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The Future of Sales: 10 bold predictions

We had a very exciting first Social Sales meetup last Thursday! Some of my favorite people attended including Anneke Seley from Phoneworks, Gerhard Gschwandtner from Sales 2.0, our awesome host, Rob van Es, VP Sales Hearsay Social and our presenter (and rock star of the evening) Jacco van der Kooij, our speaker and VP Business Operations of Qumu.

Surely it’s no surprise that sales is changing. But how? The Future of Sales is all about customer value and engagement.

In short sales teams are asked by customers to please stop selling. Customers are saying: inform me, engage me, ask me questions. Customers want to be helped, not sold to. It’s about building value for customers, and this will have big consequences for the sales organization, methodology, skills, content and tools.

Organization

1 in 2 sales people will lose their job: much of sales will be self-service and transactional while the remaining sales jobs will take on a more consultative role. In an era where relationship is the new currency in sales, customers will only talk to people they trust. Executives will be asked to leverage their credibility to do exec-to-exec cold calling.

In many partner-based models such as consulting and law firms, it is already true that the most senior partners are responsible for bringing in (leads for) new business. Software will soon follow. Account managers are becoming customer success managers and inside sales prospecting will be done by marketing.

Methodology

Historically we have optimized about getting the quote across the table. Now we need to optimize around building connections and creating value. Within the next year, expect a LinkedIn group will be sold for one million dollars.

Skills

Sales people will get hired and fired based on their social media skills. Sales needs, and will get, the most sophisticated and ongoing training – it’s predicted that 90% of field sales activity to go virtual from research to preparation to creating interactive collateral.

To see more of the 10 bold predictions of the future of sales, click to see Jacco’s presentation.

Ellis Luk

I'm the marketing and communications manager at Totango - but you can call me Chief Content Officer. When I'm not writing, you can find me obsessing over memes, debating grammatical usage or getting distracted by the latest Tumblr gif blogs. Customer love starts with a friendly hello!

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