There are some significant changes coming in how professional salespeople conduct their jobs, and to be honest, some of those trends are already having a significant impact.
Maria Valdivieso De Uster, director of knowledge, McKinsey & Company’s Marketing and Sales Practice assembled the seven biggest trends in sales and sales management.
How well does your organization measure up at addressing these?
TREND #1: INVESTING IN FUTURE GROWTH
The best sales leaders make trend analysis a formal part of the sales-planning process; 45% of fast-growing companies invest more than 6% of their sales budget on activities supporting goals that are at least a year out.
TREND #2: FINDING THE GROWTH IN MICROMARKETS
The most successful sales leaders grow sales by digging deep into what others might consider to be mature markets to analyze the data and find opportunities where others see old played out mines.
TREND #3: CAPTURING VALUE FROM BIG DATA AND ADVANCED ANALYTICS
Three-quarters of fast-growing companies believe themselves to be above average, while 53%–61% of slow-growing companies hold the same view.
TREND #4: OUTSOURCING THE SALES FUNCTION
High growth companies optimize their existing resources by outsourcing often all parts of the value chain. The outsourced companies understand their target segments, using big data to identify leads, etc.
TREND #5: UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL SELLING
Sellers today must understand their customer, from the decision-maker level to the influencers who owns the budget; mining social channels and activity provides insights.
TREND #6: COLLABORATING MORE CLOSELY WITH MARKETING
Some 61% that have both functions deliver above-market revenue growth; and sales and marketing needs to align, keeping the data flowing in a symbiotic relationship.
TREND #7: ADOPTING AUTOMATION AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The McKinsey Global Institute found that 40% of tasks salespeople traditionally do can be automated, such as lead generation; yet with some companies 75% of leads aren’t followed up on. Automation can keep these leads warm for months, often brokering the first introduction.