The Future of Sales: What The Future Market Wants Next
By Joshua Smith
Whenever it comes to sales, the gap between what consumers and sellers desire is growing. While consumers are on their own path, which isn’t necessarily easy or even forward-moving, sellers are far too frequently attempting to drive consumers through a funnel.
This has resulted in a “complexity crisis,” in which sales management and leadership stick to traditional levers like recruiting more salespeople, paying more advertising dollars, or reducing expenses, rather than keeping up with consumers and technology.
Salesforce’s Global Growth Evangelist, Tiffani Bova recently talked with us about the traps that salespeople fall into and the sales trends and adjustments that sales teams will need to embrace to prepare for the new future of sales properly. Keep reading for a rundown of the 10 factors you’ll need to recognize if you want to succeed in the new future of sales.
#1 Buying patterns have shifted dramatically
The epidemic has already had a significant impact on how people purchase products and services. But don’t get your hopes up that behaviours will suddenly return to pre-2020 levels in the near future. Many consumers will continue to follow their new habits in the future. Therefore merchants must keep up.
#2 The sales medium is evolving
Negotiation used to be primarily an in-person process, but buyers now utilize various channels, including email, voice message, videos, and more. Understanding how to negotiate successfully on these platforms will be critical
#3 Growth centres are becoming more common
A “sales transformation” is often made of a series of small changes in the market. To future-proof the company, managers will need to delve deeper into optimizing, adapting, and innovating.
#4 The buying process and the purchasing experience will become more complex
Normally, these two procedures only come together at the moment of sale. However, since the purchasing process isn’t always straightforward, salespeople will need to figure out how to meet customers where they are.
#5 The new “power couple” is humans with artificial intelligence (AI)
Because technology is rapidly changing, it makes sense that the top-performing salespeople would embrace it rather than run away from it. 66% of salespeople’s time is already spent not selling; using AI and technology to simplify procedures and offer representatives more time is a win-win solution.
#6 Growth enablement is being expanded
The phrase “growth enablement” will not just apply to quota-carrying sellers. To include everything that impacts the pipeline, covering sales, marketing, and customer support, a more appropriate phrase would be “growth enablement.” Everyone will be pushing towards mutual success by focusing on common customer-centric objectives.
#7 Sales teams will disintegrate
The typical organizational structure consists of many groups. However, this does not result in positive customer experiences since the client is transferred from team to team, each with its own procedures and objectives. Instead, you should tear down silos so that team members may move more easily and seamlessly.
#8 Not customer service, but customer success
Teams must progress beyond normal customer service hours when anybody seeking assistance outside of those hours will be turned away. Allow employees to make customer-centric (rather than metric-driven) choices to assist customers in succeeding.
#9 A greater emphasis on the return on experience investments (ROEI)
Building on the previous trend, customer service must transition from a cost centre to a revenue generator. Shifting away from productivity measures in favour of data like NPS, attrition, and cross-sell possibilities will lead to greater revenue growth.
#10 The rise of the socially responsible seller
Salespeople are critical in adopting, promoting, and expressing their brand’s values. Both sellers and businesses must lead with empathy, communicate with honesty and openness to their consumers, and listen to what they truly need.
How Are These Relevant to Our World Today?
During the COVID-19 Crisis, certain businesses, such as teleworking software and online technical assistance, are flourishing, while most of the globe is suffering significant interruptions to regular business traffic. Many businesses are experiencing a sales slump due to social distance parameters and concern about the future, with consumers just buying the basics needed to function today. There may not be a buyer available unless you are selling in one of these booming sectors or your company is pizza delivery.
Executives in charge of the company’s future worth must plan ahead and consider where new business will come from after being released from quarantine. Here are three things that sales executives may need to concentrate in future development:
- Until your consumers go back to normal, prioritize connections above revenue.
- Develop sales management techniques that prevent you from wasting time, money, and energy on things that aren’t in your sweet spot.
- Drive for results, but don’t lose sight of the process.
This crisis offers a chance to reflect on what is functioning well in your business and where changes may be made to help it grow stronger and better. This effort starts at the executive level, when you examine your strategy and how your sales team can carry it out in every sales call.
Today is the moment to concentrate your sales organization on providing an engaging sales experience and generating value for consumers. When our economy picks up again, you’ll be ready to win new business straight away.
It’s time for salespeople to focus on building stronger connections by searching for ways to provide value for customers. This may involve exchanging consumer insights, knowledge, experience, and lessons gained.
Are there any possibilities or silver linings you can point out to prospective clients? Could you suggest an alternative method or solution to an issue that they haven’t thought of?
Customers appreciate this kind of experience, and it elevates salespeople to the status of “trusted adviser” when transactions are ready to be made. Also, if you don’t have a “freemium” product, start developing one right now.
Or, at the very least, figure out what your sales staff can offer for free that your consumers will appreciate and remember when it’s time to purchase again.
About Tiffani Bova
Tiffani is the Global Customer Growth as well as Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce.com and a self-described sales futurist. She focuses on the confluence of innovation, technologies, and people to assist businesses in expanding and better serving their consumers. She was a VP, Professional Analyst, and Senior Researcher at Gartner before joining Salesforce and was recognized as a Top 50 Marketing and Sales Influencer by Top Sales World Magazine