Sales is a constantly evolving field due to continual shifts in the world around it. As it is constantly changing, it’s important to realize key trends that may be shaping it in the near future. Here are the top seven to think about for the upcoming year as we look forward into 2017.
1. Leverage big and little data
Sales has more access to accurate and meaningful data than ever before. With this heightened availability, sales professionals should expect to see even more emphasis placed on analytics and data interpretation in the future, according to Salesforce.
2. The adoption of social selling
While social selling might merely be a buzzword to some at the moment, this strategy is actually incredibly important for salespeople to learn more about the people they are selling to. With this model, you can target companies and even know more about the pain points these individuals and their companies are experiencing.
3. More connection between sales and marketing
This disconnect between sales and marketing will likely lessen in the next few months and years as people began to see the benefits gained from working on the same page. Whether it’s called sales enablement or just doing business, these two departments will interact and engage more.
4. Consumers will want a voice
People want to know who they are buying from nowadays. As a result, consumers want human interactions with the companies where they shop. While automation is beneficial, companies shouldn’t replace meaningful human interaction with it.
5. Content is king
Thought leadership content is a huge trend in generating leads and making sales today. For cold prospects, it can warm them up. For people in the funnel, it can provide more ideas and information. Consumers want to know more about what they are buying from perceived experts, and successful content marketing strategies helps sales teams achieve this goal. This content comes from a variety of places, but one of the best converting: webinars.
6. Cold calls will become more irrelevant
With thousands of new solutions and selling strategies available, cold calling is likely to fade in the near future. Consumers rarely are persuaded by cold calls and prefer being wooed over social media or through more personal means.
7. Discounts and loyalty programs will draw in more sales
Inc. reports that an annual survey from the consulting firm BIA/Kelsey of 500 small to medium-sized businesses found that 26 percent of their sales would come from discounts. The average consumer is far likelier to purchase goods or services if they are offered an incentive or discount.