Each year presents a unique series of challenges and changes for salespeople, and 2022 is no different.
One of the most significant situations we're trying to manage is the tack change between salespeople who want to return to work and get back on the road and those who are more than happy to stay in their pajamas at home.
Beyond establishing your team’s preferences for home-cooked meals or your office's cafeteria, we've got plenty to navigate in 2022.
Data is key to driving sales
Class sales leaders often go with their gut when it comes to sales strategy. After countless successful sales cycles, we all have our tried and tested sales process.
Few resources can replace experience, but one of the most significant necessities in modern sales tasks is a reliance on data. Business owners' needs and expectations have grown so complex that traditional predictive analytics aren't enough.
The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report shows that data-driven selling will become a mainstay for B2B sales organizations by 2025.
Data-driven sales have redefined the sales landscape, and sales analytics are integral to the modern sales pipeline.
A LinkedIn survey established the importance of data for sales productivity. 56% of salespeople conduct educated account targeting today.
Intelligence tools and artificial intelligence are all the rage, and sales leaders need as much help
possible after the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are a lot more digital tools, technologies, frameworks, techniques, and books that are easily available to sales reps in 2022 to be successful.
In addition, the new role of Sales Enablement is growing substantially to enable sales reps to hit their quota by training.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
Sourcing data-driven insights from G2
Ah, G2, the gold standard for sales forces' review sites and industry trends. Did you know that you can draw intent data insights from the leading tech marketplace?
A particularly nifty partnership between G2 and Bombora opened the door to easily obtained data insights. This complimentary crystal ball provides G2 customers with Company Surge Intent Data.
This insight allows you to,
- keep track of what your buyers are researching,
- reach out to customers with informed and relevant messages,
- and analyze Intent signals to pinpoint new audiences.
Don’t call yourself a super sales spy just yet. You’ll need a few more increasingly important insights on buyer behavior.
Salespeople track their customers' revenue goals data, job switches, and new roles being hired.
Selling with real-time user behavior
Building on customer data and consumer behavior is a key trend, but what about your product data? Salespeople are invested in how their prospects and existing customers use their product in real-time, both pre-sales and post-sales.
With this kind of data, salespeople can provide more consistent, personalized, and in-the-moment experiences across customer touchpoints. They’ll know exactly when to reach out in the most timely manner because the prospect used a core feature that provided them value in a pilot or free trial.
Understanding the customer journey is straightforward once this product data is accurately summarized and digested. You can track users with unfounded accuracy to create quality-driven segments.
The end goal of segmentation
Once you understand your clients better than they do themselves, you can rank them according to value. You're now ready to engage with the hottest leads with personalized messages.
Access to technology makes it easier to produce very targeted ideal customer profiles that will make it easier to sell and give better sales velocity in general.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
Focused outreach addresses every customer's pain point and need, and hyper-prioritized segmentation allows salespeople to enrich their buyers' lives through every channel available.
B2B companies are unifying their customer data
The combination of quickly advancing technology and particular consumer needs has pushed B2B enterprises to redesign their customer journeys.
Customers have more power than ever before and steer their ships with a competent host of tools.
Sellers are under far greater pressure than ever before.
You’ve probably felt the crunch in your operations as you quickly deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences. Your value-based selling insights need to be updated in real-time across your entire organization for a 360-degree view.
These fast and optimized selling processes use streamlined and unified data as fuel. Today, sales reps can access and exploit data warehouses more independently.
Jumping on the Modern Data Stack
The Modern Data Stack is so incredibly autonomous and capable that data teams can focus on providing their SDRs with selling solutions.
The tools provided by the Modern Data Stack might be liberating, but the professionals that wield them often struggle to implement them. Repurposing a data warehouse’s function from dashboard and report creation to actionable insights is no small order.
The end goal of this data transformation is to augment how SaaS serves businesses.
Data has become integral to the entire SaaS customer lifecycle, from directly prioritizing incoming leads to maintaining long-standing customer relationships. You can now keep your daily customer relationship management insights updated with valuable lead scores.
