8 Latest Sales Trends to Follow in 2023
Last year sales reps experienced an unprecedented amount of sales trends such as AI and the hybrid remote work model. Although sales trends change unregarded to the calendar, taking a look back and seeing how much the field changed in a year has a lot of benefits.
Understanding new sales trends can help sales teams shape their processes according to changes in the market, consumer behaviour, and new technologies. Only by looking back can we make predictions about the sales trends of tomorrow.
Here are the 8 sales trends we decided to highlight:
- shifting the focus to existing customers
- combining multiple teams together
- social selling
- personalization at every part of the process
- implementing sales automation software
- using AI responsibly
- understanding Millennial and Gen Z purchase behaviour
- investing in your sales team
Shifting the focus to existing customers
If you’re wondering why you should focus more on retaining existing customers than attracting new ones, it’s actually because this way you save money. Research shows that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.
Being able to retain customers as well as regularly upselling them, is a much better way of securing your monthly recurring revenue than working on attracting new potential buyers in your sales pipeline and trying to convert them.
Furthermore, with 26% of sales reps saying they put more focus on existing customers than finding new ones, it’s easy to see this trend growing in 2023.
In order to successfully focus on existing customers and upsell them, you need to build relationships. This is the essence of sales and every sales rep needs to know how to forge those customer relationships.
It requires you to be a good listener as well as very knowledgeable about the product or service you’re selling. That way, you can provide relevant information at the right time and easily convince the client to upsell without being too pushy.
Combining multiple teams together
It’s time to leave the every-department-for-themselves mentality in the past. If your sales team isn’t working hand in hand with the marketing team, the customer success team, and the product team, you’re missing out on a lot of sales opportunities.
How many? Well if you want us to get technical, the Aberdeen Group found that combining the sales and marketing teams can help:
- generate 32% higher revenue
- retain 36% more customers
- achieve 38% higher win rates
Marketing teams bring new leads into your sales pipeline and the quality of those leads specifically depends on the relationship between the two teams. If the marketing team doesn’t have a good understanding of your buyer personas and what makes a good potential customer, they will bring in leads with a low chance of converting or ones that turn into bad customers overall.
Your sales and marketing teams shouldn’t just work on the quality of your leads, but also the sales content, marketing strategies, creating a personalized customer experience and more.
The customer success team should keep their finger on the pulse. They will be the first ones to know if a certain product feature isn’t working or if there is an increase in the need for a different feature.
All of this is valuable information that can help you shape your sales process. Use customer data to create new strategies that shift the focus on your existing customers.
If they are happy with your brand, they will be more inclined to recommend you to their peers and create amazing reviews on social media.
Selling to a warm audience is always easier than cold calling. That’s one of the reasons social selling is so effective.
The psychology behind social selling is this – you’re creating valuable content about your products, services and the benefits of using them. Your target audience is seeing the content and it almost plants an idea into their minds.
Over time, you’re building on that idea by answering their questions and addressing any objections they might have.
So next time they have the need for a product like yours, your brand will be the one that will come up first.
Research shows that 31% of B2B professionals said that social selling helps them with relationship building. It’s a great sales strategy that can speed up the buying process while helping your brand visibility.
Social selling has other benefits as well:
- It helps you nurture leads that are likely to convert. People that search for your brand on social media and engage with your content are more likely to buy from you, so it’s important to create valuable content for them.
- Helps you spread brand awareness. The more active you are on various social platforms, the more people will learn about your brand and that can ultimately increase your number of sales.
- The more care you put into your leads, the more your conversion value will increase.
However, in order to successfully utilize this sales strategy, you need to have a strong social team. Your sales professionals need to stay on top of all social media trends, have a great understanding of your target audience and work with a detailed content plan.
The content plan needs to address different stages of the buyer’s journey while keeping the content light, without any hard selling points.
Make sure you’re constantly checking the analytics and any other valuable data that can tell you whether your posts are producing results.
Try to engage in social listening to find any new opportunities to sell or spread to a new market.
Personalization at every part of the sales process
Every potential client is different. They have different needs and will use your products and services in a specific way so talking to them as a part of a group won’t cut it.
Your sales reps need to shape their approach according to the specific lead’s needs. After all, people buy from people and they want to feel listened to and appreciated at every step of the sales process.
The best way to personalize your approach is to have enough data on your leads. You can’t be wasting your time researching every single person, which is why you need to utilize reliable CRM software or have a somewhat detailed sign-up form that provides enough value for people to give you more than just an email.
