In just a span of two years, marketing strategies and selling points have shifted drastically. Businesses worldwide have learned to adapt to the changes that were enforced upon them. As we enter another year with a probable economic recession in the making, another set of challenges awaits business leaders and sales representatives.
Automated sales processes, AI-generated sales tools, and the supremacy of digital marketing are just some of the trends that one can expect in 2023. But with everything going online, each of these factors blends into the others. It gets confusing where one line ends and the other begins. The only way to ensure that your business stays afloat is to get ahead of the game. Explore these nine emerging trends and prep your businesses for 2023.
1. AI’s Role in Boosting Sales
AI has come a long way from when it was first introduced to the public in the 1950s. It has now evolved to become an overall business solution for marketing, sales, and customer service. AI can process both simple and complex tasks in just a few clicks. In fact, in a 2013 study by Oxford University, they estimated that there are about 700 job positions that can be replaced by AI.
In the context of business, AI enables the salesforce to collect useful customer data that can be utilized to create sales strategies or improve product offerings. With the data gathered, this technology can provide an outlook on sales trends that helps businesses get ahead. The software run by AI ensures accuracy which allows companies to lessen the risks on their end.
CRMs also take advantage of the wonders of artificial intelligence by incorporating this into their software. It helps companies increase lead generation, closure rate, and overall sales performance. Salesforce's Einstein automates forecasting and data entry so the sales team can maximize every selling opportunity.
2. Impact of Digital Transformation
People might have adjusted well to living in the middle of a pandemic. As some would say, this is the most normal we might get. Masks are off, the majority are vaccinated, and establishments are already crowded by travel-excited people.
Digital transformation has been visible in decision-making processes, automation of sales processes, and remote working. We’ve come to the point where processes and systems work together to finish humane tasks efficiently. Businesses must ensure that the appropriate technology is integrated into all of their processes and activities. There’s no valid reason not to.
2022 also showed that purchasing and selling procedures are moving hastily into the digital realm. Your sales team should consider this when building their sales plan for 2023. Set up a variety of distinct channels to offer consumers so that they may select the one that suits them best. For the best buying experience, you should be able to give the option of moving between channels seamlessly.
3. Prioritization of Customer Experience
Business owners used to prioritize producing the best product and marketing it to the right audience. While these two still play big roles in sales, they no longer occupy the top spot. Results from Metrigy's research show that customer experience has been rated number one by a majority of organizations as their top business priority.
Instead of concentrating on exceptional customer service, you should underscore giving a more favorable, complete customer experience. The need of establishing a customer success plan has been heightened by the shift in consumer priorities brought about by the pandemic as well as the impending economic crisis.
Be more sensitive to your consumers' demands and requests now more than ever. Look for potential solutions if customers exhibit indicators of churn and are struggling to consider buying from you because of financial challenges. You should likewise connect with them frequently to learn how the recession is affecting them and to ensure that your products or services are still making sense to your consumers. Surely, there will be more problems that will come and go that could affect consumer behavior, but once you’ve established and maintained a good relationship with customers, you can count on their loyalty and continued patronage of your brand’s product or services.
4. Value-Based Selling
Truth be told, everything is becoming too expensive; people’s purchasing power is diminishing. With the recession, offering discounts and promotions alone will not help you close deals. Prospects sometimes reject offers without even allowing the sales representative an opportunity to clarify because they believe it’s too expensive. Hard selling won’t cut it. It’s time to strategize how to carry out value-based selling plans.
CRM Lab enumerates the process of doing a value-based approach. First, your sales rep must identify a potential customer’s needs and wants before adjusting your offer based on the collated facts. Explain to prospects how your service or products will help them and narrate the results that they should expect from them.
In this approach, the sales team must be knowledgeable about the products and well-equipped with answers and solutions. According to one survey, 87% of high-growth organizations use a value-based strategy. In comparison, 45% of businesses suffer negative performance and do not use the same sales technique.
5. Creativity Is the Key
Often, businesses tend to either copy their competitors or just implement an improved version of their strategy. If Company A uses a particular strategy and it works, Company B will also create a spin-off of the strategy, and so on. In 2023, it’s important to inject as much creativity as you can to innovate and come up with a more creative strategy. Repetitive advertisements bore consumers and they no longer capture their attention.
Companies must come up with fresh ideas that will pique the interest of consumers and ultimately generate sales. Look for that “Wow!” factor. It’s time to drop the “work harder” mindset but rather focus on working smarter. A minor change in your regular marketing strategy might help you stand out from the rest. There will be risks along the way, but these risks should be calculated to minimize exposure; if worse comes to worst, one should learn how to overcome them.
