2017 is going to be a challenging year for many sales leaders. Over the past two months, I have spoken to over 30 technology CEOs and CFOs. Almost everyone has told me they expect significant sales growth in their organizations in the coming year. Which key sales trend is going to impact your sales efforts in 2017?
Many believe that the changes of the last year have signaled that people are ready for change in their lives and, ultimately, their careers. They expect 2017 to be a year with breakthrough sales results! This may be the only thing they all agree on. Are you ready to take your results to the next level in the coming year?
I’ve identified five major trends that change the way we sell in 2017. These trends impact how we manage our sales careers moving forward. I’m not sure all these trends are new, but I see them accelerating in 2017. Which sales trend will you capitalize on in the coming year?
The first sales trend for 2017 is that clients expect technology sales professionals to look at the bigger picture! Over the past several years, we have seen a trend towards heavily targeted technology offerings. Many sales professionals are good at understanding how their particular technology can be used in a client organization. These sales professionals are very good at solving a specific problem a client has. This will change in 2017! Many of these technologies and solutions begin converging in the coming year. Your clients expect a complete solution.
Successful sales professionals learn how to share stories about the successes their customers have achieved through implementing their solutions. I believe that successful sales professionals are good at engaging in a conversation that changes the nature of the partnership with your vendors. They go from sales experts to masters of change in their markets.
The second sales trend for 2017 is that your sales professionals are not like you. Many business founders and entrepreneurs are finding the people they hire don’t have the same values and careers they have. Younger, digital friendly sales professionals won’t have the same world view of their customers. Many have worked in startup organizations that have failed. Many have never worked in a larger, corporate organization.
They have had limited sales training and coaching. They tend to be less aware of corporate politics and organizational structures. Many clients have adjusted their thinking to become more results-oriented than relationship focused. I see this sales trend transforming our relationships with clients by changing the basic premise of what makes a successful sales professional. It isn’t pretty, but that’s the new reality.
In many cases, your larger, corporate client buyers are fighting for their professional lives. This means that you need to not only meet their needs, but understand the intangibles of their individual situation if you hope to get and keep their business. Are you ready to help your individual customers see the possibilities?
Are you ready to learn more about the other major trends impacting your sales results in 2017? Tomorrow at Market Leadership Journal, we share several more trends that impact your sales results in 2017.
See you here next Tuesday when we talk about how your clients’ world is changing. I share several ideas on how to build stronger relationships in the coming year. See you then.