11 biggest Sales trends for 2021
Everything you need to know as a Sales Professional
2020 has brought rapid developments and new sales strategies with its Covid-19. To be successful, it is essential that you keep up. We therefore give you a summary of the 11 biggest sales trends selected by NetHunt for 2021. It is a mix of tech-related trends to further automate and digitize sales. And trends related to optimizing customer relationship management and ensuring personalization. At Exact, we like to collect everything that can help you in your job as a multilingual sales professional, which is why we listed these 11 trends for you.
One of the biggest sales trends in 2021 is creativity. Markets have become busier and competition drives innovation; so it’s only a matter of time before your competitors come up with a new concept. So as a salesperson, you need to look for those things that set you apart from everyone else in order to impress them. But remember that there is a fine line between crazy and different when it comes to creativity. At the end of the day, of course, your creative efforts have to lead somewhere and connect with the needs of your target audience.
2. Sales automation
Okay, sales automation is not really a trend, but rather a necessity to maintain a competitive advantage. Many people talk about how automation takes away creativity and personalization. The truth is that it allows you to spend more time thinking of creative ways to sell your products and better personalize your offers because all routine tasks are delegated to dedicated software.
3. Value-based Selling
Stop trying to sell by shoving an offer in their face! The only way to grab your customers’ attention and get them to make a purchase decision is to convince them that you value their satisfaction over your profits. Instead of lowering the price, this requires you to change the perception about your offers. One way to do that is to implement a value-based selling strategy. All too often, prospects reject your offer because they think the price is too high and don’t look further. Value-based Selling helps you overcome this problem. All you have to do is identify the needs and wants of your prospects and make sure they are in the offer. Make the offer attractive to them by emphasizing the benefits they will get out of it!
4. Social Selling
Instead of trying to sell your product here and now, plant an idea in the minds of your prospects and keep developing it. Put yourself in their head by always being there for them, answering their questions and demonstrating your expertise online. When they are looking for a product to buy, your organization should be the first company they think of. Social media offer this possibility for example by posting relevant content or being active in relevant (linkedin) groups.
5. Customer success over customer support
Another way to provide value to your customers and convince them to make a purchase decision is to assure them that you are genuinely interested in their business success. Instead of focusing solely on providing excellent customer service, you should prioritize providing a more positive, overall customer experience. By shifting your focus to customer success.
The importance of implementing a strong customer success strategy has been multiplied by the change in customer priorities due to the pandemic. A good product is no longer enough. Customers have become more demanding than ever before. Unless they are one hundred percent sure that the solution, they are investing their money in will work for them, they will not settle for it. So, you need to be the perfect match for your customers to earn from them permanently. In 2021, the role of a salesperson and a customer success manager is to personalize the company’s product offering in a way that appeals to the customer and proactively provide appropriate solutions.
6. Collaboration across teams
Sales is no longer just about the Sales team. As the customer journey has largely moved to the digital realm, all departments have a role in ensuring conversion. The Customer Support team helps you add value to your offering, the IT department keeps an eye on the website and other communication channels, the Sales team manages the sales pipelines, and the Marketing team…does the rest! Keeping an eye on the market and staying on top of the latest trends is their direct responsibility, so they know all about what excites the heads of your prospects. It doesn’t hurt to consult them before you make an offer to a prospect.
7. Emergence of multichannel, personalized experiences
One of the biggest changes 2020 has brought is the accelerated transition from buying and selling to the world of digital. With the tremendous accessibility of information, much of the buyer’s journey is self-contained. Companies cannot predict exactly when a buyer will enter the funnel, as it can happen at any stage. On top of that, buyers are no longer tied to one channel.
Different buyers have different preferences, which means you can’t expect the same approach to work for everyone. You need to set up a wide range of different channels to serve buyers, so they can choose what they are most comfortable with. This means you need to ensure a consistent customer experience, no matter what channel they choose.
8. Video for sales
A picture says more than a thousand words. Can you imagine what video does? Replace long texts with more use of video. Although originally more of a marketing trend, it is believed that in 2021 it will also make its big entry into the world of sales.
There are several ways you can incorporate video into your sales process and take advantage of it. Think demos, testimonials etc. It’s easy to share across all channels and an email with the word “video” in the subject line, is 8x more likely to be opened. (Source: Vidyard)
9. Webinars for lead generation
After being cooped up most of the year, many people have used the time to better themselves. That’s why webinars as a format have seen such an immense rise in popularity in 2020. In 2021, this trend is only expected to increase. All you have to do to generate more leads is find a topic that your prospects find interesting and arrange one or more good speakers.
10. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
By 2021, analysis of (sales) data is expected to become easier, more accurate and significantly less time-consuming. Step by step, AI is taking over every aspect of our lives, and sales analysis is no exception. Predictions made using AI software boast greater precision, which can protect you from the risk of not being able to meet market demand. Some of the sales tasks that can be improved through the use of AI include….
- Collection and interpretation of data on customer buying trends;
- Disseminating suggestions to customers based on their recent purchases;
- Predicting and planning buying and selling trends.
11. Conversational customer experiences
By 2021, companies will improve their sales with the help of live chat and chatbots! This is a direct continuation of the previous trend, as conversational customer experience is closely linked to the rising popularity of using AI in sales. A well-executed conversational customer experience means better personalization of communication through an ongoing conversation between customer company. According to Finances Online and McKinsey, “A whopping 76% of B2B buyers find it helpful to speak with someone in person or on the phone when they are looking to purchase an entirely new product or service. Not surprisingly, 52% of buyers want to speak with someone when they want to buy a previously purchased product but with different specifications. Only 15% want to speak in person when they want to buy the same service or product. Finally, only 4% of buyers prefer to communicate digitally at all times.” So when implementing a conversational customer experience, you do need to make sure you balance digital communication with human.
Sales trends 2021: Conclusion
Competition does indeed drive innovation. But a crisis drives it even more. The overarching theme in sales trends for 2021 is customer focus. The customer and their wants and needs remain the primary focus of salespeople, now more than ever. Thank goodness for that.