December is fast coming to a close in the world of sales and to every sales professional out there; Team Salestrong salute you!
2017 has been a big year for the sales industry so we picked 3 things to come across the radar at Salestrong HQ that we feel are worth highlighting:
Sales Technology is here to stay…
Sales professionals and sales teams have woken up to technology and are going head to head with their marketing counterparts in a “data driven” battle to sell more intelligently and effectively.
It’s not just about CRM systems any more (although still important!). Sales enablement technology, coaching apps and gamification are just some exciting ventures to hit the ground running this year and will continue to gain traction in 2018.
2017 Statistical Fave – “As a team you may be 258% more likely to close a deal than if you flew solo.”
Top marks to Gong and you can click here to read the full article.
Sales Professionals want to develop…
Buyers typically train for 3 years, have a CIPS accreditation and go to negotiation skills training on a regular basis. The average sales professional just gets into sales, learns from peers and does their very best to read around as much as possible.
It’s not a level playing field, is it?
So hats off to the National Sales Conference 2017 for setting the agenda. NSC ’17 was a great platform for articulating more than ever, that sales professionals are serious about selling.
600 delegates paid to attend and invested time and energy to hear some fantastic seminars that underlined the importance of communication, story telling, insight selling and our favourite; differentiated value and how to Create, Communicate and Capture it through selling.
Our programme designer, Rachel, also had a few things to say about sales learning and development in one of our most read blogs of 2017.
Social Selling and The Personal Brand
Daniel Disney highlighted these as key trends in this article and Team Salestrong could not agree more.
Social selling has created a paradigm shift in the way sales professionals have had to sell both this year and will do so in 2018. There are more RFI’s and recommendations for opportunities circulating places like LinkedIn than ever before and it is only going to increase. My own personal ‘wild-card’ theory is we will soon see the development of the social tender with LinkedIn acting as a marketplace, bringing buyers and sellers of all shapes and sizes onto a level playing field.
So onto the personal brand….
If you don’t know what an online personal brand is then first of all, click here and read our own article.
Secondly, 2017 has seen the rise of the online personal brand and there are some great examples out there including Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and perhaps my favourite, Arianna Huffington. Go check them out.
Why is a personal brand so important? As a sales professional you are now discoverable, 24-7, globally. Or to put it another way, you can be, if you choose to embrace digital and social selling. Sales have been slow to react to digital in the last few years and marketing have stolen a share of voice with the customer through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and your own company website.
However, it is the sales function that will always be the first point of contact with any prospective or existing customer. In fact, a former business development director colleague once said “everything starts with a sale”. At the time I dismissed it and starting quoting Apple’s approach to marketing.
I was wrong.
2017 has started this change and in 2018, more sales professionals will focus on social selling and developing an online personal brand to help drive sales and sales productivity.
In summary, some big things are on the horizon in 2018 for sales. So rest up, enjoy time with family and friends and from everyone at Team Salestrong we wish you a very merry xmas and a happy new year.