We are currently living in the fast-pacing world. Everyday discoveries are being made. If you don’t follow progress firmly your business can be left behind. Technology becomes cheaper and more accessible to the market, automation takes over tedious tasks.
Christmas is over, the new year is here with new opportunities and challenges. Time to learn which sales trends are going to be significant in 2019. Prepare your sales team and tweak your sales process to meet all the needs.
Let’s start and talk about sales trends in 2019! In this article, I will focus on the most promising sales trends that can make or break your business next year.
Sales trend no.1 – Authenticity not advertising
We have seen it all, from fake bodies in the fashion industry, flat burgers to latest fail by Samsung. Retail and e-commerce sales share the same sins. With increased advertising, it’s harder to find an honest presentation of a product or service. Customers grow tired of this practice. Sales process need to change.
According to a Nielsen report from people you know are the most trusted source of information about products. Advertising is at the bottom of the list. The industry did nothing to improve that. The sales team are relying on an old type of advertising, oversell to sell.
As Edelman Barometer reports, customers continue to lose trust in advertising and business. Social media influencers and journalists gain trust.
How to stay on top of this sales trend? Keep reading to understand which actions in the sales process are responsible for the loss of trust.
What is the reason for losing trust? Which companies action can become a liability?
Advertising – with false advertisement, overselling and review buying your sales company can go down. Actions can do more bad than good. Keep your communication honest, stay away from pushy, forceful or manipulative messages. Remember that 1 in 4 customers uses ad blocker of some kind in 2018. These trends are expected to continue. Companies need to be mindful with resources relocation in the advertisement department. Top companies try to be part of this sales trend in 2018 and are going to continue it in 2019. Stay ahead of competitors and bring your top game. Deliver the best customer experience.
Branding – be mindful how you tell your company’s story, stick to the truth, don’t copy others. Your message has to match your values and actions. Customer will gladly put their trust in your business. Sales trends come and go. The channel of distribution changes so is the marketing strategy. However, the history of your brand is going to stay, keep it clean.
Cyber attacks – lack of security and repeatable security bridges can throw shade on your company. Keep data and assets secure to enable customers to trust you with data you need to operate your business. It’s particularly essential in the sales business. The company has access to customer sensitive data like credit cards numbers. Make sure your security is solid. Sales trends are evolving with the market. The sales process is crucial, however other areas of industry, like security, are becoming more important.
This way sharing your values and letting customers experience them never been easier. Let your actions speak for itself. Impress your customers with omnichannel reach.
How to deal with customers losing trust? How to make those sales trends into your strength? What can your sales team do to improve sales process?
The answer is to BE AUTHENTIC. Use your content marketing, omnichannel message to provide top-notch e-commerce experience. Give your customers something they can genuinely value – high-quality content. Back your claims with referrals, testimonials, case studies. Focus on delivering those with consistency to your customers. Sales trends are going to change, your brand’s integrity is there to stay.
Sales trend no. 2 – Prepare yourself for Generation Z
Sales trends change with generations, technology, and products. For now, Millenials are the buying power dominating sales. However, a new generation is emerging. Marketers and salespeople should be aware of them in 2019. It’s called generation Z and represents people born between the mid-’90s and mid-2000s. Already they are worth 29-143 billions in direct spending. So selling trends need to adapt to these new customers.
How do you sell to Gen Z? Which channel of distribution is the most effective?
Remember that they never experienced the world without modern technology. It’s a generation that stays online 24/7. They grew up with social media, smartphones, online shopping. They have access to information at their fingertips.
Generation Z is very self-aware customers, involved in global issues. Especially concerning environmental problems. Your sales process need to reflect those needs. Sales trends can’t be your only concerns.
There are a few challenges for companies to stay on top of this sales trend in 2019. Key is to use proper channels and provide excellent customer experience. Selling trends are not only about profit and sales process. They also need to be focused on customer needs.
The renaissance of brick-and-mortar stores and ROPO ( research online purchase offline)
Even though Gen Z lives in the online world, 57% of them prefer to buy in brick-and-mortar shops. This might show a possible change in the sales process, in favor of on-site shops. E-commerce has to bring its top game to keep customers engaged. Sales team have to double their efforts to keep e-commerce and on-site selling on the same level.
They are also more likely to buy from a brand that offers a loyalty program. This selling trend is nothing new. However, need some revising to account for Gen Z need for personalization.
Although they do research online, they want to purchase offline (ROPO). This requires to deliver an alternative way of order fulfillment, like pick-up lockers. Alternatively, an ability to return the product to the local store.
Gen Z presents some challenges. Those can become opportunities for companies that are going to adapt faster. Stay ahead of this selling trend in 2019.
Customer experience and personalization
In 2019 we need to step up customer experience game to the next level, it’s not about perfect UI anymore. Gen Z prefers a more personalized approach. Use ad campaigns tailored to them and customized loyalty programs.
Since they grow up with online shopping, they are used to industry standard. So they want more: personalization, perfect UI, excellent shopping experience.
How to achieve an excellent customer experience?
Personalization has two sides. One based on the customer’s own history. Second on the history of orders from other people with similar backgrounds. Sales process needs to combine those two ways to reflect changes in sales trends in 2019.
Tailoring means recommendation based on search history, wishlists, customer location. Customer demographics and browsing history also is a good indicator. Tracking customer social media behaviors can also be beneficial. Those data can make life easier for your sales team.
How to achieve that? Technology comes to the rescue. With automation and machine learning you can improve your business. Without the need to have an overblown sales department.
Involving technology doesn’t have to costly or complicated. For example, learn how to send proper mass text messages. Ones that are personalized and care for customer comfort.
This selling trend prefers companies that put effort into their customer experience. Offer the best content and products with omnichannel access. Meet customers needs in 2019, let your sales team slay expectations.
Sales trend no. 3 – Machine learning, AI, automation – the future is now!
The human brain is limited by emotions and it’s biological capabilities. Machines don’t share our limitation, they don’t need breaks and can multitask to perfection.
How can help us achieve better sales results? Machines process a huge amount of data in real-time. This makes today’s necessities like KPI tracking and data visualization cheaper and faster.
Computers are also great at deciphering buyer behavior pattern. Do you want to know how your customers are buying? When they are leaving basket? Automation can help you with that.
Algorithms can be your best friends or worst enemies, depending on how much you know about them. Outsmart AI and make it work for you by learning boundaries in which it operates. Sales trends are going to favorable for companies that use new technologies.
Augmented reality – with an ability to build AR app with Google ARC any company can make their customer experience richer. Especially in a business like e-commerce clothing and furniture. No more need for your customers to visit you to make a sale. Ikea is using its AR app to change its sales process into top customers experience.
AI is doing better with every day. Machine learning makes automation easier and cheaper. It can not only sale. It’s better than humans at predicting and forecasting.
At the same time logging calls, sales, emails, and texts with no need for vacation or coffee breaks.
This selling trend in 2019 is going to be limited only by our imagination and ability to adapt technology to our business needs.
Changes in Google SEO
Voice-powered web searches like Alexa or Siri are on the rise. Same goes for visual and audio web searches. Let’s not forget augmented/AI powered technologies. Google SEO directives have to change in 2019. In the traditional browser-based searches people are more likely to search by phrases. In voice-powered ones, we tend to use more natural language – asking whole questions.
Voice search has more to do with conversations; browser search is more like giving commands.
Walmart made a deal with Google to enable Google’s Assistant for their services. It’s entirely new customer experience. This channel of distribution might be one of the top e-commerce goals in 2019.
Comscore forecasts that 50% of searches are going to be voice searches by 2020. To gain advantage companies have to adapt marketing strategies and web/app design to this sales trend in 2019.
The trend of shifting to mobile will continue in 2019, not only in sales. Customers prefer to use mobile devices to browse through the web but also for purchasing, data checks, entertainment.
Mobile friendly shop/website version is a must, but there is more to it than just a few developer tricks. People spent time online mostly on mobile, using several channels of communication. It’s important to explore that and deliver easy to buy methods with those channels, like Messenger or Instagram.
Mobile apps draw more traffic than mobile browsers, so it might be smart to prepare a dedicated mobile app for your business. They also deliver better customer experience, so keep in mind this sales trend in 2019.
This way you not only get more direct access to the customer but also have a possibility to provide a more personalized experience.
The customer doesn’t want to put down his/her favorite mobile device to purchase from you on the desktop. It’s more likely they are going to stay with you.
Google already started rolling out updates in indexing, with mobile-first ranking evaluation. This can bring massive change to how accents are distributed. Not only with websites development but also with marketing channels and sales priorities.
Sales trend no. 4 – Omni-channel experience – the marriage of marketing and sales
Imagine, your customer just woke up, she or he is doing their first contact with the online world via mobile. Soon the internet of things comes to attention. After the shower, our customer has a moment to switch TV for news and browse work emails on the desktop.
A customer is not only using more than one device, but it’s also more than one device at the same time. How to make sales convenient for the customer to top his or her experience?
With Gen Z coming to play in 2019 it’s essential not only to multichannel via online and offline offers but to omnichannel. Personalized messages have to be sent across all platforms.
The customer wants to fluidly switch from searching on mobile to buy via Alexa speakers and being able to get the order at the local store.
That brings us to the time issue. In the fast-pacing world, we don’t want to spend more time purchasing. It’s an industry job to deliver ways that make purchasing easy and fast. It can be done via messaging apps, chatbots, directly from Instagram or other frequently used apps.
Time from presenting a product or recommendation to completing the order has to be the shortest possible. Also, without the need to change the device or channel. Sales need to adapt to those requirements to stay on top of sales trends in 2019.
Chatbots can act as a personal shopper assistant available 24/7
Track how your customers communicate and use those channels to make sales in real-time
Combine advertising via message apps with actual sales
In the social media era, people are no longer only your customers; they are your friends and fans. They follow you on different channels, express their opinion and wishes. It was done by email, intimate and quiet exchange, but right now it’s all public in a most visible way.
So it became essential for salespeople to create customers communities and take good care of them. It’s crucial to communicate and react to their needs and problems. An active, engaged community can do your business and abandoned or overused by the company can break it.
Engage your community with dedicated content for social media
Organize live events for some face-to-face time with customers
Be active where your community is active, find the right distribution channels.
Cooperate with relevant influencers to deliver top content in your niche
Deliver omnichannel ways to buy your product and interacting with the same brand experience across all platforms. This is going to boost your sales and allow your salespeople to walk confidently into 2019.
Combine marketing strategies with sales techniques and procedures. Bring your sales playbook to the table!
More than ever, in 2019 trends in sales are combining marketing power with sales practices. This is going to play a significant role in getting that crucial edge over your competitors. We have a long tradition of separating marketing and sales.
With the omnichannel, the sales team needs to speak the same language as marketing.
However, marketing content needs to follow the best sales practices. Sales playbooks might come into fashion to provide replicable sales effects of the same quality of customer experience.
Let’s wrap it up, how to stay on top of sales trends in 2019?
It’s not going to be easy, some of the sales trends in 2019 need an open-minded approach to business. Sales teams need to revaluate the sales process. Sales trends change, that’s a given. This year is all about omnichannel in the sales process. Customers experience and personalizations are in sales trends every year. They are not going anywhere.
There are three types of companies, those who create sales trends, those who follow sales trends and those left behind. Don’t be the last type.
Stop advertising, start selling the truth! Focus on the relationship with your customers by creating and being part of communities. Make sure to reach them with omnichannel experience during the sales process.
Learn who Generation Z is and personalize your product and content; train your sales team to adapt to new needs and channels.
Make use of technology and machine learning to achieve the best results in the sales process with the lowest cost possible. Deliver your content and product with omnichannel.
Deliver on-point customer experience with excellent customer service. You can combine sales practices with marketing techniques. Make your sales team work using marketing techniques.
Good luck in 2019! In conclusion, it’s sure going to be an exciting year for sales!