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The way buyers are consuming information and making purchasing decisions is changing rapidly.
The top sales leaders of tomorrow will be those that can adapt to these changes in order to provide innovate sales tactics and cultivate a culture in their sales teams which rewards a new set of sales skills.
This article will consider some of the big changes to sales initiatives over the next 5-10 years and how the companies can develop those leaders of tomorrow who will be able to make the new tactics and strategies impact the bottom line.
Tomorrow's Sales Leaders Will Shape the Company's Online Brand
Having an engaging and respected online brand is already important. In the coming decade, it will be essential. Increasingly, buyers say they’re far likelier to engage with salespeople if they’re thought leaders or subject matter experts. Building that reputation is much harder (maybe even impossible) if you’re not active online.
Over 50% of buyers already say their relationships with vendors are getting stronger because there’s more trust, and 45% cite “personal relationships” for boosting their vendor satisfaction. This trend will continue.
The top sales leaders of tomorrow will need the training and tools to allow them and their teams to leverage trust and personal relationships. This starts with the online brand. Long before there will be opportunities for personal interaction between salespeople and clients, the potential buyer will need to develop an understanding of the product and brand through multiple online 'touches'. Sales leaders of tomorrow will have a detailed understanding of the pain points, when to engage a particular audience, what content to share and what the buying signals will be.
The Top Salespeople of Tomorrow Will be Seen as a Trusted Resource
Let's face it, there already a lot of 'fake news' and misinformation out there in the digital ether. The chances are that this will continue to grow at a rapid rate. The sales leaders of tomorrow, therefore, will be able to successfully stand out from the noise and demonstrate an authentic, deep-level of industry and product knowledge which has the result of generating trust and following from potential buyers. The top leaders will also be able to educate their sale teams how to support their efforts and project a collective brand which becomes a go-to resource in the buying cycle.
Tomorrow's Best Sales Pros Will be Better Equipped to Ask the Right Questions
Asking effective questions already sets top reps apart. However, in the coming years it’ll be the common denominator for all salespeople.
To understand why, think about how much time you currently spend explaining how your product works to buyers. In the future, they’ll get the same information from how-to videos, case studies, and other content. But guess what a case study can’t do? Ask the right questions to diagnose the buyer’s pain. Once you’ve identified their unique challenge, you can help them overcome it. Providing this unique value to prospects will let sales leaders succeed in the future.
Tomorrow's sales leaders will need to demonstrate to their teams how and why it is vital to be able to give or facilitate amazing customer support in order to maximize the value they can add to a prospect in a sales process.
The Top Future Leaders in Sales will Leverage Big Data
Forget about the days when you could win sales through instinct. The best sales leaders of tomorrow will be able to harness tech to use the information around buying signals to prioritize their team's selling efforts and identify the most qualified leads. This means a big shift in the role of a salesperson; from soft skills to a mix of traditional sales competencies and modern marketing and data interpretation abilities.
Did You Know..
The CPSA Foundation is a registered charity that raises awareness of sales as a positive career choice for post-secondary students and recognizes and rewards tomorrow's sales leaders.
The Foundation’s programs, including the Sales Excellence Award for students, are funded through events and generous sponsorships.
To make a personal or corporate donation in support of the Foundation, please contact the CPSA at 1-888-267-2772.
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