The new era of sales, also referred to as the Evolution of Sales or the Future of Sales landed upon organisations almost a decade ago. It was instigated earlier on by the advent of the internet and will continue wage a fast-paced journey within organisations and industries globally.
Later influences of the future of sales and this new era has been the convergence of sales, marketing, data and advances in sales enablement technologies (including web and Artificial Intelligence (AI)). Gartner even talks about the future of sales…without sellers in this blog?
Having been an observer and a participant in this phenomenon, as with most thought leaders in the sales and technology industries, here are some top tips to help develop your sales and other functions into the new era. For a competitive edge, its hugely important that sales and other cross-functional teams, that contribute to revenue growth, evolve at the same level as the buyer, if not faster.
Most ambitious business growth leaders in sales, marketing, strategy, product and customer services already know the implications of this. They have started to address this via various strategies and execution plans.
Here are 7 top tips to add or consider as part of this new sales era strategy if you haven’t done so already:
- Co-operate and collaborate – looking at this both from a vertical (leaders to executioners) and horizontal (sales and cross-functional teams) perspective is crucial.
- Align sales with corporate strategy – we must be able to map out how this is executed at sales leadership and salesforce level.
- Articulate the role of Sales Enablement as a function – this needs a huge consideration if long-term sustainable revenue growth and profitability is a goal. Consider and explore how this applies to your business; enterprise, medium or small-sized.
- Prioritise relationships – the importance of forming deeper internal/external relationships cannot be over-emphasized (cross-functional leaders and team, customer, stakeholders, suppliers etc).
- Use technologies effectively – combining technologies such as AI, big data and CRM tools effectively with learned and innate human skills will result in greater success with revenue growth and achievement of other KPIs.
- Plan and execute in a structured way – once the above basics are covered, the aim should be forecast accuracy. Best in class sales leaders and professionals stay a month or more ahead of the numbers game. This is good for the overall health and well-being of the team; reduces stress.
- Focus on accountability – best in class leaders focus vertically and horizontally on ‘the main thing’ (business growth and sustainable profitability)!
So, there we have it. How do these 7 tips compare to your current plans and successful execution to bring your company into the new sales era? The Future of Sales promises revenue growth and sustainable profitability. The catch however, is to do the sales enablement work first and set the right foundations for overall success. Forming deeper business/client relationships for long-term clients and larger client portfolios is key. New prospecting and retention habits and blueprints must be created and implemented. This will lead to higher new business close rates and more cross-sell/upsell opportunities; both online and offline.
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Maggie Sarfo is a passionate author, advisor and mentor for ambitious business executives, entrepreneurs and professionals looking to explode sales revenue, create new markets or access their highest potential. Her blog is her playground, where she explores the topics of business growth, personal growth and peak performance. Book Your Complimentary Strategy Review.