Trends in Sales
As the sales process continues to evolve, it’s important to meet the client where they are and communicate with them using the proper balance of technology and personalization. Much like rock & roll, it’s one part technical ability and one part mind frame.
I Get By With a Little Help from My (Digital) Friends: Utilization of Artificial Intelligence
In today’s business environment AI has become indispensable in most departments, with sales being no different. Such tools can cut through massive amounts of data and assist with the management of lead generation, next steps, proposal generation and the logging of communications records. AI can be very efficient in predictive modelling and bots are an efficient means of front end communication, sales qualification and information collection. However, all this technology needs some balance to close the deal. A personal approach continues to prove beneficial, with AI best utilized as a means of support.
To Know, Know, Know Me is to Sell, Sell, Sell Me: Account Based Selling
Counterintuitive to more ‘broad-net’ tactics is the hyperpersonal approach. Customizing offerings and personalizing pitches may require additional effort, but can result in customer loyalty helping to stabilize sales volume. Key to this approach is a deeper understanding of the wants and needs of the company in question, as well as the hierarchy, politics and inner workings which influence their decision making process. Fortunately, much of this insight can be gained by taking a closer look at company information readily available online and managed through effective use of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Managing each account individually allows for a greater emphasis to be placed upon marketing efforts deeper into the sales funnel where significant gains can be made.
Call Me (Maybe): Emphasis Upon Generational Understanding
In a recent post we examined ways for effectively managing a sales team featuring members from various generations. As it happens, it’s not just the sellers that vary in age but the buyers as well. Although Gen Z (today’s teenagers and early 20-somethings) are digital natives, they also continue to embrace bricks and mortar shopping. Understanding generational motivators, such as preferred means of communication, requires ongoing effort but provides significant reward.
Puttin’ on the Ritz: the State of Sales Dinners
Long a staple of the sales relationship, is the sales dinner still relevant? With pervasive communications technologies, there are more ways than ever to stay in touch with and inform customers. Despite this, relationships still matter, which means that dinners (or other ‘experiences’ such as sporting events) remain effective. The extent to which these outings are effective, or even expected, varies by industry and even individual. Some consider them a mandatory show of respect while others may find them a taxing drain on time, so a good understanding of the client is helpful. And in an era of increased focus on behavioural standards, it goes without saying that a high degree of professionalism is imperative.
Fame: the Branding of Sales People
New mediums provide new methods of standing out. With much emphasis placed upon expertise in a given field, it makes sense to position the members of your sales team as rock stars. Industry-specific blogs, white papers and speaking engagements (all with ample social media documentation, of course) provide credibility and ‘it-factor’ to salespeople, which can translate into respect and, ultimately, sales.
Video Killed the Email Star: The Usage of Video as a Sales Tool
Video can prove an effective sales tool, provided it delivers the right message to the right person at the right time. Videos serve the triple purpose of conveying information, building credibility and driving traffic to one’s website and social media accounts. But beware, time is of the essence and few people wish to travel down the rabbit hole of long, unfocused infomercials. Videos can be slick and highly produced, or simple and direct, but should always be on message while delivering what the title implies.
Walk This Way: Omni-Channel Marketing
Marketing material and sales processes should be consistent and seamless between platforms. User experience should be intuitive with no barrier to sales. Social media should support more traditional forms of communications and can be integrated into bricks and mortar locations. It’s important to be where the buyer is on all relevant platforms and to communicate via their preferred messaging apps.
As trends in sales continue to evolve, the successful sales team will be the one that never take their eyes off of the ball, paying simultaneous attention to both technological developments and individual client needs.
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