Who would have imagined the changes in the last year that have turned the business world upside down? The impact on the supply chain, staffing, sales practices, and growth have often been the biggest hurdles for companies to overcome, and these issues have created a new norm.
As the market leader in Outsourced/Fractional Sales Leadership, here are our key learnings and insights on all things related to sales, as well as what is on the horizon for the new year.
- Value-based selling is the new norm.
- It’s no longer sufficient to simply state what your product does. Prospects want to know what problem your product can solve.
- Selling should be focused on providing a solution that is relevant to your prospect’s unique need or problem, rather than a generic offering.
- Companies that have sales teams that know their unique value proposition, along with how their product/services solves or adds value to prospects, will drive more revenue.
- Virtual selling is here to stay. Prepare your team.
- Most prospects no longer need or want in-person sales calls.
- Training for employees on virtual selling is key, including:
- Reading body language.
- How to give a great presentation.
- How to get the prospect engaged (how to prompt them to ask questions, polls, and great visuals).
- Making personal connections in a virtual environment.
- Integration of CRM + Marketing Automation streamlines the customer experience.
- Sales and Marketing are working even closer together, so their tools need to be integrated.
- Personalization is a must.
- Tracking of all prospects’ communications in one place provides the overall picture to determine how and what should be communicated next.
- Selecting, implementing, and updating a CRM and marketing automation is an important investment for companies to make. Those that don’t make the investment will quickly become laggers in their industry.
- Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) in the sales process increases efficiency.
- Sales reps are using AI to determine when they are most likely to make a sale. AI algorithms are selecting prospects who are likely to purchase, so the sales team knows which leads have a higher probability to close.
- AI can provide clear insights to the stages of the sales process where breakdowns are occurring, which will allow companies to quickly adapt.
- AI can boost productivity by doing simple tasks such as note taking and appointment setting, allowing your employees to focus more on the important tasks like nurturing leads.
- Expanded focus on forward leaning (predictive) analytics to find, nurture, and help close prospects is one of the many values of utilizing AI. This will be an important area to watch.
- Hiring quality sales talent is becoming more of a challenge.
- A recent Wall Street Journal article said more sales roles are being created but less people are going into sales. This is a trend that is here to stay.
- Companies need to think differently about recruiting and filling sales roles:
- Ensure compensation plans are built to reward desired outcomes. Properly incenting sales personnel of all of types will increase retention and desired revenue.
- Referral fees from other employees who recommend applicants is a common practice and attracts candidates that ordinarily wouldn’t have applied.
- Hiring and coaching will become more important for those considering sales roles. Companies that have good onboarding, training, and sales processes in place will be able to adapt, filling sales roles more effectively.
- Outsourcing sales is becoming more of the norm.
- From internal sales reps to fractional sales leaders, more companies will embrace this new way of managing a sales team.
- Outsourcing sales and sales leadership allows companies to “acquire” greater knowledge at a fraction of the cost.
- Other benefits include minimizing additional costs like healthcare, training, office space, etc., which all contributes to the bottom line.
Next year will be a year of doing more with less or finding creative ways to do more in different ways. The companies that are willing to adjust and embrace trends that improve their business will flourish during these ever-changing times.
Find an advisor near you if you’d like help on capitalizing on these trends in 2022!