Sales is a field that is constantly changing. Whether you are in B2B or B2C the landscape across the board continues to change. Customers are more informed, and businesses also have access to more data. The industry continues to change, and it’s important to be aware of new trends to stay competitive. We’ll discuss the trends every knowledgeable sales professional should know about going into 2017.

Data & Analytics Drive Smart Sales

To begin, we can discuss a trend that is impacting various industries: ‘big data’. Being able to gather data based on customer tendencies and behaviors has huge implications for sales. More than ever, this data is shaping how deals are getting closed. Furthermore, harnessing this data allows for predictive selling to be done.

Charts and graphs related to sales.Visualize how Netflix’s ‘For You’ predictions work. By analyzing the hours of media you’ve watched and rated, it knows what next show or movie you may like. Gathering data may one day make sales operate the same way. While it is only in it’s infancy right now comparatively, predictive analytics could mean the end of cold calling and lead generation.

Fantasy Sports Meets Sales Goals

Talking about the importance of data may lead you to wonder how it is all tracked. Already  many companies are utilizing Customer Relationship Management software systems, which enable companies to conveniently keep track of all of these data points in one place. It optimizes sales tracking, and also allows managers to easily view performance of team members. As a result, gamification has also seen rising popularity in the industry.

Offensive and defensive lines set up against each other on a football field.Some CRM software companies have integrated a ‘gamified’ version of their database, and there are also third party apps for the same purpose. For anyone unfamiliar, gamification transforms the sales process into a fantasy football-esque competition. Lead generation and closing sales generate points, which are tracked. Some companies break up their workers into teams, and reward the winners every month. It’s certainly a unique trend to the industry, however, it has worked in several other situations.

Millennials Drive Mobile Sales

The location where sales are completed is also changing. Millennials now make up a significant portion of the consumer market, which has to be considered. We live in the mobile age, and customers expect ease of use when completing a purchase. This means shopping on mobile devices, as well as through social media.

Many companies fail to seriously consider the potential of social selling. This could leave many companies behind especially as platforms like Instagram optimize for e-commerce. Consumers are now more informed by doing research on potential purchases. This means salespeople need to be open and available to consumers in order to make the sale when the customer is ready. Thus, sales reps are expected by management to be more tech savvy than ever to meet customers no matter where they are.

In order to achieve this, many companies are trying to strengthen the connection between their sales and marketing departments even further. Many consumers have done research and mostly reached a decision before they decide to make a purchase. This means that the efforts of the marketing team tie directly into the efforts of salespeople. They need to be selling the product in a way that is congruent with how the sales team will pitch the product to a wary consumer. Having a strong relationship between these to departments will be beneficial for many companies.

We hope you found some useful information regarding sales trends in this blog post! If you believe we’ve left any important trends, please leave us a comment, and we’ll be sure to reply.