As an authoritative training and consulting firm it’s our business to be up on trends that directly influence our clients. Because we travel all over the world to provide training, our perspective on where things are going as we head into 2014 is rather unique. Here are the three most important sales training trends to keep an eye on.
Trend #1: In-depth Ideal Customer Models
Welcome to the era of big data. Sales trainers today can show their trainees how to get digital mountains of information on ideal clients and customers that simply wasn’t there 3 years ago. This emerging ability of sales forces to learn about their customers and deliver product/service information in new and creative ways is fueling a more inbound sales model.
- Capturing leads and new accounts these days has less to do with outbound techniques, and more to do with using the power of information to draw ideal clients into sales funnels.
- Vast tracking data makes it easier to pin-point customer needs. This in turn allows companies to see drastic improvements in upsell and cross-selling numbers.
- Teams can use this customer information to approach them for more than one angle at a time.
Trend #2: Social Media Integration
Social networking platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and especially LinkedIn are making their way into sales training as a matter of course. Where does social media begin and the sales funnel begin? Internally and externally social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in modern consumerism.
- Social media connects sales representatives with each other, with management, with all the varying departments within the organization and with customers.
- Externally social media is a battlegrounds where brand expansion takes place. Sales training increasingly teaches business leaders and sales people how to leverage thse networks.
- Social media is an incredible resource for customer insight and analytics. In the right hands this information translates into higher performance and a more effective sales team.
Trend #3: Efficiency Focused & Bottom Lines
Speaking of effectiveness. That’s the name of the game across the board. This is an age of ultimate efficiency from the way we run our businesses and fuel our cars, to how we heat our homes and expand a bottom line. Nearly every conventional sales training technique has been sliced and diced to suit a fast-paced hypercompetitive marketplace.
- According to a CSO Insights Trend Report that came out in 2012, revenue is the absolute #1 concern moving into 2014 on the minds of sales executives.
- Effectiveness used to mean the sheer amount of customers who could be reached through traditional methods. Now, it’s about the quality (efficiency) of these connections. It’s about conversion rates. Rather than 10,000 worthless leads, what matters are the higher converting 5-10%.
- To grow revenue, modern organizations and enterprise are investing vast sums of capital into training. So far the broad market ROI speaks for itself. There’s no question that quality training leads to unprecedented performance for most outdated sales models.