The gap between CRM and data warehouses
This vital data needs to be centralized, and one of the most popular modern storage solutions is a data warehouse.
An accessible space like a data warehouse allows sales teams to satisfy customers with optimized product usage data readily. Data warehouses are inexpensive and convenient, and businesses are more inclined to hoard their juicy information in a single place than scattered across numerous SaaS tools.
There’s just one glaring issue, which you probably guessed. A data warehouse is disconnected from a CRM unless you have a Reverse ETL service at hand.
Your GTM teams will struggle to see the value of a system if it isn’t integrated or even connected with their CRM.
Data warehouses are also quite tricky to set up, and you’ll need a highly technical data team that commercial crews might not have at hand.
Breyta provides the same functionality as a data-warehouse, providing commercial teams with the necessary functionality, i.e., actionable data. This enhancement allows you to structure workflows from all your key data.
Rather than struggling to unify all the different resources and digital storage facilities, you could piggyback on Breyta’s infrastructure.
Salespeople are tacking toward digital selling
The pandemic swept sales and marketing teams into uncharted waters. The skies might be clearing, but many teams prefer the New World.
Despite more people returning to the office, sales are still taking place over video/remote. This enables a new level of sales efficiency, but also adds increasing difficulties in managing and creating a sales atmosphere or culture that keeps reps engage.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
Physical selling might be regaining traction, but many sellers and buyers alike are comfortable in the digital environment.
An insightful McKinsey study reveals that “70 - 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital service.”
This digital preference is ironic given how uncompromising so many salespeople were against digital.
Much of this shift in perspective is driven by effectiveness. McKinsey finds that the many companies surveyed worldwide enjoy an average sales effectiveness boost of around 11%.
The differences between frequencies
Before the pandemic-induced transformation, B2B buyers essentially regarded the online marketplace as reserved for transactional sales.
Transactional sales have high frequency and low significance, which [is] when a prospect makes the decision all the time without any real trouble. These types of sales will increasingly be made using technology.Anthony Iannarino, Elite Sales Strategies
Iannarino believes that complex sales require a different approach to transactional ones.
Complex sales have a low frequency and high significance, and buyers require expert insight that aligns with their company's needs.
Complex sales are highly feasible online. McKinsey’s economists saw that 70% of their reviewed B2B decision-makers are comfortable with remote sales.
- 70% of respondents were inclined to make remote purchasing decisions exceeding $50,000.
- 27% agreed to confirm transactions of over $500,000.
- 15% were happy to spend more than $1M
Prospecting translated pleasingly well in the digital space. B2B sellers equally or more effectively reached 54 - 75% of existing users today than before the pandemic.
Selling has changed dramatically, and we’re headed towards progressive team structures.
The hierarchy is flattening
Due to many companies opening up for remote workers permanently, the power has tilted towards the individual contributors who can maintain their performance in a remote work setting.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
SaaS enables salespeople to handle high outputs free of high managerial control.
Salespeople do it their way
Sales is still undergoing the Great Resignation.
Haaland believes many salespeople could resign from companies that no longer tolerate remote working.
Companies that are now increasingly releasing “back-to-the-office” programs may be pushing out some of their top performers that don’t share the same philosophy.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
Almost 4.5 million people have handed in their notices since May 2021 in the U.S. alone.
While plenty of people are flocking back to the office, those with families to care for would prefer to stay with them indefinitely.
Despite the changes in rank, many managers are eager for their teams to return to the office. Back-to-the-office programs are a last-ditch effort that could easily repel employees that would rather not see the grey walls of their cubicles ever again.
Sales-assist is providing customers with personal guidance
If you think you have a firm grasp of customer psychology, this section will excite you. Most SDRs have a niche with specific customer segments, and many salespeople know precisely whom to reach out to.
You can create superbly honed customer behavior profiles after listening to customer conversations and gaining the right conversational customer experience.
This tight bracket allows companies to sell more efficiently and increase sales velocity. It also provides the opportunity for a new level of customer support.
Sales-assist is a new technique that addresses and aids customers with specific pain points.
Take filling out a security questionnaire, for example. Have you ever wished that a professional could guide you through this irritating process?
The new breed of PLG sales professionals
HubSpot calls them success coaches, Airtable aids its customers with onboarding specialists, and Asana deploys user operations. Many different terms for essentially the same role, immersing yourself with PQLs.
Sales-assist reps are highly flexible and work on both sides of the conversion fence. These professionals’ main role involves smoothing out the entire sales cycle.
Become more involved with your customers and provide practical support with a human touch. Mentoring users fosters customer loyalty and speeds up the selling process.
Prospects and customers today have high expectations of the sales reps they are talking to. They rarely have time to chit-chat and are busy doing their own job.
Therefore, it’s a great opportunity for sales reps to position themselves as partners to the prospects.Ralph Berg , VP of Sales at Ardoqv
Multiple touchpoints are increasingly necessary for quality relationships
Less than 1% of leads will convert into customers in 2022.
This year, not even Zig Ziglar makes sales on a first contact. It takes numerous touchpoints to foster and build a relationship to a winning level and secure buyer intent.
The last few years have seen salespeople wield all manner of awesome digital resources like never before.
Chase that LinkedIn clout
Sales experts are flocking to LinkedIn and Twitter to vie for the public’s attention and, ultimately, conversions. LinkedIn is an essential investment with an average conversion rate of 6.1%.
Before you embark on a public relations campaign, you might want first to promote a winning online identity. You need to build a social media presence in the B2B sector.
You don’t need to jump on every trend your counterparts are punting (please, no TikTok dance videos). Instead, post about the things that matter most to you, and become an authority.
The point isn’t just to show off, as the LinkedIn gurus share the spotlight with their leads for a boosted customer experience.
Salespeople use podcasts to build relationships and send personalized messages to buyers. Who doesn’t want to jump on a thriving channel and speak directly to their target audience while promoting their brand and company?
Providing value over time is still key to building relationships. It’s just done a bit differently now.Sindre Haaland, CEO of SalesScreen
Multiple touchpoints are critical for selling. Ralph Berg assures us that time is an incredibly scarce commodity for prospects and potential customers.
While sales representatives play crucial (and lucrative) roles in their customers' and leads’ professional lives, Berg has another pearl of wisdom.
My golden rule is: Do not contact unless you can add new "value" to the communication with the prospect or customer.Ralph Berg , VP of Sales at Ardoqv
Don’t forget about product-led sales
These are the most pertinent trends in sales for 2022, but we thought we’d leave you with some product-led inspiration.
A running theme in this article has been customer independence. One of the biggest drivers for product-led growth is the increased control that the end-user enjoys.
The average buyer experience involves various informative resources. Users know what they need from your high-quality products or services and don’t have time to plow through a months-long sales model.
Enter product-led sales or product-led growth (PLG).
The end-user might be the flagship of your PLG armada, but this new context underpins the entire modern workflow.
Hard changes are driven by software
A good way to understand the PLG transformation is to appreciate how essential software is for business. We all use several tools daily in our workflows.
The pandemic accelerated this digital reliance as the cloud software market peaked in 2021 at $178B.
Modern employees have evolved from the novel communications provided by Teams and Zoom to run most of their workflow online.
The Cloud Era removed the exclusive barriers to software development, and building a SaaS product from the ground up is now incredibly straightforward.
PLG is a natural destination, and executives are starting to see its true potential.
Get started with PLG
Product-led growth (PLG) certainly wasn't some preordained conclusion. In fact, at one point PLG was seen as an investment risk rather than a massive opportunity.Kyle Poyar, Operating Partner at OpenView
AEs are steadily embracing PLG, although we’d love to see more startups implementing PLG motions.
These strategic tips will help you grow.
- Design your product with end-users in mind as they have more sway over the buying decision than executives.
- Make your product flexible to provide users with exponential value and independence.
- Avoid walled gardens and offer value before you ask for something in return.
- Facilitate a sense of pride and community and turn users into brand leaders.
Making waves with economic trends
We discussed 2022’s most relevant and easily applicable currents in this piece. 2022 will be the year when you strike the ideal balance between traditional practices and new developments.