2016 Predictions for the Sales Profession

The sales profession is always changing, because sellers must constantly adapt to changes in economic, political, cultural, and market forces. As the world changes, so too must salespeople respond. And, those sellers who can align and adapt first are those who can achieve a competitive advantage.

What kind of changes can we expect to see for the sales profession in the coming New Year? Here is a compilation of perspectives and opinions from Sales Performance International consultants. We’ll revisit these at the end of 2016 and see how many of our prognostications turned out to be accurate.

Macro Trends Affecting Sales

1. Fully empowered “Buyer 2.0” behavior will be the pervasive global norm.
2. Buyers’ perceptions of global uncertainty and instability will not abate.
3. Global shortages in sales talent will become even more acute.
4. The cost of qualified salespeople will rise.
5. The accelerating pace of mergers and acquisitions will increase the need for account planning.

Sales Leadership / Management

1. Sales management spans of control will stabilize, and may even decline.
2. Sales leadership decisions become more data-driven and sales ops becomes sales enablement.

Sales Technology and Enablement

1. Sales enablement technology becomes more intelligent, and more useful to sellers and sales leaders.
2. Being tech-savvy becomes a supercritical requirement for sellers.

Sales Talent Acquisition and Development

1. The use of advanced analytics for sales hiring and development decisions will become pervasive.
2. Millennials’ preferences become increasingly important in developing sales teams. Granular video and mobile content become the new normal.

Buyer/Seller Alignment

1. A differentiated customer experience becomes paramount for sales success.
2. Sales models become more complex and less relationship-based.
3. Confrontational sales techniques will decline, in favor of modern collaborative methods.

Demand/Lead Generation

1. Demand generation becomes even more critical – and more difficult.
2. Smart companies increasingly help sellers develop their own personal brands.

We’ve prepared a summary of these predictions for the sales profession, suitable for sharing with your peers, which you can download here.

If your sales team needs help in making 2016 a successful year, contact us for a consultation: +1 (704) 227-6500, or visit our website at

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