Welcome to a new decade!
During the 2010s, advances in technology have completely changed how people sell. The 2020s promise even greater innovation ahead. More importantly, we believe it will be a time when businesses find it easier than ever to leverage the latest solutions to improve their sales processes. This will be especially true for smaller to mid-sized organizations that often feel overwhelmed or left behind by the sales tech solutions they’ve had available to them.
Here are five of the top trends we see coming in the years ahead.
1. Companies become more selective.
Businesses don’t have unlimited time or money to try out every new sales tool, trend and technology to figure out which ones will actually help them work better or sell more.
Instead of relentless trial and error, organizations must become more strategic about how they add new systems to their sales processes.
Start by figuring out where you have gaps or significant issues. What’s keeping you from selling? What challenges do you face? Then work with an expert to find tech solutions that fill the gaps or solve the problems. If possible, come up with options that integrate with the technology you’re already using and that can serve more than one purpose. It will make it more likely the people on your team will adopt them. As a final step, do a cost-benefit analysis to figure out if an investment in a new technology will actually pay off in improved sales.
Being strategic about how you introduce new solutions will help you avoid making costly mistakes.
2. Relevance is more important than complexity.
Many tech companies pack their offerings with features that only a few businesses actually use. It doesn’t make sense for small organizations to invest in big-ticket solutions that include things they’ll never take advantage of and that adds unnecessary complexity. The old saying “Why water your lawn with a fire hose when a sprinkler will do?” certainly applies.
That’s why cutting-edge tech firms are building more scalable solutions that grow and evolve depending on the needs of a business. For example, Mobile Locker’s sales enablement app does many things, including:
- supporting sales content development and distribution
- enhancing trade show marketing efforts
- distributing and monitoring training
- measuring the success of sales content and more.
Mobile Locker offers all this functionality but doesn’t require businesses to use — or pay for — all of it. A company can leverage features as needed and adopt more of them over time. It’s an example of a modern flexible tech tool that’s proven effective for businesses of all sizes now and as they grow in the future.
3. Every operation needs CRM and SE systems.
Salesforce and other big-name client relationship management (CRM) systems have been developed primarily for use by larger enterprises. The same is true for some well-known sales enablement (SE) software. Trials of these solutions often scare smaller businesses away. They don’t take the time to explore other options. They simply give up and continue doing business as usual.
This is unfortunate because small and mid-sized companies have prospects and customers. They also have collateral distribution, training, data management and other needs that are similar to those of bigger firms. It’s simply not right that they have to conduct business using cobbled-together spreadsheets, software, and technology to get the job done.
Tech companies have recognized this gap and are developing CRM and SE systems to meet the needs of smaller and mid-sized companies. (Mobile Locker is an example of a sales enablement app created from the ground up just for them.) This is a trend that will level the playing field and make these organizations more competitive with larger ones.
4. Communication becomes as important as data.
Sales numbers are good. However, if they’re not clearly communicated to everyone on the sales team and across the business, they’re useless. When that occurs, sales goals are missed, marketing efforts go to waste, leadership finds it impossible to resolve issues and everyone feels frustrated because they don’t know how to use the facts and figures available through their current systems.
That’s why it’s critical for businesses to leverage systems that not only generate a lot of data but also make it easy to integrate it with data from other systems and share it with key stakeholders in a meaningful way. The next decade promises to be the one when data finally gets used by reps and people across organizations to drive sales results.
5. Artificial intelligence is accessible to all businesses.
Artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in selling over the next decade and beyond. Chatbots will be used to communicate with new prospects and qualify them, leaving sales reps more time to close deals.
Engaging, informative and entertaining experiences (like the ones that can easily be developed using Mobile Locker’s app) make it possible to get personal information from prospects that can help qualify them and make sales conversations more valuable.
When it comes to trade shows and other events, body scanning and facial recognition software will help sales reps identify real prospects versus people who are just out to kick the tires. Business card scanning technology will automatically search the internet for information about event attendees that can qualify them on the spot.
For reps and sales leaders that are feeling overwhelmed and a little burned out by all the technology available to them today, the next decade looks promising. It will provide opportunities for smaller and mid-sized sized businesses to more easily find the tech solutions they need to do their jobs better and increase sales.