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Today we have a guest post from Josiane Feigon. Josiane is the founder and CEO of TeleSmart Communications. A twenty-year veteran of the industry, Josiane is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on inside sales team and manager talent, providing consulting, coaching and training solutions. Her book Smart Selling on the Phone and Online has created a buzz in the global inside sales industry and quickly becoming the sourcebook for inside sales. Her Cubicle Chronicles blog is voted among the top 25 sales. As a thought leader, she is recognized among the top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals in the world.

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Welcome survivors!

Workshifters have made it through two years of the Great Recession, and another two years of one of the weakest “recoveries” in US economic history. In 2012, you will find that companies continue to sit on their cash reserves, and stressed-out consumers continue to postpone purchases — just because they can.

These Customer 2.0 folks are more educated than ever before too. They want us to meet them on their terms. And 70% of them engage much later in the sales cycle than they used to.

But don’t take your toys and go home — stay humble and hungry and ready to roll. They are just about ready to open the floodgates of pent-up demand, and you want to be there when they do.

Keep repeating your “humble and hungry” mantra in 2012, and prepare for these top trends:

1. Inside Sales Changes the Game

Be proud! This fast-growing group will continue to force every sales organization to reshape their field versus inside ratio.

2. Millennials Avoid Phones

Do not be one of these! Many lead development new hires are Millennials whohide behind their power dialers and avoid or waste live conversations.

3. Prospect with LinkedIn

Use it or lose it. With 135 million users and two more added every second — most in the 25-54 demographic — LinkedIn is the single largest social corporate tool for prospecting.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Game Plan

Customer 3.0 can quickly throw your careful plan off-track because they call their own shots. They are engaging later and later in the sales cycle, and coming in much more informed than ever before. Stay alert!

5. Cell-it! Mobile-ize it!

Forrester projects that by 2015, smartphone adoption will grow 150% and 82 million consumers will own a tablet. Mobile will become a primary way to speak to customers and prospects. Expect to have at least 50% or more of all opportunity and lead management conducted from a smart phone or tablet.

6. DIY

Stop waiting on marketing and build your own content tool-kit. And make sure that it includes diverse and disruptive forms of content — today’s customers prefer an infographic to a white paper.

7. Use Five Ingredients

The phone and email can no longer do it alone–they need their peeps! Or maybe we should we say tweets. Use these five ingredients every time: phone + texting + video + emails + social.

8. It’s Video, Baby

Video is quickly becoming the new high-impact sales medium. By 2020, 85% of buyer-seller interactions will happen online, through social media and video. Nielsen reports that over 60 hours of video per minute is downloaded and watched on YouTube every day (every minute of every day). And 40% of people watch video via their MOBILE device.

9. Let’s Get Virtual

Geo regions are so yesterday. Salespeople work virtually now — from home or from satellite offices. Social proximinty beats geographic proximity, hands down.

10. Build a Sustainable Sales Training Infrastructure

According to ES Research, companies are using more sales training in three modes: live classroom, on-demand, and live virtual training.Onboarding will become a critical success factor as companies put primary importance on training. Don’t forget to build in training reinforcers on the back-end.

Listen to the recorded archive webinar on the Top 12 Transforming Sales Trends in 2012.

Photo Credit: lastquest

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