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As sales people and leaders, we have to constantly keep up with the latest sales trends. But when see how much the industry is changing, it’s like tigers and lions and bears – oh my! It’s way too easy to get overwhelmed or go overboard. And I’m not entirely sure which one is worse.
The truth is, not all trends should be treated the same. You need to think about your buyer, and how they buy, to effectively decide which sales trends to implement now, which to discard completely, and which to put on your to-do list. Here are a few tips to keep you focused.
Being an old timer in sales and sales management, I have had to always keep up with trends in order to be relevant to my buyers. Big data, AI, machine learning, video, social selling, account-based anything, and virtual reality are all the rage. But how do you know what to incorporate, what to disregard or backburner, and/or what to put off for a while and for how long?
Implementing too much change at once is not only typically difficult but can be risky and costly as well. It’s best to simply augment what you’re currently doing with some of these new sales trends IF, and only if, it will actually help your sales process and/or your buyers’ buying process.
As a sales manager, you will need to work with marketing to have these types of discussions with your market. (Notice I did NOT say your customers and prospects.) It’s important to take a look at those who have never bought anything from you before to understand how, when, where and why they buy what they buy. Then, incorporate only the new things that are meaningful to both your sales team and your buyers.
Typically, I am a big fan of keeping it simple. Simplification and a well thought out plan can help you to implement change that is valuable to both you and your buyers. Implementing all the new buzzword sales trends, especially all at once, will exhaust you and will not likely give you the outcomes you’re looking for.
For example, in the B2B world, most people connect with others in their sphere on LinkedIn. But how often do they use other social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Maybe a lot, maybe not at all. But wouldn’t you like to know? The more you know your buyer, the better you can ascertain what changes you should incorporate into your sales based on the latest trends.
Another example is the use of video in the sales process. Some businesses are getting excellent returns while others believe their buyers will find it too kitschy. How will your buyers react to video? Better find out before your competitors do.
Do your research to best understand and evaluate anything new by digging deeper into your buyer’s world and keeping changes simple. Look at the latest trends from your buyer’s perspective and know that only so much change can be implemented to alter the DNA of a sales organization. Then, and only then, can you be truly confident in your decision to jump into this brave new world.
What new sales trends have you adopted, or are in the process of implementing? Share your stories!