Over the past few years, the sales world has changed a lot, because there has been a change of generations and new technologies have been implemented, and companies have gained much more opportunities. Now the question is, what will 2020 bring to the sales sphere?
One of the first factors affecting the future of sales is the new generation. So called Gen Z (people who were born in the late 90s - early 2000) grew. The youngest of them are teenagers, so they can consciously manifest some requirements for the product. Accordingly, companies need to listen to this category of consumers.
Older generations have already received almost everything they wanted. Latest news does not attract this category, because they are too complex. In other words, the requirements of the older generation have long become an indispensable part of any sales strategy.
Millennials finally gained good purchasing power. It is noteworthy that they spend much less than previous generations, even if there is enough money.
What impact does this have on sales? The latest generation is significantly different from all previous ones. First of all, they were already born with full access to technologies that were incredible at that time (it was then that the first sensory telephones, PDAs, etc. appeared). They master many things much faster, and therefore can quickly detect flaws.
In addition, the younger generation is very concerned about world problems and their own influence on the world, especially when it comes to environmental issues. We can see that more and more companies produce products marked “environmentally friendly”.
Finally, very interesting statistics shows that the generation Z prefers regular stores instead of online shopping. The fact itself is a great surprise to many, since millennials are the “digital generation”.
The sphere of trade has existed for a very long time, because a certain sales planning does not surprise anyone. But for a long time it was aimed only at increasing the quantity of goods sold. In a way, such a strategy is outdated, since a lot more factors affect the success of a business.
Now it is necessary to include such items in the sales promotion strategy:
- assisting sellers in developing their skills;
- simplifying the search and training of new sellers;
- special attention to new technologies that help the seller.
In general, the strategy is now aimed not only at stimulating the consumer, but also at improving the seller, who is in direct contact with a potential buyer. Why?
For a long time, most products have been successful due to advertising on TV and billboards. Today, consumers are more picky, less believe in commercials and posts. Therefore, for the sale of goods is required the confident work of the seller. Simple tricks are not enough. They should be good psychologists, understanding all the details of each customer.
New conditionsSince new employees will be given more time, the strategy will include not only training, but also ensuring working conditions. In this regard, the situation has changed dramatically over the past few years:
- an open office is dead;
- the minimum distance is dead;
- less working hours;
- more free learning;
- struggle with loneliness.
An open office is dead. More and more employees want to hide from the "working atmosphere". Open offices have long been a highlight of any company, as they facilitated continuous communication between employees. Open offices promised productivity. Studies have shown a decrease in the productivity of companies with such a scheme of work.
Due to constant urban fuss, workers need more personal space. Many agree on a small office, just not to hear sometimes the noise of an open office.
The distance. The sales market has expanded significantly in recent years, so a responsible person is needed in every corner of the world. It is good if the department is located in Spain or Japan, where many may feel comfortable due to the high level of development of the country. But who wants to live long in the third world countries?
The boundaries are blurred, more and more companies are shifting their employees to remote operation. First, it eliminates the need for expensive travel. Secondly, it gives more freedom to employees, which means they can be more productive.
40 hours of work are in the past. The new trend is four-day work week. The sales area is very laborious, because many employees often suffer from processing. Sometimes this leads to an undesirable outcome, like a heart attack. To this end, working time is reduced.
Free training. New employees, as a rule, are trained by old ones. But sales approaches have changed a lot. It is noteworthy that beginners know much more about them. Therefore, today there is a refusal from compulsory education, or one called “internship”. A potential employee is given a certain period for self-study, after which he simply confirms his competence.
Psychological help. Social networks and the virtual world contribute to the development of an epidemic of loneliness. More and more employees complain that they feel lonely, therefore they cannot work normally. That’s why companies are investing more in the fight against this disorder.
You’ll ask, how does all this relate to sales? As already mentioned, the skills of the seller play an increasingly important role in the marketing of goods. The slightest stress employee leads to a deterioration in performance. Neither the company nor the seller is interested in this. Accordingly, improving the quality of working conditions becomes a key element of the business strategy.
Speaking of trends in 2020, you cannot lose all that concerns machine learning. Artificial intelligence touches every sphere, especially if it relates to sales. At a minimum, it can help with vendor training or partially automate the process.
But the more AI will be embedded in the tools that are used for sales, the greater the increase in business productivity. In addition to automation and learning, artificial intelligence can be implemented as follows:
- analysis of a large amount of data in a short time to personalize sales;
- providing recommendations for improving the product;
- study of customer requirements and reactions.
In other words, artificial intelligence is able to predict the future of sales. What will be the next quarter? What product will become mainstream in a month? How quickly will a consumer refuse a certain service? All this can be calculated using artificial intelligence.
Let's return to generation Z. They are actively using modern technology. Due to lack of knowledge, it is often possible to over-praise the possibilities of new products in terms of improving product quality or, for example, delivery speed. Despite this, everyone wants only one thing - to get exactly what he needs. In other words, it is necessary to personalize products, advertising and direct sale.
Since there are not even two identical individuals, it is simply impossible to create a unique approach to each. Therefore, some categories of buyers were highlighted, regarding the goods sold. In accordance with this, they create personalized approaches.
- identify all platforms that a potential buyer uses;
- create a smooth transition between your advertising channels;
- analyze the level of sales of a particular product and the reaction to it. 75% of the Z generation are willing to share most of their personal data in exchange for a personalized experience. In other words, they are ready to tell almost everything about themselves, just to get the highest quality and suitable product.
The most important thing in all of this is cooperation with the marketing department. Its employees know most about your customer, so they understand how to personalize the sales approach.
Integration with social networks
Dropshipping was very popular for some time. Now its relevance has decreased, since consumers use official online stores. But social networks now play an even bigger role.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the most visited platforms in this regard. On average, the user spends about one and a half hours a day in them. As the statistics show, a lot of time is spent for no reason (skipping uninteresting content, re-browsing publications, etc.).
Therefore, today marketers recommend making social networking time user useful. Many stores will be integrated with different platforms. That is, to purchase through an Instagram store account it will be unnecessary to write to Direct. The order will be automated, as well as on the site, and communication with the sales department will be only to confirm.
Real Time Sales
The concept itself is applicable to regular stores. However, online platforms play an equally important role in the field of sales, since they significantly save the buyer’s time and also give him a wider choice of goods.
One of the drawbacks of online shopping is the long answer. Many companies have reached a level when the sales department responds to a request within an hour. But sometimes even ten minutes is too much.
The consumer knows about the capabilities of modern technologies, because he believes that you can respond to his request instantly. It really is. Drift and Intercom were among the first to promote the concept of real-time sales.
The idea of the concept is that the user has instant contact with the sales department. So he will not have to wait and keep in his head for a long time all that he is interested in regarding the product.
The development of street shops
We live in the age of information, new technologies, virtual opportunities and the like. This has led to the birth of the stereotype that the current generation prefers to carry out most of the online activities (including purchases). According to statistics, ordinary stores today are more popular.
The virtual world is too much in the life of everyone. That’s why many people, especially the younger generation, prefer real communication whenever it is possible.
As a rule, shopping is carried out with friends or family. Accordingly, now it is not just buying things, but one of the types of recreation and the opportunity to spend time with cronies.
Therefore, the search for new places for building shops is another trend in sales for 2020. The consumer is ready to spend time on the road, just to personally inspect the goods, find all sorts of flaws, and also find something extra.