5 Sales Trends in 2014/15 by Glenn Dobson of the KONA Group

The financial year 2013/14 was a good year for Australian organisations with many businesses incorporating new business development initiatives aimed at increasing sales and profits. With the ongoing changes we are seeing due to the digital revolution, managing sales results by revenue and profit numbers alone is becoming increasingly ineffective Unfortunately too many sales operations are making the profession of sales far too complex and while nothing in sales is easily predicted many of our clients believe that the following trends will positively impact their sales results this coming financial year.

Sales trend 1. Commercial Awareness

This year your sales people will have to be more commercially astute and professional than ever before, rather than relying on their technical and product knowledge Business leaders are saying that they want to work with a salesperson who understands their vision and strategy rather than one who just knows how their own products/services work In short, do you have ‘product flogging, order taking, proposal writing, fact spouting’, sales people or are they seen as a Business Resource to your clients and customers?

Sales trend 2: Current Day Marketing

This trend is seeing more and more business managers employing current methods of marketing and especially through social media. Instead of seeing online marketing as a tack on to their advertising budget, businesses are now increasingly setting up their own social media platforms, especially Facebook and Linked In to build their brand, promote their expertise and advertise their products and services When business is quiet with the low cost and real time flexibility of Online Marketing, organisations now have no excuse to cut costs by reducing their marketing spend (And if you are sitting back saying we are already doing this, KONA Group recently surveyed over 200 clients of one of Australian Top 100 businesses, and 85% of their clients didn’t even have a website, and were wondering why they weren’t winning more new business!)

Sales trend 3. Managers as Coaches

Sales management will have to get out from behind their desks and become better field sales coaches Too many sales managers are being pressured to cut costs to make more profit rather than working on how can they generate a greater ROI from their sales resources As a result the main focus will be on sales managers becoming better ‘on the job’ coaches and building on the Quantity of sales activity by developing Quality sales activity of their people as a gauge of success

Sales trend 4: Change your sales and marketing language.

This shift is underway in several industries as prophesied 15 year ago by Cluetrain Manifesto, which stressed the need for organisations to talk to their customer/clients in their customer/clients language and not in the “soothing, humourless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure and ‘your call is important to us’ message”. Organisations are realising the time has come to stop playing ‘buzz word bingo’ by overloading their Value Proposition statements with as many verbs and adjectives that their sentences can carry If your sales and marketing people can’t get your message across in short sharp and easily understood sentences then how can your customers/clients really know what you can do for them

Sales trend 5: Collaboration is a key to getting a bigger piece of the pie.

Smart businesses are continuing to collaborate with other companies in their space, instead of being in competition, to win their share of a larger opportunity or project On the back of Jim Collins   Good to Great Hedgehog Principle, identifying which organisations can add value to your business will help you get specific projects over the line. Typically, 50% of 100 is far better than 100% of 30, and businesses are realising that collaboration will increase sales and profits without increasing overheads, as well as opening the door to other opportunities that you can work on together In conclusion: Irrespective of the emerging trends, organisation’s managers and leaders must start or continue to focus on enhancing customer engagement activities and capabilities, rather than ‘Internal navel gazing’ and ‘I am SO busy’ projects Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of The KONA Group, Australia’s leading corporate Sales and Management Training and Coaching organisation. If your business is are not making the sales and profits you need, bring in the specialists in Strategic Marketing and Australian Sales Training from the KONA Group and provide your business with the expertise and tools to turn your results round. Go to https://www.kona.com.au//Hearts-and-Minds-Sales-Training or https://www.kona.com.au//Marketing-Strategy Or call 1300 611 288, or email Glenn@KONA.com.au