What change will sales have to weather next?

It seems like every year a salesperson’s role changes. And while we forecast this change, how long that change lasts we never can tell.  The fact is, we are all trying our hardest to determine what technique works best to boost sales deals.  And whether we do this by giving more responsibility to sales or to marketing in order to drive prospects into the pipeline has never been fully determined.  But there is finally an answer, and it’s both.

While sales will relinquish some responsibility to marketing, they will also take on more responsibility in other areas. In this case, the devil will be in the details. And these details are laid in 4 sales forecasts for 2016.

What weather is forecasted for sales?

1.    Warm with a likelihood of marketing becoming sales new best friend – There has been a general effort these past few years to bring marketing and sales closer, but many times this attempt happens too late in the game. In 2016, more businesses will be aligning sales with marketing in early stage efforts to provide increased numbers of leads that are primed to buy. These efforts include prospecting, and in-depth lead qualification that has since been a sales responsibility.

2.    Cloudy with a possibility of sales adopting new technology to align with marketing – In an effort to align with marketing, sales will explore and adopt new burgeoning technologies in 2016. For a long time marketing and sales have been as stubborn and argumentative as warring siblings. If a sale falls through, it’s marketing fault for providing an unqualified lead. And then, in turn, marketing blames sales for not closing it. However, by adopting technology that delivers high-end automation, you can spend less time trying to track leads and type up actions. This way automation ensures that marketing will have more time to work on behalf of sales and sales will have more enablement tools to help them close deals.

3.    Hot with a probability of lead quality increasing – Lead quality is something salespeople have struggled with for a long time. If the lead salespeople were provided was not a quality lead than the probability of a sale plummets. In 2016, marketing will deliver an increased quantity of quality leads to sales. This will take place through marketing and sales alignment within initiatives such as referral programs. Referral programs capture high quality leads for a low-cost and:

  • Deliver a 35% conversion rate from referral to purchase (Amplifinity)
  • Increase customer’s willingness to buy by 400% (Nielsen)
  • Have a 4X higher conversion rate than marketing leads (emarketer)

4.    Sunny with a chance of customer happiness programs — In 2016, customer happiness initiatives will be key for sales. These initiatives will take the form of referral and advocacy programs. Referral programs harness the power of customers to advocate for your product or service through their network of family, friends, and professionals to expand the trust of their already-developed relationship to include your business. Advocates understand when people in their network want something or need something and can deliver your business as a qualified source.  This provides salespeople with a work force that offers them increased high quality opportunities that close faster.

About the Author

Jeff Taylor leads the quickly growing Amplifinity Sales Team, and brings 20 years of sales and marketing experience. Most recently, Jeff served as a Sales Director for AT&T Business Services where Jeff developed a stellar record of creating valuable and transparent business relationships with his clients. Contact him at @Jefftayl

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