I recently read an article by SMM that highlighted what they saw as 2017’s Top 4 Sales Trends. Their focus was on the directive at many companies to “sell more and sell it faster.” I agree there probably is not a sales person who hasn’t been told that in one way or another. The article goes on to say there are four key trends that innovative companies are leveraging today to drive sales.

1. The cleaner the data, the more actionable it can be

As a sales guy, I know at my core this is true, but I also cringe when I see it. Who has the time to constantly be working to ensure the data is clean? The challenge is when I have a team of great sales people who are hunters. They are wired to build relationships; not enter data. And I have no desire to even attempt to rewire them. But I have seen the impact clean data has on the results of campaigns. At North Star, we see the answer falling to a role that is a hybrid between marketing and sales.

2. Deeper partnership selling approaches to close more deals

The premise here is that people are increasingly becoming intolerant of having a sales-y experience. Especially in B2B sales, a consultative approach is always the way to go. However, we as sales people often can’t help ourselves, and we want to move to sell perhaps before someone is ready to buy. A well-defined sales process that defines everyone’s role along the sales pipeline is key. The challenge is that many people look at the process as having two roles along the pipeline – marketing at the beginning, sales at the end. As we developed our Sales Amp process the key role has been the one that falls between marketing and sales, that is focused on moving someone further down the pipeline – not closing the deal.

3. Automation to increase productivity in sales teams

Salesforce.com shared that 68% of sales reps time is spent not selling. That translates to 5 ½ hours of an 8-hour day your sales team is not focused on selling. The article states the answer is automating their non-selling activities and while I agree, I think it is also finding a way to have prospecting at the beginning and middle of the funnel operating on behalf of your sales reps so they can focus their time on closing deals.

4. High ROI sales training

Really good salespeople are always seeking ways to improve and learn from others. I have seen first hand what can happen to sales team’s productivity when they are a part of a sales training and coaching environment. One of the best pieces of sales training I have had the fortune to be part of was led by Jeb Blount and Andy Feldman of Sales Gravy. Through their creative and innovate “Fanatical Prospecting” theory, they emphasized the techniques required to be relentless hunters and therefore more successful sales people. We are always looking to improve our game, and training is imperative to increase success.

Many of these trends are why we developed our Sales Amp process. We are on a mission to redefine marketing and make it work for sales.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to me and let’s start the conversation.

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