2023 Sales Management Trends Report
The sales management industry has seen many changes and trends over the past few years. The overall theme in 2023: Build Personalized Experiences (Internally & Externally). The latest trends in sales management include (video overview is also available):
Read the full report or watch the 1-minute video overview below:
- Use Video: Build trust with personalized video. In an increasingly digital world building the sincerity, warmth, and trust can be very difficult. Video is playing a key role in helping sales professionals to bridge the gap and nurture relationships with personalized messaging. Our favorite video platform is Dubb.com.
- Collaborate: Gain insights from clients, prospects, and multiple disciplines in your business. Sales leaders need to learn from other professionals within the company, as well as, from clients and prospects. Who knows, maybe an accounting challenge is slowing sales, or perhaps operations need more information to procure and deliver products?
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Tools like CHatGPT, Grammarly, and others are changing how we work and interact with each other. AI will continue to advance and be part of our lives. Embrace the tech and use it to analyze data, identify patterns and make predictions.
- Remote Work: Embrace it. Remote work is here to stay and adds flexibility to attract customers anywhere in the world and offers employees the flexibility to be present with their families as needed. Work with HR to develop the best systems and practices for your business.
- Sales Enablement: This position has been around for a while and it is time that we acknowledge its importance in the digital prospecting age. The term "enablement" implies the development of a system to improve operations and team execution. Either work internally with an employee for this role or outsource sales enablement, schedule a call.
- Outbound or Inbound: Answer = Both. I do not advocate for one approach or another because they are both critically important for sales growth. A solid inbound program that attracts prospects and educates clients is essential in our self-serve, DIY world. Yet, persistent and targeted outreach can also attract customers. I prefer to be proactive and work to find customers versus them finding me, but both tactics are important to modern sales growth.
- Customer-Centric: Relationships still win in sales. How you develop new relationships has changed dramatically. Anyone that has ever marketed a product or service has made the mistake of putting their offering first. Today's marketing and sales effort demand that we identify with our targeted prospects and customers. Understand what they need, what challenges them, and what ther goals are. How do you help?
- Brand Realization: Most businesses small, medium, or large do not have a strong sense of their unique differentiating factors. Spend time developing this understanding. Here is a hint: You and your teams are closer to it than you think. Help the market to understand the value that you can provide.
- Integrated Marketing: Integrated marketing is the act of blending voices from marketing, sales, and other cross-functional disciplines. One person does not have all of the answers for sales growth in today's world. Integrate the voices, develop the content, and then help the market to realize your brand.
- H.U.M.A.N.™ Sales Management: H.U.M.A.N.™ Sales Management embraces the science of business (data, process, metrics, KPIs, etc.) and the art of human leadership. Not just leadership but, human leadership (need clarity here, schedule a call). Sales Management is a tough job, which is why it is so important to have a proven framework to lead from. Here are a few common problems that we often see when we break current state sales operations down into the H.U.M.A.N.™ Sales Management process.
Health Review. An inaccurate pipeline is leaving production and operations in the dark for planning, inventory, and staffing needs. The sales team does not have a sense of common purpose or goal alignment. Account Managers are expected to be prospectors and prospects are expected to be account managers. A few things to consider: Better Account Management processes define prospecting time and focus on pipeline needs for new growth and growth from current customers.
Uncover Insights. What happens in the field tends to stay in the field. Time management sinks or floats a salesperson. Understand how time is spent in the field which involves an examination of the entire sales process. A few things to consider: Look at your tech stack's effectiveness, time management, and fieldwork coaching.
Maximize Opportunities. The metrics that are in place are not motivating or creating results. There is not a sense of urgency or unity towards a common goal within the sales team. A few things to consider: Revise your KPIs, draft a new sales model, and write individual sales plans.
Achieve Clarity. The sales team works independently and does not have a sense of unity or understanding of goals. A few things to consider: Clearly articulate goals and expectations, create team alignment through weekly huddles, and hold one-one genuine conversations more frequently.
Nurture Growth. The threat and cost of turnover are high. Consequently, leadership, management, and the team struggle to gain traction with internal & customer relationships. A few things to consider: Positive & consistent coaching, a caring/service mindset throughout, developing a recruiting funnel, and onboarding process.
Overall, sales management trends are moving towards technology-driven, data-driven, customer-focused, and remote-friendly approaches, with a focus on delivering value to customers and enabling sales teams to be successful.
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