That’s how you can provide a personalized customer experience. And honestly, little things can go a long way. Make sure you’re addressing your potential and existing clients by name. Starting emails with Hey there makes your brand seem outdated.
Create specific email marketing campaigns for different groups of leads, as well as existing customers. Make sure that everyone gets content that is valuable and relevant to them.
Implementing sales automation software
Did you know that sales reps spend 64% of their time on non-sales activities? This means that the majority of their time goes to administrative tasks that can easily be automated. Today’s market simply can not wait for your sales professionals to act as data entry people.
But the issue goes deeper than that.
If your team doesn’t have enough time to focus on the creative parts of the sales process, your sales efforts will fall short. In the same vein, if it takes them a long time to get back to leads, your sales cycle is too long and it’s causing you to bleed potential clients.
Sales teams sometimes mistakingly think that the biggest disadvantage of automation is having to compromise on the quality or creativity of their process. The best way to avoid this is to start with a single automation tool and work from there.
Start by choosing a part of your sales process you need help with and find the right tool for it. It’s important that you test out the tool before you commit. That’s the only way you’ll know whether the tool truly eliminates time-wasting tasks.
Our favourite sales automation tool is of course Better Proposals. It’s a tool that was created out of a true need for a better understanding of the proposal and agreement process.
Better Proposals give your sales reps more control. Not only do we provide fully customizable pre-written proposal templates that significantly speed up your proposal process, but we also provide a lot of data that can shape your follow-up process.
Once you send your proposal, you can track it. We’ll notify you every time your document was opened, paid and signed.
Furthermore, we’ll provide you with proposal analytics that shows exactly how much time your clients spend on each of the proposal sections. That information helps you shape the next step – the follow-up.
Should you lead with a discount, a case study further proving your expertise, more details on your process or else?
If you’re wondering what makes Better Proposals stand out from the other proposal tools, take a look at this article. In it, our CEO explains his experience with using other proposal tools and details feature by feature, why Better Proposals is the best choice.
Using AI responsibly
It seems like AI such as ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. While some sales teams became early adopters, others think that it’s the beginning of the end for creative writing. The truth is as always, somewhere in the middle.
While AI such as this has existed for a while and can help you create outlines and parts of your blogs, you still can’t rely on it to create high-quality content. It still requires a lot of rewriting and editing.
Sales organizations know that AI needs to be used responsibly. One of the best ways to use AI is for sales forecasting. It refers to using sales data to create new strategies and understand their performance.
If you can accurately predict the number of sales you’ll achieve in a year, or business quarter, you can use it to inform your hiring process, marketing budgets and so much more.
The biggest benefits of using AI for sales forecasting are:
- it saves time
- it provides accurate data
Research shows that sales leaders spend 2.5 hours per week on forecasting, and it’s mostly done manually.
If you want to save time in 2023, invest in a good sales forecasting tool that could do more than save you time.
AI can also help you with sales tasks such as
- predicting buyer trends
- interpreting data
- understanding selling data
- planning sales processes
Understanding Millennial and Gen Z purchase behaviours
Millennials and Gen Z have changed the sales landscape. These two generations grew up during a few financial crises, which made them more financially literate and frugal.
Only 19% of Gen Z are willing to buy on credit, while for Millennials the number rises to 30%.
However, there is some good news for sales teams.
48% of Americans aged 18-34 have purchased products or services from social media and they regularly use Instagram to discover new brands.
Since these two generations embraced technology pretty quickly, it’s important for sales teams to focus on the customer experience and make sure that the buying experience is seamless.
Make sure you put focus on convenience if you want to win over these generations.
Investing in your sales team
Nurturing leads is important, but so is taking care of your sales reps.
This might be our favourite sales trend. Investing in your team is beneficial beyond employee retention.
A happy sales rep is a more productive rep. If your team feels valued, know that they can come to you for help and clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, they will have amazing results.
That’s why this year it’s so important to invest in your sales teams. Provide them with workshops, and training and make sure you’re continually checking in on them.
If you’re looking for creative sales incentives, we have a great list that takes into account the different personalities your sales reps might have.
Wrapping up sales trends 2023
Sales trends can help us understand the changes in the market, how to keep up with the competition and whether we’re proficiently addressing the needs of our clients.
Now that you know the trends to watch, it’s time to increase sales by focusing on the customer journey and buyer behaviour.
Start sending high conversion proposals today
more professional way to win more business.