The past year has shown us that we need to be more flexible and be agile. It was a year filled with uncertainty, which is far from the ideal climate for sales prospecting.
As a result, marketing and sales strategies had to be adapted in order to respond to the overall economical changes, changes in supply and demand, as well as decreased budgets.
With teachable experiences from 2020 in mind, what new sales trends can we expect in the months to come, and which strategies should you implement as the year 2021 progresses?
Automation Is Essential
Many sales trends come and go, but automation seems to be the one that’s here to stay. It might not even be appropriate to call it a trend, but rather a necessary element of your sales strategy that allows you to maintain a competitive advantage.
According to EY, 41% of companies have invested in accelerating automation in order to respond to the changing business climate due to the pandemic.
Using automation to optimize the prospecting process is a great way to ensure that your prospecting efforts are not only gonna yield good results but also won’t take too much time.
Automation can help you in every step of your sales process, from supplying you with new leads to leading them through the sales funnel and eventually closing the deal.
Personalize Your Outreach
When it comes to automation, many people think that it takes away from personalization and creativity.
However, by automating repetitive tasks and delegating them to dedicated software, you will be left with more time on your hands to personalize your approach.
Using automation software doesn’t mean you should blast your prospects with generic emails or just pick up the phone without doing your due diligence. You have to understand exactly what your prospects want and need and adjust your outreach strategy accordingly.
When choosing email campaign management software, look for the one that allows you to use the information you have about prospects and customize your templates for a highly personalized approach.
By referring to your prospects by their name and using other personal information such as company name, industry, etc. you will not only boost your engagement and response but also avoid landing into spam and improve deliverability.
Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales
No matter how personalized and effective your marketing approach is, it’s still only the first step of the process that will help you attract a large pool of people and raise awareness. However, you’re still a long way to convert your leads into customers.
This process requires careful lead nurturing. Here, personalization is even more critical, but so is being fast and efficient. That’s why you need to use tools that will help and allow your sales reps to focus on selling.
Make sure to find the right sales engagement platform that covers multiple different features such as queue-based lead routing, lead tracking, call scripting, auto-dialing, call recording, etc.
With all features in one place and a robust data management system, your sales team will be able to make the most out of each lead and close deals more efficiently without being distracted by menial tasks.
Implement a Data-Driven Approach
Now that personalization is more important than ever, it’s crucial that your pipeline is filled with the right prospects. You want to focus on leads that are the most likely to turn into potential customers, and you need all the data you can get to determine who they are.
A data-driven approach will help you better understand who you should reach out to, when the right time for outreach is, and which issues you should address. However, not every company uses data to its fullest potential and even 40% of organizations indicate that scattered information and limited visibility into data negatively impact their sales organization.
That’s why it’s essential to have a centralized database that will allow you to have this information in front of you at all times, helping you make every customer interaction seamless and personalized.
During customer interactions, you should keep notes and review the information you already have. Note down everything that could be useful further down the line. You can use the data you collected during the sales to identify potential issues and tweak your ideal customer profile in order to improve the efficiency of your sales prospecting.
Take Advantage of Social Selling
Social selling is continuously rising in popularity, proving that the traditional sales approach can be too intrusive and aggressive. Instead of looking for instant results with “obvious selling” strategies, you should adopt a more subtle approach and slowly plant the idea in your prospects’ heads.
Social media allows you to always be there for your prospects, answer their questions, and share relevant content with them. That way, when they’re looking to buy a product, your business should be the first thing that comes to their minds.
LinkedIn is a perfect platform for social selling. Not only does it give you the opportunity to share relevant content with your audience, but it also allows you to communicate with your prospects directly. Your LinkedIn connections already have some interest in your business, and by filtering through your contacts, you can organize your LinkedIn network and easily connect with your prospects.
You probably already have business profiles on major social media platforms – you just have to find the right way to use them to find prospects.
Over to You
Although some sales prospecting strategies truly are tried and tested and shouldn’t be changed, we can’t ignore the fact that each new year brings new challenges and that we need to adapt our approach to accommodate them.
Some of these tactics might be new, but they’re more than just trends – they’re here to stay and you should find a way to incorporate them into your strategy.