Written by Sean McPheat |
We are often asked by the media for our take on what is happening in the world of sales and what we think the future holds in that world. The question often is phrased in terms of what trends do we see emerging in various markets and how should sales teams adjust their processes to match them.
This idea of watching for trends is vital in a salesperson’s world. Too often, we see ourselves left behind simply because we react to what is happening.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we keep our research and studies of what is happening in our markets to a high level, we actually see the trends happening before they have an impact, so we can not only keep up with them but have a chance to adapt our procedures before they take hold.
Trends can be described as a general direction in which something is developing or changing, or a general tendency or course of events. They tend to follow certain patterns in many cases and this helps us maintain the pace with changes.
So, what are the trends you could be observing and monitoring, and what benefits would it bring if you did?
Well, you could start off with Product trends and evolutions. This means identifying the updates to your products and those of your competitors. You are able to discuss the advancements with colleagues and clients alike, identifying the benefits these advancements are making. Are they evolving to save clients more money, increase production, offer more profit opportunities, add more strength to their marketing? Whatever the improvements accomplish, they are something that would take your offering further in the market place.
Then, there are Technological trends. These will obviously have an effect on product improvements and they can add to the benefits you can offer to prospects when you discuss the opportunities they being at each level of the improvements. Technological advancements can make your product much more appealing in the market, so keep up to date with your product improvement department and assess how they affect your sales potential.
On a wider scale, Economic and Market trends will always have an effect on the way business is conducted. By being aware of what is happening in areas that concern and affect you, but over which you have little control, you are able to adapt to the changes quicker and offer the necessary changes to products and services that will keep your customers up-to-date and ahead of what changes these trends will have on their business.
Other trends are based on Buyer perceptions. These are things you can follow and adapt to as time progresses. These perceptions can be general, short, medium or long-term, and very specific. Depending on your industry, if you are able to keep up with the changes your buyers are looking for, you start to identify how those adaptations needed to process the changes can be driven to achieve the close relationships where buyers will believe and trust you to deliver what their requirements are.
Linked with this are Service Expectation trends. This requires you watching what different requests are made by your customers and the effect they are having on what you are selling and dealing with. If the expectation trends are towards a changing level of service, it means you can keep up with the expectations so you offer something your competition won’t yet have caught up with.
The main point is that, if you keep paying attention to the trends that are happening and are able to keep track of them, you offer your customers the opportunity to stay alert and in front of their competition.
The trends that affect your industry and business will be kept in view and you’ll be able to adapt to them much quicker so there’s less likelihood of you being left behind and better chances of you building closer relationships as clients see you as real assets to their future plans by informing them of the opportunities available because of the natural, and sometimes cyclical, trends developing at every stage.
Originally published: 29 January, 2015
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