Sales Predictions for 2016: Experts Weigh In
We can hardly believe that 2016 is already here! Don’t panic, though. To kick off 2016, some of the sales industry’s top professionals share their advice, predictions and wisdom with you here:
“Social Selling will continue to evolve in 2016 as more and more savvy sales departments will work hand-in-hand with marketing and utilize employee advocacy tools and content to help their salespeople provide relevant content of value through each step of the buyer’s journey, ensuring that sales reps get found, become trustworthy, develop relationships, and engage with potential and present clients daily on the social networks that their customers are using more and more to discover information that can help them do their job better.
“It seems like there is a new sales enablement/automation tool coming out every day at this point. It’s almost impossible to keep them all straight or understand which one fits at which stage of the sales process and how they work together without overlapping and getting in each other’s way. My prediction (and hope) is that in 2016 we’re going to start to see some consolidation of these tools and more holistic solutions instead of point solutions. I’m not sure if this will be accomplished more through acquisition or by some of these companies evolving their solutions themselves. My gut tells me it’s going to be more of the latter and by the end of 2016 there will be a few players who have evolved to the point of having a more complete solution. Then in 2017 I think we’ll start to see the acquisition and IPO market heat up for some of the larger ones.”
“I predict that in 2016 there will be more consolidation of SaaS sales tools, allowing salespeople to prospect and sell more efficiently and effectively.
I also think that the gap between companies correctly leveraging SaaS sales tools and best practices versus those who are lagging behind will widen even further. Companies with cutting edge inside sales teams will dominate in 2016, and those who don’t leverage automation, rich data, and effective sales strategies will have an even harder time making quota in 2016.”
“I think we’re poised for a very good year in business. Sales pros are learning and using social media and CRM systems more effectively to stay in touch with existing clients and to connect with potential clients. I believe the majority of lost sales happen simply because of a lack of proper follow through on the part of salespeople after they get leads. It’s time we fix that.”
“For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”
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“2016 will be the year that good sales people stop selling and start serving people by focusing on helping customers become better, smarter, faster as their trusted advisor. In addition business professionals will figure out that LinkedIn is not the only Social platform they need to use to build brand and nurture networks to stay top of mind with customers. They’ll start looking at others including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and streaming platforms such as Periscope and Blab.”
“2016 will be the tipping point for marketing and sales. Data will drive the business. It’s time for humans to step back. Data will be the connecting force between sales and marketing, unifying the silos and ecosystems to drive forward everything we do to attract and retain customers. Imagine a world where you can follow your prospects and customers across all channels, from web to MAP, to CRM to the rest of the b2b web (trade publications, search, blogs communities and forums). Connected data applied with math will drive marketing spend, create dynamic campaigns and tell sales folks who to call with the message that will resonate best with prospects’ needs.
“Sales roles will become more specialized than ever in 2016. Sales leaders will rapidly begin adapting organizational models, processes, and sales enablement technologies to drive sales velocity and efficiencies.
Marketing departments will continue to become less dependent on quantifying the value they are delivering to the organization based upon squishy, feel-good branding efforts and they will be even more driven to leverage data and analytics across all marketing channels. This will include the use of mobile to drive quality leads and analytics from offline activities like events.”
“With growing pressures at work, highly informed buyers will continue to be on the lookout for a trustworthy and worthwhile vendor that gives them a personalized, efficient purchase experience. Vendors can prove that they truly understand their buyers by better anticipating their needs and providing valuable insights.”
The lines will continue to blur between marketing vs sales and “Growth” will be adopted as a new umbrella term, with more formal splits between acquisition vs retention. Specific job functions won’t drastically change (sales, marketing, etc.), but professionals with specified roles will need to navigate the dynamics of a holistic view of growth, and leverage technology/tools across many verticals.e.g. Sales reps will need to understand where their leads are coming from through analytics; Inbound marketers will need to understand how to navigate a formal sales process; Product managers and marketing managers need to understand user expectations to design appropriate onboarding flows.
What do you predict for sales in 2016? Tell us in the comments below.