The Sales Role in 2017: What’s Going to Change?

23rd February 2017
Woman Checking the Time
The world of sales is a fast-moving one. Staff turnover can be high and the landscape frequently changes. 

At the moment many marketing and sales automation tools are being advertised, proclaiming new and exciting-sounding ways to improve sales efficiency and increase revenue. The telephone which was dead as a sales method, now has some saying it’s back. Some companies are opting to invest in and hire millennial sales people, whereas others are looking to the baby boomer generation. With all this information out there, we’ve taken a look at a number of publications and their predictions for the sales role in 2017. Our findings are summarised below.

Technology

A number of resources (in fact almost all) mention the continued proliferation of technology in relation to sales and recruitment. This proliferation ranges from using social media to connect with prospective buyers to the use of prediction analytics, more media-rich content marketing and AI-driven prospecting tools. 

A number also agree on the decreasing effectiveness of two old school sales techniques; cold email marketing and cold calling (we’re all victims of the daily spam and at times aggressive sales techniques from people we’ve never met before - personally, we get multiple emails of this nature per day and they are deleted almost as fast as they arrive into our inbox!) However one source thought that due to its speed and clarity, the telephone could well make a comeback this year.

Customer Experience

Whereas once source cites more direct sales as becoming a feature of 2017 – whereby customers buy without any human interaction due to the wealth of product information on the internet - others cite the customer experience as becoming more important throughout this year. 

In relation to the latter, thoughts are that in place of the nature of the relationship between the sales person and the potential customer being the most important factor in them landing the business, the customer experience and service level will replace this.  

Different Sales Roles

A number of sources believe it’s going to become more important to take care of high level, talented sales people – and the perks and bonuses on offer to these individuals will only become more lucrative. 

In another article however, and in contrast to separating the sales role into component parts one company predicts company-wide sales strategy as becoming more important in contrast to individual efforts and targets. 

There’s a lot of information out there! Our personal conclusions are below.

Summary

1. Sales-related technology across all areas of the role will continue to grow and improve.

2. The customer experience is changing. There is more knowledge available now than ever before which can be gained about a product without speaking to a sales person. This could potentially cause fundamental changes to the sales role.

3. Talented sales people will continue to be in high demand.

A number of resources (in fact almost all) mention the continued proliferation of technology in relation to sales and recruitment. This proliferation ranges from using social media to connect with prospective buyers to the use of prediction analytics, more media-rich content marketing and AI-driven prospecting tools.