These days, the skills needed to win new business have changed: Sales teams must be strategic, not just tactical. They require the ability to drive revenue and establish trust through their network and expertise, not just their ability to close a deal quickly. Below, we've unpacked five sales trends you can expect to see as we enter 2022 — learn what your team needs to know about each one.
1. Embrace hybrid selling
While the vast majority of 2020 and 2021 sales teams focused on moving their offline efforts online in the short term, those who took the plunge to invest in remote working reaped the rewards.
New customers are essential to the survival of any organisation. Having an elaborate sales funnel and a sizable database of leads is all well and good, but in the end, it takes trust in your brand to get people to purchase. Small business owners have invested their time, energy, and hard-earned money into their brand; now, it's time to protect it with a professional-level domain name.
The right messaging through marketing funnels and help needed to understand how to attract customers. Remember, you're the one that comes in contact with your customer, so you need the right training, tools, and technologies in place to be able to close them. Then you need to analyse the data that your efforts create before you can offer something of value to them.
The hybrid strategy isn't only about the best way to reach your customers. It also means mixing both personal and digital interactions in a customer journey. In other words, before, during, and after the sale.
Sales enablement software like CRM allows sales representatives to act more personally and less robotic when engaging customers. It assists them in understanding the customer's needs and educating them on resources that can help them fulfil their business requirements. It's based on data gathered by your marketing department, so it builds a natural human interaction around that data, enabling it to assist the customer in making a decision and creating intent.
2. Start personalising for the understanding customer
With the right personas, content, and digital media strategies in place, you can remove friction from the buying journey and engage your customers at every stage of the game. It all starts with identifying who they are.
The statistics don't lie; personalised outreach works. First came personalization in email messaging, then Direct Mail followed, and now many marketers are going beyond just one-to-one communication by taking engagement a step further and going one-to-many.
Customers are different and should be treated like this. When you know what they want and can meet those requirements better than the competition, that's when you earn their loyalty. But first, they need to give you a chance - it doesn't hurt to get creative and stand out from the crowd.
3. Social and conversational selling
Ensuring your company has a solid social media presence is an important part of customer support and communication. You want to be available to your customers on their schedule and not just during business hours. Under the right circumstances, even 24/7 customer support can be possible with appropriate staffing. Some companies might wonder why they need to add Facebook or Instagram to their business's social media presence. After all, you may have enough going on with your Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts, along with your regular website.
Allow your customers to conduct their business with you casually and efficiently. Texts, chatbots, and social media let them keep in touch with you any time of the day from anywhere. This keeps your brand top of mind and keeps customers coming back for more. Remember, your goals are to increase sales, increase brand awareness, and increase customer loyalty.
4. Work on the contentment of the sales team
Companies of all sizes made drastic changes to stay open and continue providing products or services to their clients during the crisis. However, we made a strategic effort to maintain our sales department, ensuring that our business could still operate and continue providing for the present and future customers.
Even during the Great Pandemic, sales representatives remained as effective as ever. According to a recent survey by Viacom International Media Networks, most sales representatives felt more successful than before and enjoyed the sense of challenge that the pandemic caused. But now, 61 percent of sales reps report feeling underappreciated in today's business world.
It's not hard to see why so many companies have been unable to survive the last few years. Especially those in heavily competitive markets with a history of pressure from their higher-ups to take clients away from other businesses. Sales are important, and in many cases, vital for survival. That's why it's no surprise how often many companies rely on sales representatives to keep them afloat (or at least afloat until they can make a move that will help them improve their capacity).
No one's going to argue that companies shouldn't have revenue goals, or at the very least, revenue quotas. But the downside of setting revenue goals and quotas is that it often erases the importance of all the other ways a company can earn money outside of its largest transactions. By rewarding smaller sales successes and putting in place a mindset that encourages employees to look for opportunities to bring in additional revenue, you'll create more incentive for them to put in extra effort and improve your bottom line.
5. Embracing digital sales and Technology
Customers are embracing new digital platforms for their sales interactions. They want to interact with you digitally, but there are limitations in how far you can go with remote and digital interactions. In the future, though, it may not be so important whether customers are interacting with you physically or remotely.
Please work with your sales team to personalise their email and chat communication and train them on CRM software. Smoothing your digital workflow with a full tech stack smoothes your sales pipeline. Having a smooth process means you'll engage more customers through the correct communications channel at the right time while they're ready to buy.