If you're in sales, you know the industry is constantly changing. What worked last year may not work this year, and what works today may not work next year. That's why staying on top of the latest trends is crucial to adjusting your sales strategies accordingly.
So, what can we expect to see in the world of sales in 2023? Here are seven sales trends that you'll want to keep an eye on:
1. The Rise of AI-Driven Sales
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, it will play a bigger role in the sales process. In fact, according to a 2021 Gartner survey, "88% of chief sales officers have already invested in or are considering investing in AI analytics tools and technologies."
The power behind these agents lies in their ability to leverage AI and natural language processing (NLP) to perform tasks like identifying leads, understanding customers’ needs, and predicting buying behavior.
As AI continues to play an increased role in the sales process, it's worth keeping your eyes open for tools that may fit your needs. Start by looking into the various capabilities of AI-enabled sales technology like: NLP, diagnostic analytics, intelligent process automation, predictive analytics, and optimization and prescriptive analytics.
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2. The Death of the Traditional Sales Deck
Long, formal sales presentations are becoming a thing of the past. Buyers are now more interested in engaging, conversation-based interactions and there's a direct correlation between more personal customer experiences and engagement.
For example, instead of a traditional sales deck, some sellers use video to introduce themselves and their organizations more personally. They're also using tools like social media, chatbots, and live chat to build relationships with potential customers.
The death of the traditional sales deck is especially palpable when we look at companies that have ramped up their inbound motion and the results they're achieving- which brings us to our next trend: the rise of inbound selling.
3. The Rise of Inbound Selling
As mentioned, inbound selling has become more popular in recent years as buyers show increased resistance to traditional sales tactics. Inbound selling is all about using content and relationships to attract customers, rather than interrupting them with cold calls or aggressive sales pitches.
And it's working. According to SerpWatch, inbound efforts can decrease a lead's cost by 80%. Another study from Spotio reports that 57% of the selling process occurs before companies have even interacted directly with a consumer and that "77% of B2B purchasers said that they would not even speak to a salesperson until they had done their own research."
Even looking at Regie's internal data gives insight into inbounding's favorability. When checking for average open and reply rates across sales emails sent in the last 30, 90 and 365 days, inbound sales emails consistently beat outbound sales emails for both metrics.
However- this trend doesn't mean outbound selling is useless; that's far from true. Still, it does indicate that an inbound motion is necessary for healthy and sustainable revenue generation.
Now is the time to begin if you're not already using inbound selling strategies. HubSpot offers great resources for getting started with inbound selling, as well as Sales Hacker and Salesloft.
Another way to enhance your inbound motion? Create your own Regie.ai account.
Regie.ai Pro users also have access to 13 different inbound sales sequences, with touch patterns optimized for engagement. Every email in the sequences is written on the spot using AI and the inputs you provide for a fully-customizable, efficient sequence creation experience.
With buyers becoming more knowledgeable and less patient by the day, it's no wonder this tactic is on the rise. Focus on attracting leads with interesting and useful content, and you'll create a solid foundation to build on.
4. The Shift to Subscription Models
We're shifting away from one-time product purchases to subscription models that provide ongoing value. This trend is driven by the desire for convenience and flexibility in today's ever-changing world.
For sellers, the benefits of shifting to subscription models range from increased customer lifetime value to more predictable revenue. Overall, the subscription model allows for a more intimate relationship with the customer and a deeper understanding of their needs.
As 2023 approaches, be prepared for the decision-makers on your team to toy with the idea of introducing subscription-based models to your offerings.
5. The Increase in Data-Driven Sales
In 2023, we'll see an increase in data-driven sales as teams rely more on data to guide their decisions. With the right data, sales teams can improve their forecasting, target the right prospects, and close more deals.
To get ahead of the competition, start collecting data now and use it to inform your sales strategies. Look for data that helps you understand your target market, identify trends, and track your progress.
6. The Rise of Account-Based Marketing
In 2023, we'll see a continued focus on account-based marketing (ABM). This targeted approach to selling is based on the understanding that each customer is unique and deserves a personalized approach.
With ABM, sales and marketing teams work together to identify and target key accounts. Once an account is targeted, the team creates a customized plan to engage the customer and close the deal.
ABM requires a lot of coordination and communication between sales and marketing, but it's worth it. If you're not already using ABM, start thinking about how to implement it in your business with this blog from Gartner.
7. The Growth of Social Selling
Social media has already changed how we sell, and it will only become more important in the coming years. As buyers spend more and more time on social media, sales reps need to be there with them to connect and be a part of the conversation.
Companies are increasingly investing in social selling by hiring reps for evangelist roles, providing training on social media best practices, and creating content that helps sales reps add value to their conversations with prospects.
If you're not already using social selling in your business, now is absolutely the time to start.
For help writing social posts, create a Regie.ai Free Forever account. You'll gain access to our Social Post Generator tool, where you can choose from four different ways to input information you'd like a social post written about.
In seconds, you'll receive multiple iterations of AI-generated social posts that are ready for you to use. Create your account here.
Some Things Never Change
These are just a few of the many sales trends we'll see in 2023. They cover a range of impacts, from lead generation and platform shifts to technology and decision-making, and by no means represent a complete list. Sales is evolving rapidly and will bring even more changes in the next few years.
So what does all mean for sales reps?
Adaptability is key. That's one thing that will never change. If you want to keep up, always be learning. Stay cognizant of and curious about the shifts in strategy and technique happening around you.
The good news is that there are more resources than ever to help us position ourselves and our teams for success in 2023 and beyond.
What do you think about these sales trends? Are you excited about any of them? The Regie team isn't particularly surprised about trend #1, but we digress.
You can get familiar with AI for sales today by creating your free Regie.ai account. Get a taste of what's to come and write entire sales sequences in minutes, rather than hours, while you do it.