This year is going to be… well probably one of the most troubling in our lives. Between a pandemic, civil unrest and the ever looming threat of climate change 2020 is definitely a challenge. However, despite all the misery there are things to look forward to and new developments in the sales industry to keep us excited.
In particular, the most exciting sales phenomenon of 2020 is likely to be the concept of sales enablement. Sales enablement is the process of providing sales teams with the maximum amount of resources they require to close business deals. It’s about empowering your sales leaders to work on their own initiative and thrive in the b2b market.
Any team that embraces sales enablement will outperform its competitors and ensure their service is amongst the top selling products because the initiative that is required by sales enablement vastly improves their efficiency and motivation. Every sales business should be embracing the concept as more companies move to remote work where one must by necessity trust employers to work independently. As part of a study conducted with Aragon Research, Revenue Grid examined the key sales enablement trends of 2020 and we’d like to share some of our findings.
Consider how AI technology can improve your work
AI is no longer the preserve of science fiction films, in fact, it has already arrived and is revolutionizing many aspects of the sales industry. AI can be applied to a multitude of areas of b2b sales and is only limited by your imagination and technical ability, it’s an incredibly smart tool. Machine learning, an offshoot of AI (think of it as its cousin) is already enabling sales leaders to prioritise sales targets, but how else can AI enable your business?
You can propel your service towards its place amongst the top selling products by using AI to automate the sales pipeline process, sort minute levels of data by applicability to each prospect and lead, and efficiently plan your schedule. AI also helps you retain customers by creating automated offers based on their consumer history and preferences. As repeat customers can generate up to 80% this should be a priority of yours.
AI is a good investment that will save you time and enable you to focus on the fundamentals. Use it to organise your sales pipeline and playbook so that you can focus on the most important aspect of sales; closing deals. AI can take much of the stress of the sales process out of your hands, small wonder then why it’s amongst the most exciting sales enablement trends.
Embrace ongoing education and training for the whole team
As you’re currently reading a blog article on improving your prowess as a business person we can infer that you’re someone who likes to educate themselves. Long gone are the days of the brash and ignorant salesman, the modern industry is intellectual in nature and requires an appreciation for education. Indeed, ongoing education and training is one of the great sales enablement trends of 2020 and is one of the best incentives you can offer to salespeople.
Creating a corporate atmosphere that rewards education is a fantastic idea as it empowers your team members to experiment and take risks. Every new idea they discover during their educational experience can be utilized to place your service amongst the top selling products in your industry. Think beyond the stale corporate team building exercises of yesteryear and instead look at the education industry for new ideas.
Enrol your team on university courses relevant to your sphere of work and reward them for earning high grades. You can make educational tools like books, online courses etc part of each employee’s performance reviews. An educated team is happy, productive, and empowered to act on their own initiative, which in turn allows them to focus more intently on closing deals, which after all, is what you pay them for.
Improved and increased communication methods
Literally millions of us are working from home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and for many of us this change is likely to become either a permanent feature, or at least the default option for work. Offices will still exist, even for companies whose workforce primarily works from home but they will likely be used sparingly and only for important meetings or events. For remote working to be truly effective more communication channels need to be adopted by the sales industry.
Therefore one of the main sales industry trends you need to be focusing on is improving the quality of your communication channels. Certainly, popular video calling apps like Zoom and messaging apps like Slack will continue to be both wildly popular and highly effective. However, the sales industry needs to go further and invest time into researching new ways to facilitate high quality communication with both one’s team and one’s client.
AI will likely play an important role in emerging communication technology as will virtual and augmented reality technology. The top selling products in the communications industry will focus on providing an interactive experience and fast connection speeds, get involved at the development stage to get a competitive edge. The new face of an enabled b2b sales team is online and available 24/7, therefore find the right communication tool that will enable this for your team.
Enable your team to succeed in the coronavirus era
The coronavirus era is going to last for far longer than we would like it to, and though the pandemic is dissipating in some parts of the world we’re simply going to have to get used to its presence. As the global economy goes through further shock and recession you will need to follow the latest sales enablement trends to ensure you remain more competitive than ever. The three examples we provided in this article will help steady the ship if you work in b2b, but you need to be ever vigilant for top selling products too.
Our best advice is to follow the example of leading industry experts who have decades of experience in the sales industry. In treacherous waters and unpredictable weather it’s always best to have steady hands on call ready to help you steer your ship. Revenue Grid’s team of seasoned professionals and flagship products like the guided selling tool Revenue Guide stand ready to help plot a course for your business towards calmer waters and clear horizons.