It is almost time to say goodbye to 2014, and to welcome in 2015, and there is already speculation about what lies ahead for sales in the New Year. We decided to round up some of the main trends that have been predicted for 2015, and to outline what they could mean for your sales team.
Marketing and sales departments need to be integrated with one another. They are no longer separate entities that work independently. Marketing should plan their strategies to help the sales team accomplish their goals and vice versa. Each department decides on their plan of action with the other department in mind. This way there is synergy between the two and, of course, it could lead to better sales and a more focused marketing strategy.
The mobile sales force cannot be ignored. An increasing number of potential and existing clients are going mobile, using a sophisticated smartphone or a tablet. If your sales team is not in some way mobile, you are missing out on a large audience. Becoming more mobile will give you a competitive edge in a technology-focused world, keep you at the forefront of new trends, and give you the ability to work around customer needs. Having a mobile selling tool like Onsight is invaluable to increasing sales.
The social realm is one of the most important tools a salesperson should utilize in 2015. It has been important for quite a while now, but many sales teams have yet to get to a point where the benefits of social media are used properly. Selling on social media provides a much larger and diverse audience than with more traditional sales methods. However, traditional sales methods should not be thrown out of the window but integrated with the social realm to increase reach and lead-generation capabilities.
The focus of communications should be mainly on the buyer and not on the seller. Fulfilling buyer needs is more important than putting out information about your company. Your sales messages need to let the buyer know that what you are selling is beneficial to them, and that buying what you have to offer will improve their lives. Intimate customer engagement needs to be created, as the customer is at the forefront of the sales process.
You need a well-functioning customer relationship management (CRM) system. If you don’t yet have one, 2015 is the year you should focus on it. CRM has many benefits, especially for sales reps. Not only does CRM track demographic information about prospects, it also tracks consumer behaviours. You can see which web pages prospects visit, the stage they are presently at in the buying cycle, and the content they are interested in. Prospect tracking allows sales reps to tailor their sales pitches and calls to prospective clients’ unique needs.
CRM also enables lead nurturing, where relevant content is ‘drip-fed’ to leads at appropriate times. All communication from a CRM system comes across as personalized, one-on-one follow-ups. A system like this helps to put all lead and prospect information in one place. It’s even better when synched with a marketing automation platform (which links with the trend of integrating sales and marketing). Alongside this, the real-time tracking that CRM provides makes it easy to complete an action at the exact time that it is needed. This improves productivity and lessens the risk of losing valuable prospects.
While it is true that sometimes predictions and sales trends don’t matter in the long run, and you simply have to do what works for your company – it can be beneficial to keep an eye on what the experts are predicting and then using what you believe can add value to your processes.