The Future of Sales

 
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 Salesforce.com recently released an article following extensive research with their customer base.  The findings of that research were particularly interesting as it suggests that whilst how we communicate is changing and AI is beginning to make an impact - Customer Value is the key to a successful sales operation.

A summary of the findings from the research were:

1. Sales Metrics will change in the next 3 years.

Measurement of customer satisfaction is now taking a much more prominent place as a measure of sales performance and this trend is expected continue.  Salespeople will be measured on how they develop "high quality" customer relationships through the delivery of real value.

2. Compensation on Usage Not Deal Size

Salespeople will be expected to do more than simply bring in 'the deal' they will be expected develop the relationship and grow that customer.

3. Increased role of Customer Service Agents

Customer Service roles have traditionally been viewed as a "Cost Centre".  This role is now expected to be elevated to that of a 'differentiator' supporting the delivery of value and even spreading to identification of cross sell and upsell opportunities.

4. The Growth of the Digital Channel

The method of communication continues to change as new technologies take effect in both the social and B2C market.  There is expected to be increased use of text, chat and video where the appropriate use of each medium will take on greater importance.

5. Impact of AI

Contrary to common belief AI is expected to lead to more job growth through enabling roles to change as the manual and tedious tasks are eliminated.

In summary, sales operations are facing a period of change through new communication methods and the rise in AI.  But one thing remains a constant high performers have a mindset, can articulate and actually deliver real Customer Value.

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CRMPaul DavenportManagement