Twenty-Five for ’21: Predictions for the New Year, Part 5

In a year of virtual selling, virtual coaching, and virtual meetings in virtual offices, you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that communicating during a lockdown is a challenge. But with the right technology and processes, organizations can rise to that challenge. How do we know what’s in the cards? We sent surveys to sales leaders, engaged in deep discussions with strategic partners, and used Sales Design ThinkingSM to arrive at our twenty-five.

 Coaching and connection with reps on new sales processes will be critical

Don’t leave reps stranded. Many reps are working from home, where product demonstrations, legacy knowledge, water-cooler conversations, and other informal communications don’t occur as naturally or spontaneously as they do at the office. This year more than ever, sales reps will need coaching, especially around new sales processes. Sales managers should be extra diligent when it comes to one-on-one and touch-base sessions.

Technology investment will increase (SPM) to improve communications and performance visibility

Say hello to Sales Performance Management. More and better coaching may be required this year, but it still won’t be adequate. We believe that when the pandemic ends, sales organizations that made an investment in SPM will be thankful they did. Better communications and visibility into sales performance will give an edge to these companies by providing reps and managers with improved tools and sharp insights.

Sales organizations will build data support capability to enable the sales process and messaging

Don’t shoot the messenger, but do enable it. Ever wonder how much of a rep’s communications are never captured?  Text messages, voicemails, and private messages on social media are valuable to the sales process, but often overlooked. We recommend that sales organizations build data support systems strategically so that relevant messaging is visible.

The salesperson of the future will be the data driven creative problem solver who can adapt to change

Solving problems is the new overcoming objections. Sales reps who are well coached and plugged into the right technologies will have a distinct advantage over those who are still dealing in features and benefits, overcoming objections, and closing, closing, closing. The close might not come right away; meantime help customers solve their problems and show them that you can adapt to change.

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