We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Ken Cross is SPI’s Director of Sales Enablement and User Experience.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
By utilizing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics, a smarter breed of sales enablement technology has emerged that will drive a higher-level of productivity and performance. The technology does this by anticipating a rep’s needs and proactively pushing the best content and insight. This new technology is different from most of the sales enablement technology on the market today that is merely a content repository through which the rep must search.
What is causing this trend?
We’re in the information age. If I want to learn about something, I can pull out my smartphone and have access to all the information I could ever want. The way a lot of people interact with apps these days is changing. In the past, users have gone to an app to interact with it. Now we get push notifications. You open or expand that push notification and interact with the app without actually ever going into the app. It’s important to be able to interact with sellers that way.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Companies that invest in sales enablement applications that deliver an effortless user experience and insightful information will see higher levels of adoption and productivity improvement. Conversely, those that deploy sales enablement applications that are difficult to use will see those investments fail to deliver sufficient value. As a sales leader, you only get so many chances to implement initiatives that drive productivity and performance. Successful initiatives enhance your credibility as a leader, but failed initiatives can fuel in cynicism and undermine your credibility.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Don’t be afraid of change, and don’t be afraid to look to technology to underpin that change. However, be curious and don’t settle for antiquated technology even if an established player sells it. Be bold and challenge the status quo. However, once you make your decision, then put your full support behind the initiative. Even when technology is a key solution component, you are attempting to change the way people work – for the better. Don’t lose sight of this objective.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!