It’s a new year, and with it, you’re sure to see a lot of changes in sales.
Yes, sales is always evolving. (Though core sales principles stay the same.)
So what changes should you look out for in 2017? How can you stay on the leading edge? That’s what we’ll talk about in today’s post.
Here are 3 sales predictions for 2017…
1. Deals Will Be Closed on Different Mediums
Closing deals will no longer be reserved for phone calls and in-person meetings.
As generation X gets older, other mediums are becoming more popular in the business world.
Digital Marketer, a leading sales and marketing company run by Ryan Deiss, is already taking advantage of this development. Their customer success team is regularly answers questions via text and SMS, and giving people the opportunity to make a purchase right there on their phones (without ever talking on the phone). What’s more, they’re using Facebook Messenger to maintain conversations and close new deals.
Millennials communicate very differently than prior generations. Considering they’ll soon make up a majority of our work force, there’s no doubt that new technology will shape the way we sell.
Several new sales mediums are already helping shorten the sales cycle, and may be able to do the same for you in 2017.
2. Sales Training and Coaching will Get the Respect It Deserves
We talk a lot about how to coach your sales agents on our blog. And for good reason. It’s crucial to the individual’s and sales team’s success as a whole.
And in 2017, we predict that it will become even more important, and even be recognized as a revenue driver. With the right coaching and training, you can maximize the value of each and every lead, shorten the sales cycle and empower reps to close deals faster.
Certain tools (like those described in #3) are making it easier for managers to pinpoint shortcomings, and quickly react with targeted training and feedback to improve performance.
This will heighten the role of coaching in 2017 and beyond.
3. AI and Tech Will Improve the Sales Process
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly gaining popularity. From our thermostats to our watches, our tech seems to be getting smarter and smarter. And it’s already starting to work its magic in the sales industry.
Here’s what Sean Alpert, the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce, had to say about it:
“Intelligence and automation are the future of sales, enabling teams to pursue the best leads, discover insights from data, recommend actions that help close deals, build meaningful relationships with customers and be even more productive.”
If you haven’t started infusing AI into your sales processes, now is the time to start. Companies like Conversica offer automated sales assistants that identify sales opportunities and alert your sales agents. X.ai is an automated assistant that schedules meetings for you. LeadCrunch generates leads based on your existing customer profiles.
AI and automation tools can help eliminate time-sapping, frustrating tasks, leaving them more time to interact with qualified prospects.
These are just a few of the AI services out there, and many of them are free to get started. Do your research and see how you can use AI to accelerate and fine-tune your sales processes in 2017.
There are a variety of trends shaping and shifting the sales environment 2017. It always pays to be ahead of the curve, so be wary of settling in to your comfort zone. Pay heed to these predictions, stay on the leading edge, and keep your sales team dynamic and strong.
Do you have any other 2017 sales predictions? Let us know in the comments below!