industry and profession goes through changes, and the sales profession is no
different. To be a top performing salesperson, today and in the future, you
need to continually adapt to both market and social conditions.
in mind, there are six new business trends taking place—all of which affect
salespeople in every industry. Understand what the trends are and how to
maximize them so you can reap the rewards of a successful sales career.
Trend #1: Your past success will
increasingly hold you back.
at the top and doing well, you’re really just trying to keep up and meet
demand. You’re not sowing the seeds of future success, and that’s setting you
up for a fall. An old saying goes, “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” In today’s
world we need to rework that statement to be: “If it works it’s obsolete.” For
example, if you just bought the latest laptop, is the next newer and better
version already in existence and about to be released to the public? Remember
that rapid obsolescence isn’t just about products. It’s about how we do our
Trend #2: Technology-driven change
will dramatically accelerate.
salesperson, you need to embrace change and make it your best friend rather
than fight it and hold tight to the way things were. You need to spend some time
thinking about where the changes that are impacting you and your customers are
going. Remember that change causes uncertainty in your customer’s minds. You
can bring certainty to your customers when you are confident in where change is
going. You can lead your customers through the change, causing them to view you
as more than just a salesperson, but as a solutions provider and trusted
Trend #3: Time is increasing in
time is becoming more and more important to people. There’s so much more going
on and we’re connected in so many more ways that everyone is increasingly
strapped for time. You want your customers to feel that talking to you is
actually saving them time. Think about all the time-wasters your customers
might experience: long wait times for service, long hold times on the phone,
long delivery times for products…the list is virtually endless. Such time-wasters
hurt your sales and profits. Therefore, make sure you have the processes in
place that will keep customers from wasting time. When you can prove that
you’re a time-saver, people will choose you over the competition every time.
Trend #4: Communicating is more
valuable than informing.
salespeople rely on marketing tools such as a company website, flyers, and
sales letters. You hope your sales messages will entice the prospect to call,
but it’s still a one-way interface. A better way is to have your sales messages
create action. So instead of just saying that you want people to buy your snack
product, for instance, you can tell customers that they can go online and
create or vote for the next new flavor. The key is to generate communication,
engagement, and involvement through your sales and marketing efforts. Only then
do you truly capture your prospects’ interest and convert them into paying
Trend #5: Solutions to present
problems become obsolete faster.
every salesperson has been told to be proactive, which means to be taking
positive action. How do you know if a certain action is positive? You wait and
see. However, you need to be pre-active to future known events. To determine
pre-known events, you need to look at your customer segment and identify what
types of events you are certain they will be experiencing soon. You then focus
your actions on what will be
happening rather than on what is
happening. Being pre-active also means that you change the way people think.
Therefore, constantly educate your customers on the value you and your products
and/or services offer so they begin to rethink the results they can achieve and
the value you provide.
Trend #6: Sell the future benefit of
what you do.
salespeople sell the current benefits of what they do. One of the reasons
customers leave you for a competitor is that you haven’t cemented the future
benefit you can bring them. You want customers to see the benefit you can give
them over time, not just in the present. You want to show how the products and
services you offer are going to be evolving with their needs. You need to sit
down with your fellow salespeople and create a list of future benefits that you
have for your customers. Also, talk to the people developing the products and
services and get an idea of where they’re taking them.
More Sales in Your Future
salespeople know that in order to stay on top, they need to keep abreast of
trends and changes in their industry. Only then can they stand out and be a
true solutions provider for their prospects and customers.
About the Author:
is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research and author
of six books, including the highly acclaimed “Technotrends.”
Dan monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients
better understand how technological, social and business forces are converging
to create enormous, untapped opportunities. For more information, please visit: