“If you give people a good enough ‘WHY’, they will always figure out the ‘HOW’.” -Jordan Belfort
Isn’t that what Sales is all about? Such is the magic of a perfectly crafted Sales strategy by a brand we either love or grow to love. Empowering the ones that create and implement these strategies is what Sales Operations is all about. Sales can be chaotic and panicky. Sales Operations is a remedy that brings comfort in the panic. It may have come a long way already, but there are still ‘miles to go before they sleep’. Let’s see what 2018 could have in store for Sales Operations.
1. Social Selling via Omni-Channel Sales Strategies
Social Selling is not just a concept any more. It’s as real as it gets. Prospects are everywhere, on every possible social platform. Companies need to be proactive to cover every channel to reach out to prospects. Sales Operations would need to enable their Sales reps to seamlessly juggle between platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc depending on the nature of the business, that is B2B or B2C. Since there are different strokes for different folks, a strategy could be implemented through a pattern of the best results from each platform to determine where the prospects most engage.
2. Account Based Life
ABM is not a state of mind, it’s more existent than we could have guessed a few years ago and it is going to prevail too. Technology has made the movement of ABM smooth and powerful. The tried and tested tricks to an effective ABM/ABS are personalized content, engaging targets through quality and not quantity, focusing on identifying influencers and not just decision makers, setting goals and monitoring progress more often than not, instead of waiting for the quarter to end and have that dreaded review meeting.
3. Acknowledging AI Domination
We hear about Artificial Intelligence everywhere these days. The purpose of the inception of AI was not to replace reps as opposed to what Case Deflection tools do, but to augment reps and automate manual tasks. Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Execution & Evolution at JBarrows, says, “AI technology will provide an immense amount of insights and triggers that will help sales professionals as they go throughout the sales cycle. Data will be held to a higher standard within organizations to streamline tools that use AI, so your sales team will produce more results.” Therefore, if AI is implemented correctly, it could be the Alfred to our Batman.
4. Solid Emphasis on Sales & Marketing Alignment
In 2018, Sales & Marketing would be more integrated and intertwined than we’ve been struggling to see in the yesteryears. The need for this alignment is not just a shared revenue of the organization that they belong to but because the prospects/potential buyers expect it. They do not want inconsistencies and grey areas in the marketing to sales process, which in turn could hamper their trust and confidence in the brand. The fix is simple and doable: A united front, which can be achieved through effective communication, clarification of the roles and responsibilities of each department and synchronization of the resources via a centralized knowledge base.
5. Implementation of Well-Integrated Sales Enablement Tools
Sales operations need to make their reps ‘sales-intelligent’. Businesses have made use of technology for better experiences at every end, be it customer, prospect or employee. Personalization has spread like wildfire, so much so that even B2B prospects expect personalization like B2C prospects. It is necessary to have high-powered CRM & Sales-Intelligent tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Outreach, Datafox, etc. These also need to be integrated well to reduce time and effort.
In 2018, Sales Operations would need to be on the top of their game and be the backbone of the organization to flawlessly enable and empower the sales teams to thus inch closer to ultimate success.