Like other professions, sales have experienced notable shifts over the past few years. Changes in buyer attitudes and expectations, as well as technology, have impacted reps’ strategies. “Sales reps and managers will need to keep a close watch on the trends and technologies gaining traction in 2017 to remain competitive,” writes sales coach Mark Magnacca in a recent MarTech Advisor article.
He shares five trends that he thinks will play a role in sales this year. And, he explains how to implement each trend into your own strategy. Read on for two highlights:
Professional development will transition from the traditional manager-to-rep flow to more peer-to-peer mentoring. Colleagues will look to each other for coaching rather than relying on guidance from higher-ups. “A recent survey of sales reps and managers showed that 91 percent of reps agree that trading ideas with peers was helping them succeed,” Magnacca explains. “Additionally, reps are more comfortable learning from peers who are in the field and interacting with customers every day.” While corporate training will still be necessary, seek colleagues for a different perspective on an issue or challenge. Alternately, offer your time and coaching to others.
Successful reps will harness the power of storytelling in 2017. Your words will resonate more with prospects because you are demonstrating value that is tailored to their needs. “Sales reps who use storytelling will be able to more naturally connect with and engage prospects during their sales pitches, and will more easily demonstrate the value of a particular product or solution by telling a story of its success with a similar customer/demographic,” he writes. By tossing away the tired script, you can position yourself as knowledgeable and create a personal, valuable connection.
These are just two ways that you can stand out from competitors, and gain new sales, in the new year. Check out Magnacca’s other tips to see what else will be trending in the industry and how you can use those trends to grow your own sales.