Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent February 2012 Contents National Newsagent February 2012
Many of us need to rethink how we do
business, how we sell and buy and how
we live our lives.
This theme is born from the turbulent and challenging
economic time in which we now find ourselves living. With
the looming potential of a second GFC, we are witnessing and
experiencing a major transition from the Industrial Revolution
to a brave new world of the new technology paradigm. Economic
conditions are expected to remain volatile in the coming 12
months and 2012 looks set to throw up a new set of challenges.
Barrett has identified the 12 Sales Trends of 2012 to help
guide businesses through the major transitions in how we
sell and buy. Some of the trends are closely aligned, however
distinctive enough to stand on their own. Together they foretell
major changes in the way we sell and do business.
A seismic shift in the way we sell
The way we sell and the way we do business in the 21st century
is proving to be a very different proposition from the traditions
established in the 20th century. Selling now requires a different
philosophy and approach. Selling and service now go hand
in hand so we all need to be much more proactive. There are
now very few absolutes---everything is subject to evolution and
The 21st century business is more about questions than
answers; more about thinking than action; more about people
than capital. 2012 is about getting your house in a new order
because the world changed yet again and you need to change
Intuitive customer centric CRM (Customer Relations
The goal of a CRM solution is to drive growth (ie revenue) and
maximise efficiencies (ie profit) in business practices, processes
and relationship management (ie sales). In 2012, watch closely
as CRM moves away from being a contacts database and
pipeline/forecast management tool to becoming the system that
places customers at the core of a company's operation.
Make coaching the priority
Coaching has been a hot topic for some time now and the
results are in---regular and effective sales coaching does make a
dramatic and positive difference to sales people, and their sales
Smart sales leaders make time to invest in sales staff, making
sure they are properly trained, coached and well equipped to be
sales coaches in 2012.
Move over mass marketing, welcome fragmentation
Next year will see niche sales and marketing strategies
becoming the norm. Fragmentation and segmentation are well
and truly taking over from mass marketing. Sales and marketing
teams will need to work together even more closely and take
their listening skills to a whole new level.
The polarisation of buying and selling
In the 21st century a sales-driven organisation needs to
focus on helping the buyer successfully navigate and complete
their journey. In the modern world, buyers needs are polarising
between completing simple transactions and navigating complex
arrangements. If the former, the sales journey needs to be
supported by systems and processes that make the transaction
as quick and as efficient as possible. If the latter, organisations
need highly skilled people as the primary points of contact
engaging in a proactive, consultative approach to selling.
Field sales team numbers to halve
With access to so much information, buyers have become
more sophisticated and better informed. The savvy business
person knows that many of those commodity purchases they
have traditionally made face-to-face with a sales representative
can now be made online, thus saving them valuable time and
Educate and facilitate
In 2012, smart sales leaders know to recruit in and develop
their sales teams to be educators and facilitators not product
sales people. Their investment in their sales people will result
in a whole new skill set including patience, listening, creative
problem solving and dealing with ambiguity and complexity.
Customers will come to value the new and improved sales
approach because in 2012 the customer, not the product, will be
at the heart of the sale, and they know the sales person will help
them make the right decisions moving forward.
It's not WHAT you do but WHY and HOW you do it
Too much choice drives consumers to seek real connections
and deeper meaning---a spiritual, psychological connection if
you will. Restlessness is emerging among consumers about who
they want to connect with and buy from---they want to simplify
and make every moment count, still many organisations struggle
to explain why they exist and how they do what they do, in a way
that is easily understood and generates a curiosity to know more.
In 2012 if we cannot communicate our story to our employees,
customers, suppliers and investors then they cannot tell others
or make informed decisions.
Why you do what you do and how you make a difference will be
front and centre in the people's minds.
ADAPT OR PERISH
By Susan Barrett
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