It’s impossible to talk about 2021 without acknowledging how transformative 2020 was. Businesses were challenged in many ways. And in the process of facing those challenges, they found new ways of operating. It turns out, they’re doing pretty well. A recent study shows that 64% of sales heads who switched to remote work this year either met or exceeded goals.
Pandemic-induced disruptions have inspired sales teams to adopt new ways to do their work. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key trends in sales that came of age in 2020 and are likely to kick off on a bigger scale in the new year.
1. Personalisation will be a necessity
While personalisation isn’t a new ‘trend’, it took on a whole new meaning in 2020. Personalisation no longer was about mere customisation. In the middle of the pandemic, it came to include empathy, kindness and reassurance as well. As this becomes the norm, in 2021, customers will expect your sales teams to have higher empathy for and understanding of their needs.
To achieve this, companies need to collect, secure and analyse more customer data to tailor the experience according to their preferences. This needs data that is more than just on website or app usage, this will include real conversations that customers are having with your teams as well. The returns are worth it: Personalised CTAs convert 202% better than generic ones. An empathetic salesperson can immediately put a prospect at ease and enable more meaningful conversations.
Business tools like a good CRM software can help you maintain a central repository of customer data over time. Integrating your CRM with your cloud telephony solution can make sure this data is used effectively. This will also come in handy while running a personalised ad campaign or just to quickly pull up relevant details while on a customer call.
2. Customer success will be paramount
The probability of selling to an existing customer is at 60-70% compared to the 5-20% of gaining a new one. Add to it the cost of new customer acquisition, it can be an immensely prudent strategy to ensure that existing customers are not just satisfied but delighted.
This can come through many ways: Personalisation, loyalty programs, special attention, VIP access and so on. Imagine a telephony solution that integrates with your CRM, which automatically delivers priority service for customers with a higher lifetime value. Building such innovative ways to ensure customer success will be a game-changer in 2021.
3. Sales will go remote
Months into work-from-home routines, as much as 74% of CFOs are considering making a portion of their workforce fully remote. Even sales teams, that are usually in the field, have been able to seamlessly switch to remote work. Even when the pandemic is over, this set up would be too good to pass.
To ensure that field sales teams can work well remotely, organisations will invest in advanced cloud communication solutions. And with a good cloud telephony solution, remote teams will be able to dial-in effortlessly, without losing the security, privacy and call recording that’s available for contact centre teams.
4. Automation will ease agent workload
83% of customers want to interact with someone as soon as they contact a company. This was difficult to achieve with minimal staff and lockdowns for the larger part of the year. Intelligent automation was the next best thing:
- Virtual chatbots that attend to callers and shorten call queues
- Automatic segmentation of users for lead prioritization
- Automatic assigning of callers to the most appropriate agent
- Automated dialers that trigger calls through cloud telephony
Intelligent automation has made life easier for customers. This left employees free to deal with more complex issues, while the machines handled simple queries or collected data for agents to use. We’ll definitely be seeing more of it in 2021.
5. Sales and marketing will join hands
Sales and marketing have long worked in siloes. One generates leads and the other converts them. Much is lost in this translation. With advanced technology that is available to us today, this isn’t necessary.
For instance, using cloud telephony can make the transition from marketing to sales seamless. By tracking the journey of a prospect from lead to customer, it offers deeper visibility to both marketing and sales — the marketing teams can see which of their campaigns or channels are generating most sales (not just leads); while sales teams can understand the customer journey from the very beginning.
6. Analytics will empower sales
A salesperson making hundreds of calls each month will hardly be able to remember each prospect’s preference. Technology can help fill this gap.
-> Call recordings to train new salespeople, address escalations and maintain quality standards.
-> Analytics on telephone conversations to strengthen customer profiles and preferences.
-> Identifying sales performance trends to improve promotion effectiveness.
-> AI-enabled telephony systems to make sure your contact centre teams have everything they need while calling a customer, improving productivity.
-> In fact, intelligent analytics can also prevent common errors and missteps by agents.
Sell better in 2021 with Exotel
If there is one thing that ties all the above sales trends together, it is that the adoption of digital technology can make sales and customer service better. In 2021, free your sales teams from being tied to inflexible EPABX systems. Consider Exotel’s cloud telephony service to make secure calls through the internet, while also leveraging advanced features, analytics and more. Speak to us today to take the first step.