20th Apr, 2018
Denave, Team, Designation
There has been a lot of buzz around how and what the future of sales might look like in the years to come. This is because sales has evolved from what it was perceived as – a world of weekly dashboards, monthly targets and annual goals to a domain that analyses consumer behavior and align the sales strategy accordingly.
A domain wherein everything traditional is set in a motion to get redefined with technology leverage – that’s the ‘present’ for the world of Retail. Now talking about the future, even the ardent believers of traditional models have now started to flex their prior opinions and doing a tête-à-tête with the technological nuances.
While some still would have ignored the tidal wave of change, there are quite many who have got themselves moving and have started preparing themselves for the future that is about to change substantially.
While the focus had already become the buyer instead of merely the product or service, the survival concern would rest on the responsiveness and agility of the sales strategy. In this ever-evolving dynamic sales environment, let’s look at a couple of techniques which can be foreseen as the savior strategies of the future:
Data – The single-most critical element becoming necessary for decision-making
While nothing can beat the gut feel of an experienced seller, it is the gut based on data which will rule the roost. Sounds contradictory? But that’s what the picture is being gradually carved.
To get a clear and complete picture of what your customers and prospects are looking for, you will leverage the humungous amount of sales data which today either go unused or gets utilized only half-way.
To make the most of the data, the precursor for you would be to have strong data analytics capability and a workforce trained in the art of focusing only at the right element at the right time, instead of going all-out in a hap-hazard manner.
Marketing Automation – Not a Buzzword Anymore
CRM has been attributed with significant improvements in augmenting the efficiency of sales forces. The way intelligence is being incorporated into CRM solutions, it is expected to become a one-stop platform for everything and anything a sales professional will ever need to close a deal.
With a robust CRM and sales force automation (SFA) tools in place, you will be able to provide your sales force with information necessary to generate more leads, close more deals leading to higher productivity gains. And the ‘more’ here can be easily prefixed with the word ’significantly’, to understand the magnitude we are talking about.
Cross-functional Relationships – Time to Nurture
Building relationships across different units and paying attention to customer insights from other viewpoints will provide your sales representatives with a competitive edge. As it is, the era of becoming a lone winner is bygone, it is all about cooperation, co-innovation, sustenance and winning!
By considering all the ways a prospect could network with your company, you would see yourself bringing more business to your prospect in order to drive them to bring you more business.
Also, one’s competitor might not be an anti-party all the time. It all boils down to packaging and the more the number of benefits in the basket, more will be the chances of it getting picked up fast.
Brooding Beyond Machines – Critical Human Element
While data and technology have already empowered customers to make a more informed purchase decision, they have also complicated things to a large extent. And though the market bent is still towards soaking in as much technology integration, as possible, the complexity will also have to be dealt with sooner than later.
The focus, at the moment, might be skewed towards AI, ML and technology as a whole, the human element will emerge as the most sought-after asset after-all. The undefined human skill which no machine can possess, of just being a live person, cannot be replicated by a machine and that will help in de-complexing the hyperloop then.
This human strength leverage will be the ticket to cut through all the noise while achieving business efficiency and productivity.
Sales organizations have been dealing with the perennial dilemma of choosing between two options. One being more strategic, experimental, creating and capturing more value for their clients while taking a few risks in the stride and the other as remaining stuck into being transactional while creating and capturing less value but ensuring a safe return.
The choice is yours, to be on either of the side….. as the middle path is certainly going to be frayed!