For many payroll sales representatives, the past year presented difficult challenges to closing sales. Many salespeople had to pivot and engage clients in new and unfamiliar ways. The same quotas needed to be met, but there were more limitations than ever.
Even in 2021, as businesses return to a more normal and more predictable existence, payroll sales reps face barriers that threaten the sale. Let’s look at four of the most common barriers that payroll providers face when it comes to landing the deal.
Lack of Buy-in
You probably won’t make a sale without the CFO’s buy-in, but there are other critical stakeholders you need to speak to, as well. The CFO will make the financial decision, but the payroll team will be the ones who use your system day-in and day-out.
Also bring the IT and development team into the conversation, because they’ll have security and data concerns. Depending on the industry, team managers may have insights or issues to share about how time cards fit into daily workflow.
Each stakeholder has their own concerns and objections:
- Payroll personnel are worried about payroll accuracy and becoming obsolete.
- The CFO wants a strong bottom line.
- IT doesn’t want to be pulled away from their core work for a lengthy and painful implementation.
- Managers want to protect productivity.
There may be other stakeholders as well.
Get everyone in the meetings as early as possible. Inviting all voices to the table can set you apart from the competition as a knowledgeable provider who cares about the entire organization.
Also bring in third-party partners from the start to speak with the client to boost buy-in. Including third-party voices helps protect your sale and keeps it moving forward, because your partner can answer questions and objections that you may not have the expertise to address — especially if your partner specializes in an industry you don’t know well.
Change can be difficult for organizations, especially when it comes to a critical and frequent function like payroll. Any time you make changes that affect employees’ pay, you’re poking a bear — whether it’s unions or employees. Employers naturally want to avoid upsetting the payroll system at nearly any cost.
Payroll managers may have their own reasons for resisting change, as well. They have a vested interest in keeping their manual system. With automation, they can’t see the numbers as they’re run — they have to trust on blind faith that the calculations are accurate. On top of that, manual processes ensure job security — automation could make a payroll personnel’s role obsolete.
Some customers have had difficult HCM implementations in the past, and they don’t want to deal with another long and frustrating implementation. They would rather suffer with a toothache than deal with the root canal.
You can overcome this sales barrier by taking time to do your research beforehand. While you need to be speedy and efficient in closing deals, a little bit of research on the front end can help you close more sales in less time overall. Getting a snapshot of the company’s history and situation can prepare you to address the change-resistant objections you’re most likely to face.
Many companies deal with a cobbled system of disparate software platforms that collect different types of valuable information — such as ERPs, manufacturing production systems, time-and-attendance, and payroll. Because these systems don’t play well together, companies have developed complex workaround solutions to manually pull the data they need into payroll.
They aren’t interested in talking with a payroll sales representative, because implementing a new payroll system would threaten to undermine their current data collection process and disrupt their delicate workaround.
But when you have IDI as a partner, you can offer an automated integration solution that enables all of these disparate systems to share data across platforms — without awkward manual workarounds. Together with IDI, your payroll solution can tear down data silos and send the right data to the right systems, automatically.
Fatigue from Continuous Change
One challenge that sales reps in every industry are facing this year is the fatigue from continuous change. All of the many pandemic-related and socio-political changes in the last year have companies burned out and unwilling to take on any more disruptions.
Changes unrelated to the pandemic can create fatigue, as well. Changing labor laws keep businesses on their toes to stay compliant. Taking on more government contracts means more Certified Payroll Reports to complete.
You can overcome the barrier of change fatigue by walking them through the implementation plan and show them how you can minimize the disruption on their business. Assure customers that they’ll receive the support they need for years to come.
Win More Sales with IDI
IDI is your most trusted payroll partner. We can help you tackle each of these sales barriers so you can see your sales numbers grow, and win larger contracts.
We specialize in a range of industries, from construction and manufacturing to non-profits and professional services. No matter what vertical your prospects are in, we can provide depth of expertise to bring you the sales results you're looking for.
Visit the IDI Resource Center for industry-specific help guides, sales enablement tools, and our Partner Portal resources.