Get Your Sales Market Ready | Sales Trends for 2017
Whether face-to-face, over the phone, through email or direct mail, sales encompasses everything you do—from start to finish—to bring your product or service to a customer.
/verb/ Any of a number of activities designed to promote customer purchase of a product or service.
Sales have always kept the lights on, and this holds as true as ever in today’s online world. Usually, this occurs in stages, beginning with research and assessments, proceeding with a pitch or presentation and ending—if you’re successful—with product delivery to a consumer.
With sales, your business generates revenue and customers who can then influence your mission, leading you closer to or further from your goals. Deliver the right products to the right people in the right way, and they’ll help you flourish.
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-consumer sales (column 10) is scoring 58.0, although the 2017 target score is 79.0 – a variance of -21.0. Overall, the average B2C scores 50.9, 22.2 lower than the 73.1 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Sales Trends for 2017
Sales will always be the end game of any business, but there are some trends that could create more engagement in your communications which, in turn, will lead to more revenue.
Subject Matter Experts Rule
SMEs bring high credibility and high integrity, but often lack proficiency in follow-through and managing the sales process. Historically, salespeople took the lead and were supported by SMEs.
This is where you must pivot: support your subject matter experts with a team who can manage the sales process. Smart sales leaders will implement systems to guide SMEs through the sales steps to keep them on track.
Going hand in hand with the subject matter expert trend is knowing and utilizing the buyer’s buying process. The buying cycle for the client may greatly differ from the linear process envisioned by the seller. Managing the two is key.
More Than Selling
You just can’t sell. In 2017, you have to create added value, of one type or another, depending on what customer values.
We can expect to see more companies connect their strategic bottom line to doing good for the environment. Apps like AllTrails that make the world more accessible. Tentree and Tinlid have already taken note, planting trees for every product they sell.
As people seek personal enrichment beyond work, social media, and city life, an overwhelming number are looking for an escape. Providing a positive experience creates an ambassador, and documenting the experience generates content.
As customers and buyers continue to do more online research, top performing organizations continue to integrate sales and content marketing.
The goal is to ensure that when customers search for risks, challenges, and implementation strategies associated with your solutions, they will find your content to address their questions.
Top companies engage their front-line sales teams to identify topics for content marketing, and the content marketing team helps sales professionals to effectively use content in the sales process.
For instance, Tesla provides articles and videos to help educate the consumer, and build trust surrounding the purchase. Through its marketing, Tesla established an innovative brand that helps conclude that they have a long-term vision and position for the company.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your sales are today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where sales, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp