Sales Enablement 2019: Trends Defining the Industry in the Year to Come

by January 21, 2019 0 comments

 Attribute To: Mr Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO, Denave

Digitization and advancing technologies have transformed almost every industry in the world today. While processes are increasingly becoming streamlined, analysis more accurate, and overall approach closely integrated, it is also becoming increasingly difficult for companies to scale, differentiate themselves, and retain customer relationships. It has become key for every company to adequately leverage technology to optimize sales processes and improve outcomes.

The more companies plan, the better equipped they will be to integrate new and emerging technologies. To understand what they should be planning for and what might lay ahead in sales strategies for the next year, it is important that companies keep up to speed with the following latest trends in the industry.

1. Boom of digital content, omnichannel sales strategies, and social selling

As the world continues to become digital, content will be the real driver of sales, especially in the B2B domain. Today, 67% of a buyer’s journey already happens digitally, and a likely buying decision is made even before the customer comes in direct contact with the seller. On average, customers consume about 14 pieces of content before making a buying decision. Therefore, it is imperative for every company to become proactively involved with conversation in the digital space, ahead of time.

Companies need to create extensive content strategies and take an omnichannel approach to sales. This basically comprises developing content in multitude format and sync it with various user interfaces that can be deployed across platforms on topics which are relevant, interesting and help drive customer engagement.

With target customers almost everywhere in the digital space, it is critical that companies establish their presence on multiple channels and leverage these channels for social selling. This integrated approach can help companies build a personalized experience for their customers and significantly improve their sales figures.

2. Leveraging Intelligent DB Management tools for lead optimization

An intelligent DB management that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools help segregate and profile data and enable lead optimization.

A prime example of this is the usage of technologically enhanced bots that can provide logical, accurate, and validated data, in a very short span of time, drastically reducing the company’s effort and time spent on collating and verifying data. Bots that help improve contact-ability of a potential customer by identifying relevant contacts and their email addresses through a combination of business logic and machine learning leveraged extraction with almost 70% accuracy have already started to gain traction.

3. Intelligent CRM tools and lead standardization

Most companies today use at least basic versions of customer relationship management (CRM) tools. While these tools to help companies analyse interaction through the customer lifecycle, they still leave a huge insight gap in the process. Offering lead standardization, intelligent CRM tools will leverage AI capabilities to bridge this gap.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help companies listen to telephonic conversations, understand tonality and identify Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing (BANT) qualified leads. It can also help them track conversion deviations from benchmarks at every stage of the sales process and highlight potential areas of concern.

Implemented at scale, speech and image recognition can help companies replace text as the primary input mechanism. Driving data input through voice and becoming the primary driver of last mile data capture, speech and image recognition can not only exponentially improve the overall experience of a sales platform but also reduce the ongoing struggle between deployment and effective usage.

4. Channelling ML, AI, and Analytics towards sales process automation

Building an effective combination of man and machine, ML, AI, and Analytics will lead to an improved sales predictability and enhanced sales processes. Providing companies with a data-backed picture of customer activity, they will empower representatives with never-seen-before insights and facilitate better planning and management, ultimately increasing the overall impact of sales intelligence.

While AI and ML will act as an overriding force to automate sales processes and almost do away with repetitive tasks, analytics will function as a conversion catalyst. Coupled with the Big Data industry, which is set to reach $102 billion by 2019, analytics can help organizations make informed decisions, basis real-time analysis of customer behaviour.

Further, companies would be able to act basis predictive information, thereby increasing the customer’s propensity to purchase even more. As an immediate result of the rise of ML, AI, and analytics, companies will see an emphasis on building visually appealing sales centres to enable better customer conversion.

5. Cloud adoption fuelling quick-action sales infrastructure

Growing at a rate of 20%, cloud platform services will become a key growth enabler for sales enablement industry. Providing a collaborative sales approach and ensuring that data can be quickly accessed, cloud adoption will enable a faster sales output and help sales representatives get actionable intelligence at the right time and place. It will significantly improve the speed of information while helping companies reduce their reaction time and cost of sales operation.

As companies evolve their sales practices to cater to the dynamic new-age customers, the continued need for companies to align their businesses and marketing functions becomes even more clear.

While traditionally the two functions have worked independently, and quite successfully at that, today’s market trends will force companies to ensure fluid customer experience and consistent brand image – something that can only happen when sales and marketing collaborate at the deepest level.

The two functions will not only have shared revenue goals but will have to embed into each other’s everyday operations to ensure that companies reach their true sales and marketing potential in the face of the ever-changing, digital age market.

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