The success of any business lies in its ability to forecast change and be armed to manage and strategize plans for the future. If you want to stay at the top of your game, you should know what to expect. For some, it’s a whole new world, but that doesn’t have to be a threat. There are amazing tools available for those willing to learn a better way to apply what they already know. The future looks bright given what technology offers today, provided, of course, that CEOs, Chief Sales Officers (CSOs), and their staff embrace this new platform along with its new rules.
We’ve created a condensed list of 5 hyper relevant trends that companies must accept to be successful in 2021 and beyond.
1. Digitization gets an adrenaline shot
2020 forced a great number of companies to speed up digitization big time in so many areas. Everything indicates that we will see even more of it in 2021. Cloud-based services will increasingly be integrated into the business to increase efficiency and business results. We can also expect more integrated flows, where all the important information from different systems is gathered in one place.
2. Data-driven sales is smoking hot
2021 will be the year when the sales organizations that have invested in well-built data-driven sales strategies really reap the rewards. Sitting on a huge customer base gives you a great competitive advantage, but it also takes time to get all the data and processes in place in the systems. But now, those who have had the foresight to lay this groundwork for these processes will start paying off.
3. The delta between B2B and B2C will blur
B2B customers, of course, also have experience as B2C customers, and we now see that these buying behaviors are spilling more and more over to the B2B space. A power-shift is underway to the benefit of the B2B customer. Among other things, we will see more customer-centric sales processes and customer journeys that follow the same pattern as in B2C. Here, it becomes important to ensure that the customer journey is coherent across different channels and platforms. Since B2B customers make an average of 12-15 searches before interacting with a brand’s website, the B2B digital experience becomes just as important as in B2C.
As in B2C, B2B customers will also expect personal communication and unique offers. As many as 70% are willing to pay more for a personal experience, so there is huge growth potential! And with automated activities, this can be done on a much larger scale.
4. Marketing and Sales teams need to fall deeply in love with each other
The poor customer knowledge and inefficiencies historically caused by the separation of Sales and Marketing must evaporate. In recent years we have seen these teams align their goals and efforts more and more, and this development continues in 2021. There are now platforms that bring together sales and marketing functions in one place, and this is becoming increasingly important to increase productivity and reach KPIs. Today, Sales ignores more than 70% of leads from Marketing, but with the new lockstep relationship 2021 will see that number dip dramatically!
5. It’s time to jump on the Social selling train now
Some say LinkedIn has passed it’s time but there is still new ground to break there. Sharing relevant blog posts and insights that lead to interactions with your contacts will continue to be an effective way to build your personal brand during 2021. In the short term, it gives you the chance to continue the dialogue from your interactions by email or meeting. In the long term, it will help you establish your status as an expert in your field, and gain more potential customers in the form of new contacts. It is important to remember that you must work actively with social selling, share knowledge regularly, be the expert for you topic, and maintain a dialogue with your contacts in the comments field.
Let’ s sum this all up!
Successfully combining tech with personalization is what will make your sales organizations a winner in 2021. The power lies increasingly with the B2B customer and it is up to B2B sales people to keep up with this development so as not to lose out to the competition.