There is no hard and fast rule for how to do this. It’ll take a few unconventional methodologies, approaches, and techniques. But in pushing the boundaries of creativity, you should be cautious to remain respectful and professional. They should be appropriate to the target market and general public.
6. Automating Sales Processes
Automation isn’t new but it has become a staple in businesses worldwide. It’s expected to further develop in 2023. This is essential for a company's sales strategy, particularly if salespeople want to sustain a competitive edge in their sectors. Just like AI and other digital solutions, this is a must-have to survive the economic slump.
Everyone benefits from automation. Clients will benefit from a quicker response time. Increased salesforce productivity will benefit businesses. According to an article in Forbes, over two-thirds (64.8%) of salespeople's time is spent on non-revenue-generating tasks, allowing only 35.2% for selling-related responsibilities. With automation, the salesforce can now focus on what they enjoy: providing value to consumers.
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is the most effective technique to automate your sales process. It enables you to automate your approach, set up drip campaigns, and manage your sales funnels more effectively. It enables a business to devote more time to cultivating leads, servicing existing customers, and tailoring customer experiences.
7. Social Selling
Social selling is the cultivation of lasting relationships with leads to create sales. It is founded on the concept that consumers are more inclined to purchase from a company with whom they have a previous connection. If you live rent-free in your clients' consciousness, you'll be the primary brand that comes to mind when they require your products or services.
Over the previous decade, selling has developed dramatically. Because most buyers nowadays research first before purchasing, social selling has become critical to the sales process. Through it, you are only providing information about your items to those who are genuinely intrigued, giving them a nudge your way. If you can further develop these relationships, they have the potential to flourish.
Moreover, online interaction helps to elevate your brand, resulting in increased exposure and brand awareness. Better visibility results in higher-quality leads. Potential clients are more likely to purchase than just view your offerings. As an overall result, you can expect more sales as your leads are sure wins.
8. Enhancing Data and Analytics
Shifting to a data-driven sales model is key to the digital revolution that will sweep through every market in 2023 and beyond. It enables us to respond with conviction amid uncertainty, which is especially important when conflicts and pandemics disrupt the conventional world order.
Data derived from sales enablement tools and CRM systems assist your team in identifying closure likelihood, prospect prioritization, as well as the subsequent best opportunities. With this information, marketers and salespeople can develop a more efficient and appropriate type of material for closing transactions and improve every phase of the sales cycle.
Data and analytics are important in sales. KPIs are used by sales executives to define targets, enhance internal procedures, and more precisely anticipate future sales and income. Sales data enables you to make educated judgments and select the best sales techniques. When you understand how to evaluate sales data, you will be able to identify patterns and trends that will help your sales staff. They will then assist you in increasing the sales of your company.
9. Marketing to a Gen-Z Audience
Generation Z has been dubbed the most crucial consumer demographic to date, with a different perspective on purchasing and consumption than prior generations. They are the most recent entrants into the labor field and have significant purchasing power. Brands must earn their spot in Generation Z's wallets by increasing their desire for higher-quality things and constantly monitoring their spending.
Personalization works well with Generation Z. They likewise expect to see the value in what they spend. If you can include unique incentives and prizes on social media, you'll be in an even better position to attract your Gen Z target demographic. You might also take advantage of Gen Z's preference for small-scale influencers and social media.
Gen Zs likewise do not hesitate to “cancel” a brand when they prove that its values do not line up with theirs. They are more prone to link a brand's or company's societal effect to their buying decisions. They are investigating all factors starting from ethical manufacturing techniques to employee treatment, as well as eco-friendly projects and sustainability.
Most importantly, take advantage of the appropriate platforms. All your marketing efforts would go to waste if people can’t see them. If you want to engage with Gen Z ladies, don't forget TikTok. It is the third largest advertising medium in the shopping decisions of Gen Z females. Instagram advertisements and IG influencer posts are also popular.
Sales teams must revise their sales plan to ensure it reflects what their business is attempting to achieve. Sales performance will be adversely affected if teams do not make the necessary modifications. Sales reps cannot continue to rely on the same tips and techniques that have worked in the past. Change in a company has numerous good consequences, like maintaining a competitive advantage and remaining relevant in your industry field.
Change fosters creativity, builds skills, and develops employees, which in turn leads to greater business prospects and boosts employee morale. Staying up to date on trends is critical for establishing credibility and value, as well as demonstrating that you understand where your business is headed in the future. It is the secret to assuring that your business stays afloat despite any challenges.
As firms analyze the adjustments they've made to their approach over the years, it's also a good time to assess how flexible your marketing and sales methods are and look for ways to leverage unique possibilities and trends. Choose the trends that fit you most effectively and get the rewards of having a forward-thinking and robust company that can weather the odds.