Joeri Perneel, Managing Director of KreaSalesCPM and Founder of MySalesRep.be analyses the key trends impacting sales in the next five years, in our latest CPM Expert Speak.
Sales is the business of KreaSalesCPM. Therefore we always look at the trends that will influence our profession in the next years. I read an interesting blog by John Spence, one of the top 100 thought leaders in the US in which he looks at some trends that we are taking already into account at KreaSalesCPM. But it does no harm to recap these trends briefly.
Competence is critical
As products become homogeneous, understanding your products and services allows you to present their benefits accurately and persuasively. Customers respond to enthusiastic sales staff who are passionate about their products and are eager to share the benefits with them. Be a subject matter expert on your products, industry, competitors and your consumer's business goes a long way to value add to your clients.
Knowledge gap is reduced, therefore it is imperative for a salesperson to be committed to constant learning on negotiation skills, product expertise, business acumen, industry know-how and all of the key factors that is of relevance to their clients. This mitigates any opportunity cost that may arise when the client is more knowledgeable.
Keep up with technology
The exponential rate at which technology is developing, mutating, and adapting is so fast that you can't help but be swept away in a tidal wave of technological change. Keeping abreast with technologies that change your business, but also how technologies change the way your customers do business will impact your performance as a salesperson.
Several top thought leaders in innovation have outlined the following major areas where there will be massive changes in the next 5 to 10 years such as: computer deep learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of things, augmented reality, virtual reality, synthetic medicine, and genetic decoding and re-coding.
Social media is the future of referrals
Over the next few years, social media will continue to grow as a major driver of referrals. There are no better marketing agents than a satisfied customer so build upon that relationship - they will share that experience with their family, friends - and through social media, word-of-mouth can truly be attained.
On the other hand, an unsatisfied customer can have a negative impact on your sales success because good news travels fast, bad news are viral instantaneously.
You can’t sell just your product
For the salesperson of the future, it will take more than just to sell a product and service, but the person must be a product champion with a full array of solutions that can solve a broad set of problems, even if it means partnering with the competition who may have their own unique expertise.
To become a valuable member of the team, you need to be a product champion, a salesperson your customers can rely on for the questions they may have and provide them with the solutions they seek.
Some things will never change
Honesty, integrity, responsiveness, trust, exceptional communication skills and always acting in the best interests of the customer, these attributes don't change, not even in time. These form the core elements of a true sales professional.
A lot of people say that in order to be successful, one must "think outside the box", but I'd say master what's inside the box, only then can you go changing what needs to be changed.
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