Tis, the season to start planning…
Which means setting budgets, raising expectations and hunting around for last minute wrapping paper are likely filling out your December calendar. So to give you an edge and add a bit of extra stuffing to your 2018 sales strategy, we have broken down the key B2B sales trends we believe you will be seeing a lot more of next year.
Video will be a key differentiator
In order to grab the attention a prospects’ inbox, it’s not enough anymore to just bold out, use italics or your favorite emoji in your email header. It is widely accepted that video is the largest consumed of all content mediums (per kilobyte) with little expected to change in the near future.
Consequently, a great way to increase the chance of someone reading your e-mail is to insert a personalized video that, although takes a little longer to pull together, will work wonders for your CTR and engagement rates. The small details make a difference at the sharp end of things. A few platforms to help you get started are Loom, Soapbox or Vidyard.
Do more with less thanks to automation
With competition fiercer than ever companies are now forced to do more with less. The obvious way to achieve this? Efficiency.
Sales reps and in particular Sales Development Reps (SDRs) see in automation technology an opportunity for qualifying their outbound prospects faster than ever. The arrival of bots and workflow automation tools means they won’t have to change the way they work, but the quality and quantity of what they do will drastically increase.
Areas such as lead qualification across various touch-points, to the detailed marketing materials they receive across the entire workflow can heighten the prospects experience making it feel entirely personalized.
ABM + Sales
It once was industry oriented (ABM) activities that enabled sales to gain greater traction in a set vertical. However, this has now completely evolved. Setting goals for specific accounts requires the complete buy-in and blend of sales and marketing – the beloved neighbors who still, after all this time sitting next to each other remain complete strangers.
The emails, ads or content created for these specific industries needs to delicately entwine into the sale reps approach in order to land those most wanted accounts.
Having a PA in your pocket
AI powered personal assistant technology could be the difference between one field sales representative closing out a deal over their competitors.
80% of Sales reps admit they don’t prepare sufficiently for meetings in advance primarily due to a lack of time, and seeing as the majority do not have their own, personal secretaries or assistants to help them out, it is difficult to see any change. That is, however, if you forget to factor in the AI.
Truth be told this could be one of the real game changers for 2018. CRM with built in AI personal assistant technology can pull up info from previous meetings, process it and even interpret the tone in communications to debrief sales reps before any given meeting while they are on-the-go.
It also saves time with all the data entry and reporting sales reps are required to do – manual tasks that potentially consume a whole day of their weekly activity. This is time that could be given back to selling – what you hire them to do in the first place.
Marketing and Sales Hold Hands
As we alluded to earlier, alignment between these two hasn’t always been easy – it’s well known fact that was probably alluded to in our CRM in 2017 predictions.
However, companies are still struggling to break down these ancient walls. Despite productivity rises, branding benefits, consistent aligned messaging and direct revenue benefits, they just do not seem to get along, do they. Maybe 2018 will be the year to kiss and make up?
What are your thoughts for 2018? Did we miss something that’s so blatantly obvious it’s standing there poking you in the eye?
Let us know in the comments below.
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