Sales in 2018: The latest trends
The environment of sales changes dynamically and the speed of change is growing. If you want to maintain the success of your business activities and reach the sales required, you need to perceive the changes and follow the customer requirements and improving technologies.
If you want to reach the sales planned in 2018, consider integrating these sales trends into the business strategy of your company.
Sales trend No 1: The Millennials Generation (iGen) – as buyers and sellers
The Millennials Generation, also called the Internet generation (iGen) – is active as far as work is concerned, and is significantly present all across the work market. At the same time, it possesses a strong purchasing power and needs to be counted on both on the buyer and on the seller side.
On the buyer side, the Millennials Generation brings a brand new set of expectations. For this generation, permanent connectivity is a way of life. In reality, 84% of members of this generation agree that their mobile device is necessary for the work they do.
The Millennials Generation has also great expectations about the interaction in the field of business dealings. They expect the companies to communicate with them on individual basis and in real time. In reality, 84% of members of the Internet generation (iGen) expect, that companies will react in real time and communicate their business activities with them.
Even as sellers, the Millennials Generation changes fixed procedures by new ways if doing things. The Millennials accept new selling methods much better than older generations, as their digital expectations change their functioning. As digital “natives“, the Millennials stress the emerging technologies. For example, 60% of specialists from among Millennials claim that using predictive intelligence for prediction customer needs and prioritising tasks in the area of sales is an absolute priority and is of a very high importance for their total sales – in comparison with only 43% of traditionalists.
Sales trend No. 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) changing sales
AI is not only one of the most interesting tools for sales teams, it is also one of the most progressive technologies, which sales experienced in the last few decades. Imagine you wake up every morning and immediately find out, that a potentional customer is most likely going to conclude a contract. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming real and brings the magic of prioritization to sales teams.
As soon as you know who to contact, AI helps to contact him/her. Artificial intelligence (AI) can coach sales teams by offering guidance, and also suggest steps to be made with the client given. Research shows, that thanks to that, 78% of sales teams increased their focus on predicting customers needs in the last year.
Probably the biggest impact of artifical intelligence (AI) is its influence on the sales productivity. However, that does not mean you do more. It means, that you are able to do more of what is important. AI facilitates that by automatizing manual, time-consuming tasks, which take much time of the busy days of sales representatives (record customers´ e-mails and calls, generate invoices, etc.). Thus they provide the sellers with more time to designate the selling strategies and the act of selling itself.
However, nothing of that is possible without the artificial intelligence AI being a part of the selling process itself. For the sellers to work smarter, the AI must be incorporated into the company CRM.
Sales trend No. 3: Stop the unnecessary company paperwork and focus on customer relations
Regarding the fact that establishing sales to new customers for the near future will not be so easy, repeated sales to current customers will come into focus.
As a result, effective sales strategies, which are currently judged according to items like number of new contacts, number of quotes made etc., will be pushed into the background – and quality of experience, which sellers generate, will become a priority. Instead of businessmen being telephone operators, they will use their skills and knowledge acquired in the course of their career in sales. A brilliant seller is the one with the most experience and information. He/she knows everything about his/her customers, products, company.
The new goal of the businessmen is thus to focus on conversation with your customers. Data collection ceases to be to goal, and, instead of that, it is becoming a priority to be the customers´ advisor, with the focus on building strong personal bonds.
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Sales trend No. 4: Sales growth on social networking sites (social selling) and content marketing
It is becoming vital to pursue business development via social networking sites. According to a recent Maxwell International survey, 73 % of businessmen stated, that marketing on social networking sites helps develop loyal fans for their business. The results of a recent Social Media Examiner statistics show, that as little as six hours a week spent on social networks brings leads – potential business occassions.
Apart from that, the content of the post is becoming a popular of addressing customers. According to statistics, content marketing generates roughly three times the number of potential customers than the traditional one, and costs 62% less. Address customers using the customized content and make sure your audience will provide constructive user reviews, which will help you attract more customers.
Sales trend No. 5: Message sending applications replacing phone calls
The image of a sales representative, who is making a phone call with a potential customer, is getting more and more unlikely, and will most probably not survive the year 2018. Most consumers, in the current digital era, do not even bother to pick up a call from an uknown number.
The attitude “If it is important, they will leave a message” is a usual one, when phone calls are concerned. Yes, calling on the phone is dead and when a strange number appears on the screen, it is someone, who tries to sell something to us. Enthusiastic professional sellers and marketing workers are being quickly replaced by modern digital approaches. Text messages replace phone calls as confirmations of meetings. On-line chat function on websites is preferred to toll-free lines for sales support and technical help.
Anyway, that does not mean that technology fully takes over the human aspect in sales.