The 5 Sales Trends That Will Define 2018

Bringing People and Tech Together

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The 2010s have seen a meteoric rise in the power of technology and analytics for your sales department, creating a clearer picture of just what's going on inside your prospect's mind, company, and heart. From streamlining workflows to highlighting the human touch that is your most unique sales value, here's a look at the top five trends that will drive — and define — sales in 2018.

Consolidating Technology

The savviest companies are working smarter, not harder, when it comes to bringing new tech into their sales department. When you adopt a consolidated, multi-functional platform that brings all your analytics and sales tools together in one place, it provides two clear benefits: First, when managers have all their data in one place, they can enjoy visibility into every stage of the sales process. Second, when reps have to manage fewer tools, fewer logins, and work in fewer places, that frees them up to focus on the most critical part of any sales transaction: Your customers.

The Booming Power of Data and Analytics

Perhaps the biggest gift of this decade is detailed analytics. The most competitive companies will be more proactive than ever about mining, then leveraging, their data for every aspect of their performance. They're the ones who'll know which emails, videos, and call scripts are most effective, how well your sales reps respond to specific cues from prospects, the latest search trends as they develop, and what kind of content the different buyer types in any given account will find valuable.

The information is out there — so in 2018, the race is on to see who can be the most proactive about integrating that data into every step of the sales strategy, from the big picture to day-to-day practices.

Account-Based Everything

In 2018, your sales prospect isn't necessarily a single lead— it's the entire company account. The smartest sales teams will build an account profile for the entire prospect company, then take a wide and deep approach that drills into every channel of contact, partnering with the marketing and customer success departments to reach every level of the company. Even your analytics should be account-based, giving you clear insight into the company's pain points, goals, and strategy, and how you can make yourself an indispensable part of their journey from beginning to end. (Interested in learning more about account based sales? Check out this blog!)

Personalization Without Sacrificing Scale

There's no disputing the benefits of personalized outreach: According to an analysis from Aberdeen Group, personalized content from sales reps generates 21 percent stronger lead acceptance rates and 36 percent higher conversions. And new technology and insights are making it easy to offer that personal touch without sacrificing quantity. From mass emails at scale, call prompts with appropriate scripts, and decentralized nurture campaigns that fit each buyer persona's needs, it's easier than ever for your reps to meet your customer where they are.

Automate, Automate, Automate

Your live reps will never be replaced by machines — but what machines can do is liberate them from drudge work, freeing them up to pursue the contacts where the human touch matters most. The right tools can automate many parts of the outreach process, synthesizing the many data channels available to you and offering recommendations on everything from which companies will be good customers to which engagement style is most likely to generate a sale. It can even produce a template for the communication and tell you the best time to make the call or send an email.

Technology and Sales Are Evolving Together

Sales technology isn't going to stop evolving any time soon. But the more things change the more they stay the same, especially since one of sales tech's most powerful applications is in helping you leverage the human aspect of the sale and make meaningful contact with the people who make purchasing decisions. In 2018, the most competitive companies will be the ones that stay ahead of that convergence of psychology and technology, proactively developing new ways to leverage data, automation, and clever multimedia into the very human decision to buy.

Wondering if a sales engagement platform should be your next step? Let’s chat!

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5