2018 Sales Predictions & Trends
Part of the success that follows any salesperson is their ability to pivot from strategies that no longer resonate with your prospects to ways prospects prefer to buy.
Here are a few trends I can see impacting how you sell in the new year. (These are also the things you should be paying attention to as the world changes.) Consider the impacts to social media websites and applications, the retail apocalypse of Amazon vs. the world, and the introduction of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to the sales and service models. Bottom line, there are a lot of new consumer behaviors that will be trained to your prospects over the next 12 months.
The biggest impact to your sales and marketing effort will be the social media landscape. Twitter and Facebook are both changing the rules on how to engage with potential customers. Facebook no longer allows you to drive your shares and engagements through survey-like techniques. (Share if you’re a dog fan, like if you’re a cat fan, comment if you prefer something else). For most of you, this was not a strategy you used, but it was a strategy you responded to. As this technique is penalizing businesses in the new year, what is the technique replacing this marketing vacuum? It is now more important than ever to spend your year focusing every minute of downtime into getting your list correct. No matter what “business” or “industry” you are in, your full time job in 2018 is list building. When people's attention is taken away from places like Facebook, you need to be able to tell them where you are going and why. This requires an accurate and robust list.
The retail apocalypse is going to push companies to start competing heavier in the online retail and ecommerce space. Why this impacts you as a salesperson or business owner is the replacement of salespeople with marketing dollars and click funnels. A great online purchase experience takes away the need for a great sales experience with a salesperson. With the cost of paying commissions and staffing your sales team removed from the pricing equation, you can charge a little less and make up revenue in volume. Amazon buying Whole Foods and shaking up the retail market means you will need to learn to compete even more against the technology objection. “Why do I need you when I can do this all online?” Maybe this will cause companies to purge low performers in lieu of ecommerce testing. Maybe there will be a movement to retain the best salespeople who can use the online infrastructure you have built to maximize sales? The best way to maximize your likelihood of keeping your customers or sales role is to learn to adapt your style to the individual purchase paths customers choose.
Make yourself and your products available in a way that enhances your ability to convert the customer that doesn’t want to interact with you, but your website instead.
Robocalls? Computer sales and customer service reps? The future is here. AI, machine learning, and other amazing technologies are being created everyday that eliminate the need for people to do a simple routing job that machines can now do. Sales and customer service interactions are comprised of yes and no answers to well scripted questions. As computers learn to navigate these conversation funnels, companies can pivot revenue generation to complicated math equations.
“If we use script 1.4, on customers in area B, with the yes and no responses of scripting package 2.2, we need to make exactly 3,300 robocalls an hour to hit our revenue goals.”
Want to know why these robocalls are coming at you so hot and heavy? Because the variable of how a salesperson reads the situation and sells to the prospect has been removed, and robots don’t care about no’s...they can’t feel rejection...well not yet anyways.
Are there other things you should keep on your radar? Yes, but you have enough to worry about already, like calling back that person that has been putting you off for weeks because they, “have to think about it”.