Richardson Survey Finds Top Challenges for Sales Professionals

Richardson Survey Finds Top Challenges for Sales Professionals

Philadelphia, PA - March 9, 2004 - Richardson, a leading sales training and consulting firm, today announced the results of a nationwide survey of sales professionals measuring their attitudes toward twenty common sales challenges. The survey found that Executives, Managers, and Sales Representatives from a broad range of industries all identified three challenges as "very" or "most" significant for 2004. These challenges include:

Increasing close ratios - named as the most significant overall sales challenge with 67% of respondents identifying this as their top issue. In addition:

In the Financial Services and Professional Services industries, 69% of respondents reported facing significant challenges in increasing their close ratios

In the Healthcare industry, 100% of respondents named increasing close ratios as most challenging

Maintaining momentum when there is no "deal" on the table - 62% of all respondents considered maintaining momentum a significant challenge, with Managers slightly more concerned than Executives or Sales Representatives. In addition:

70% of respondents in Technology and 68% of respondents in Professional Services reported facing significant challenges maintaining client momentum

In the Insurance industry, however, only 57% of respondents considered this a significant concern

78% of Healthcare respondents surveyed indicated that this is a serious challenge

70% of the larger companies (greater then $500 million in sales) found Maintaining momentum an issue, compared to 60% and 61%, respectively, of smaller- and medium-sized companies

Negotiating to preserve price - 62% of respondents identified Negotiating to preserve price as their most important overall sales challenge for the year. In addition:

80% of respondents in Technology and 73% of respondents in Professional Services found negotiating to preserve price to be "very" or "most" challenging this year

Only 58% of respondents in Financial Services and 52% of respondents in Insurance indicated the same degree of concern

"The past two years have been very difficult for most companies and industries due to a volatile economic environment," says Jim Brodo, SVP, Marketing for Richardson. "As we start to see signs of economic growth, the sales function will be faced with new challenges in its pursuit to build relationships and drive sales. This survey provided a significant amount of data that will help pinpoint the various solutions that sales functions and their particular industries will have to focus on if they are to achieve their corporate goals and objectives."

About the survey. The survey was sent to over 10,000 sales professionals from a variety of industries and job functions ranging from sales executive to sales representative. The survey received over a 10% reply rate.

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