2016 has been here for a while already. Similarly to fashion fans, who have been studying the new trends for the upcoming year already at the end of 2015, many sales reps and business people are eager to get the answer on what are the top sales trends for the year that’s just started.
However, there is a difference here. You can choose to totally ignore all fashion trends, and it can sometimes serve the good purpose by helping you stand out of the crowd and express your personality. If you do the same for your business and go on as you are irrespective of all the tendencies on the market, you’re likely to be beaten by the severe competition and lost in the sea of other businesses alike.
Well, you’ve got the idea - sales trends is not a whim, it is a necessity for your company to keep growing. So, if you haven’t found out what are the freshest tendencies and have no idea in which direction to move on, take advantage from the guide we’ve put together.
More personalized customer experience
Instead of blindly offering all prospects the same value, businesses tend to segment their buyers according to their preferences, past actions, search queries, behavior on the website etc. Assisted by the innovative software that makes such analysis possible, it will be easier to lead a prospect down the funnel providing relevant information and incentives to complete the purchase or close the deal.
Social sales growth goes on
Social media is confidently taking one of the key places in the shopping quest for many avid shoppers. Merchants need to follow the tendency and provide their prospects with the possibility to purchase while using their favorite social networks, or provide the shopping experience of the social type. There is already a number of marketplaces and solutions that provide this possibility, and their versatility will surely increase further on.
Online sales people are no longer expected to sit waiting for the customer to knock on their chat window asking for help. Thanks to multiple new apps offering pop up chat or form, they are now becoming somewhat similar to sales assistants in brick-and-mortar stores, who offer their help before they are called for. It’s important to make sure the pop ups aren’t too frequent and don’t annoy customers.
Software to automate sales
Today, more and more software and apps appear in accordance with the growing demand from businesses to streamline and automate the routine processes. This includes customizing CRM systems to maximally correspond to the business needs, using integration software to bring together different sales channels, comprehensive analytics and email marketing tools to instantly detect customers that might need extra spur and trigger the relevant message/action etc.
Selling - not only for sales
Keeping the strict division like “everyone has to do their own job” doesn’t work in sales anymore. Whether a web designer, an app developer, a marketer or a support tech - everyone should feel the responsibility for effective selling and do his/her job with this idea in mind. Perfect customer experience and service should be everyone’s priority, and concern not only the people in sales dep.
Marketing and selling bound together
Since customers are more oriented at self-education using the content (videos, presentations, webinars etc) marketers present to them, it is important that sales and marketing departments need to work side-by-side to detect the prospects needs and preferences and provide the corresponding information and experience. Marketers should be more aware of the importance of their contribution not only into customer acquisition, but also in nurturing their every step towards the closed deal.
Customer retention - a priority
In their trying to cut down the expenses and leverage the revenue more and more businesses become aware of the fact that gaining a new customer results in less profits than keeping the existing one happy. So, businesses are going to direct even more efforts to retaining and engaging the loyal customer, treating each new purchase/conversion not as the final stage of the funnel, but as the first step of the long-lasting relationship.
Sales rep - a guide among the data
In the last century, salespeople were the ones providing the most information about the product. Nowadays, things have changed. Customers are perfectly capable of finding the necessary data. Therefore, the role of the sales representative shifts towards “guiding” the prospect to help them find their way through the loads of info. They need to be able to find out the customer’s needs and expectations and point out the exact value for this very person rather than simply pour out all the details about the item they’re selling.
To drive more sales, analytics is now being used more extensively than ever. It has become the tool that allows not only measuring the impact of the efforts taken. Advanced analytics software and techniques allow getting a deep insight into each activity, integrate all sales channels to detect the most efficient ones and make objective data-based predictions for the future.
Extensive use of mobile
Businesses can no longer ignore the huge percentage of using mobile devices in the industry by their prospects. Therefore, it is now a must to provide a decent mobile experience for all types of prospects. It goes without saying that you definitely need to invest into a mobile-ready website or responsive design. It is also a great idea to have a mobile app created to get closer to consumers and use it as another sales channel.
2016 looks a busy and promising year, that is shifting attention to data driven approaches and deeper understanding of prospects demands. By being able to follow the trends, you get a great chance to evolve and lead your business to flourishing and prosperity.
What tendency do you consider the most challenging? What’s your view on the trends above? Do you think we missed something important? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts on the topic, we’ll be happy to hear from you!