The Future of Sales

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Most aspects of business processes are evolving and sales is no exception. Some of the changes we are seeing in the sales process are aligned perfectly with other areas, e.g., most business processes are being affected by technology.
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Convergence of Sales and Marketing

Modern technology has made available a wealth of data to prospects. That availability has led to a convergence of marketing and sales, as well as the advent of new concepts like “social selling” and “smarketing” and other changes. With all of this information at their fingertips, prospects are now in charge. To be successful, sales representatives need to change the way they interact with prospects. The best sales reps will make their prospects feel like they are receiving support and counsel.

Technology is Transforming the Role

In the coming years, the functionality of sales technology will evolve to reflect the changing role of the salesperson. The big news here is not only the automation of sales’ tasks, but also a much higher degree of personalization to each prospective customer. According to Demand Metric, 61 percent of buyers are more likely to do business with companies that deliver custom content and that percentage will probably increase over time. The opportunity is to use the new technology to make each buyer feel special and appreciated. Moreover, the best salespeople will help prospects identify problems and opportunities they may not have yet recognized.

 “The Future of Sales is in the Data” (Max Altschuler, CEO Sales Hacker, Inc.)

Because it’s cheaper and more actionable than ever before, data will help sales teams to be more efficient in finding and selling leads with information they may exploit to achieve higher levels of success. In the future, customers will be even more digitally driven than they are today. Salespeople will meet customers on that digital playing field wherever and whenever the customer wants.

Social Media for Fun and Profit

In our inter-related and -connected world, 74 percent of adults now use social networking sites regularly. Facebook has 1.44Billion active monthly users. Currently, any successful sales strategy will include regular use of social platforms in ways that are tactical and authentic.

What’s Next?

Sales organizations will either be strategic or transactional. Needless to say, strategic sales organizations will deliver greater benefits to their customers and therefore, be more highly valued. Transactional sales organizations will get bogged down in the details and end up creating and delivering far less value.

 Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist

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About

Joyce Gioia is a Strategic Business Futurist concentrating on workforce and workplace trends. Joyce is President and CEO of The Herman Group, a firm serving a wide range corporate, trade association and governmental clients on an international basis.

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