Top Trends Driving the Future of Sales

High-performing sales teams are 3.5x more likely to use sales analytics than under-performing teams.

Sales has changed dramatically over the last few years. The rise of mobile and social technologies have made customers more empowered and knowledgeable than ever before. According to the corporate advisory firm CEB, customers are already 57 percent through the buying cycle before even engaging with a salesperson. When customers do engage seriously with a brand, the selling cycle is competitive and compressed, and sales people need to move quickly to close the sale. 

A survey of more than 2,300 sales leaders worldwide finds that higher performing sales teams are far more likely to maximize technology, particularly analytics and mobile, and leverage the entire organization in the sales cycle. The best sales teams are using data to make more informed, behavior-based decisions to fuel sales. Analytics help teams explore data such as revenue by quarter, year-over-year sales rep productivity and opportunity conversion rates to surface undiscovered trends and pinpoint areas to focus on to maximize future growth.The survey finds that:

  • High-performing sales teams are 3.5x more likely to use sales analytics than under-performing teams.
  • Predictive analytics, which looks at historical and current data to make forward-looking predictions, represents the next phase of analytics innovation. Among the companies surveyed, 19 percent are currently using predictive analytics, but adoption is expected to grow by 135 percent over the next 12 to 18 months.

Inspired by consumer adoption, mobile devices and apps are now becoming mainstream for business users. Today's highest performing sales reps use mobile apps for everything from lead management to sales forecasting.Other findings include:

  • Top sales organizations are nearly 5x more likely to rate their mobile sales capabilities as outstanding or very good.
  • Sixty percent of high-performing sales teams currently use or are planning to use a mobile sales app, while only nine percent of under-performing sales teams report using mobile apps in their sales processes. Among all sales leaders surveyed, mobile sales app use will more than double in the next two years, growing by 125 percent.
  • Customers and prospects increasingly expect to be able to buy products directly via mobile apps. More than half of high-performing companies currently deliver or plan to deliver sales directly to customers and prospects via a mobile app in the next two years.

Creating a culture where sales is the collective responsibility of the entire organization is critical to success. In many cases, that means breaking down silos and unifying sales and marketing processes to get a complete view of the customer.

  • Companies with high-performing sales teams are nearly 3x as likely as under-performers to view sales as the responsibility of the whole company.
  • High-performing teams also know that happy employees lead to happy customers, and 93 percent of top teams rate employee satisfaction as very important compared to 46 percent of under-performers.
  • Sixty-one percent of high-performing sales teams have a single view of the customer, compared to just 14 percent of under-performing teams.



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