3 Trends Shaking Up the Sales Landscape & Why It Matters
The sales and marketing landscape continues to change right in front of our very eyes. And with any type of change, you can either ride the wave or try to swim against the current.
“Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.” —Max McKeowni
This quote emphasizes the very important point of understanding what it means to be agile and adaptable in the face of change. You can either cope with the change by simply doing the bare minimum or you can focus your mindset and energy on how to reinvent yourself.
Every year, quarter, and possibly every month you have a new goal or target to hit. But if you aren’t continually staying up-to-date on the latest trends, how can you reach ever-rising goals?
With the same humdrum tools, strategies, and skills you used last year? I think not!
Let’s take a look at 3 trends, why they matter, and how you can start incorporating them into your daily activities and sales approach.
Trend #1: Data is the New Intuition / Data-Driven Lead Prioritization
While your intuition and soft skills are certainly still important, today’s sales teams are becoming more likely to prioritize leads based on data analysis of propensity to buy than on intuition, according to the State of Sales Report from Salesforce.
High-performing sales teams leverage data to understand the nuances of a prospect or client’s relationship with their company.
Reps are looking for insights about estimated revenue, growth opportunities within the account, and decision maker involvement to help prioritize their time and pipeline.
Why does this matter? How can you use it?
Sales professionals who know how to read and translate data into insight are being recognized within their organizations and rewarded by winning more deals.
A simple way to get started would be to work with your marketing team to get data from the emails you’re sending and the content you’re sharing. Then, analyze that data by combining it with information about accounts you’ve won and lost.
Do you notice any patterns?
Maybe you spotted an email or piece of content your winning accounts always look at, or perhaps you realized the decision maker opted out of receiving emails.
Trend #2: Video Prospecting
This was at the top of HubSpot’s list of “The Top Sales Trends of 2018”, and for good reason.
The most challenging aspect of prospecting for new business is standing out in a crowded marketplace where everyone is pulling the same tricks.
Emails. Phone Calls. Voicemails. Social Media. Repeat.
However, there’s an opportunity to be leveraged with video. More and more senior executives are turning to video as an essential information source. Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly.
And these work-related videos can actually help drive senior executives to take action. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
There's an added bonus if you’re working with younger executives because there’s an even bigger opportunity due to the fact they are more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad, according to Forbes Insights.
Why does this matter? How can you use it?
Using video is a trend that will only increase in popularity as more and more sales professionals try to stand out from the competition.
The sight, sound, and motion of video offers an unparalleled opportunity to tell your story in an impactful way while personalizing the value and benefits your solution provides.
You may feel intimidated at first if this is unfamiliar terrain but you can easily get started by trying out some of the excellent (and free!) video and recording platforms out there.
For instance: BIGVU, GoVideo, Soapbox, and Loom are all platforms that allow you to easily record, edit, and share high-quality videos in minutes. These services eliminate any technical barriers and will help you communicate more creatively while adding a friendliness and warmth to your prospecting approach.
Just remember to resist the temptation to sell, talk about yourself or your product, and instead, highlight opportunities where your solution can help the prospect’s business. Focus on getting them to take an action like scheduling a first appointment or downloading more information.
Vidyard (the creators of GoVideo) said once their team began prospecting with video, they’ve seen click-through-rates surge by 5x, and open-to-reply rates jump to 25%.
So, what are you waiting for? Start creating, sharing, and engaging with your prospects today through video!
Trend #3: Increased Need for Ongoing Skills Training and Development
U.S. companies spend over $70 billion annually on training, and an average of $1,459 per salesperson. Yet, the ROI of traditional workshop, curriculum-based training is disappointing. Studies show that participants in these types of programs forget more than 80% of what they were taught within 90 days or less.
Clearly, this type of one-off training isn’t cutting it when it comes to equipping sales teams with relevant knowledge and skills.
To increase retention and effectiveness, training must be ongoing, timely, personalized, and reinforced by a coach.
Just like a professional athlete, actor, musician, or artist your skills and abilities are muscles that need to be constantly exercised.
So, how can you be expected to develop your skills or expand your knowledge if you’re not practicing and learning on an ongoing basis? You can’t.
Training is practice. Training is learning how to change and continually adapt.
Sales is evolving and sellers who refuse to update their sales strategies and approach will fall by the wayside. Salespeople must embrace change and be willing to learn new ways of doing things in order to succeed in the business landscape of tomorrow.
Take professional development into your own hands with online training courses and certifications or talk to your manager about getting a customized training program to suit the needs and address the challenges of your unique selling situation.
In this digital world of ours, staying updated on the latest trends and changes happening in both the sales landscape and your specific industry has never been more important.
When your challenged with bigger sales goals, unconventional competition, and distracted decision makers, you need to rethink your strategies, skills, and tools to help you achieve those goals. Staying up-to-date and being knowledgeable about the latest and greatest happenings in your industry will only benefit your sales approach and performance.
Oh, and one more thing! We can help you get there with our weekly newsletter, Finally Friday. It was made for you with the goal of adding humor to your day and putting insights in your pocket.
About Molly DePasquale
Molly DePasquale is the Manager of Operations and Sales Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.