
How do you compete with a provider offering cut prices because their standard costs are lower, such as employment wages? It’s a tough situation to be in, especially if you work with other businesses. They want a deal, but you can only cut your rates so low.
One of your best measures is to explain the benefits of hiring a company in the same country where the business is. For example, customer service will be available during the same hours, and customer service reps will understand the intricacies of their native language.
You should also point out the quality of your product or service. Figure out your unique value proposition and stress it to your prospects.
What Sales Challenges Will Come in 2022?
There is no way to predict all the upcoming pain points of 2022. Most people didn’t foresee the disruption of 2020 or realize how massive the changes would be.
All you can do is prepare for the things you know are likely to happen. Have an emergency plan for your sales team. Hire the most creative people you can. The faster your team thinks on their feet, the quicker you’ll have solutions to any problems.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.