Marketing and sales pioneers know the number one rule is to never get complacent. The minute you stop to breathe, new processes hit the industry and your competitor catch and pass you.
As we move into the end of the first quarter, our attention turns to the expectations for the rest of 2016. What new and exciting opportunities are around the corner? Which changes could tank our sales and derail our long-term growth?
Here are eight predictions that will affect sales and marketing in 2016.
Information is power. Client information becomes more important than ever. Understanding a client’s needs and pain points empowers businesses to stay ahead of the increasingly stiff competition.
Stat: By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Source
Tweet tweet! Social media continues to rise in importance. Newer platforms enable marketing and sales to engage with their prospects easier than ever. Sales campaigns will rely more heavily on social media than ever.
Stat: Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound methods. Source
Inside turns out. Company leaders look to control fixed costs, leading them toward freelance outsourcing solutions. Contract freelancers take up the extra workload the full steam chugging economy provides.
Stat: 62% of companies outsource their content marketing. Source
Bridge over troubled water. 2016 sees companies strive to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. Utilizing inside marketing and sales liaisons creates more cohesion and collaboration between the two teams.
Stat: Studies show failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year. Source
More attention is given to analytics. The rear view mirror sheds crucial light on what worked and what flopped. Even so, the majority of sales people and marketers did not spend enough time reviewing analytics in 2015. More time will be committed to this endeavor in 2016, with great results.
Stat: 97% of respondents believe that using marketing analytics has made their business more successful. Source
Interesting workforce changes. Hiring managers will be forced to handle multiple generations and all that entails. This will require a variety of communication skills in order to maintain a focused, productive sales and marketing team.
Stat: In 2014, 18- to 34-year-olds accounted for almost half of all B2B buying researchers, an increase of 70%. Source
Competition for high performers heats up. With the warming economy, top sales people may sniff around other options. The good news is you may be able to recruit them to your camp. The bad news is you may lose your top performers. It pays businesses to take a proactive approach to retaining top talent with a robust compensation and benefits package.
Stat: Employment of sales managers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Source
Go mobile or go home. With younger decision makers primarily using tablets and smartphones, it is no longer a unique luxury to offer mobile friendly content. If your company fails to invest in a website and blog that can be easily read on mobile devices, you will lose out on business opportunities. Start now.
Stat: The percentage of companies optimizing email for mobile devices increased by 22% in 2014. Source
A new year is an exciting fresh start to renew processes and reach growth goals. By acknowledging and planning for these eight predictions, your company will hit the ground running and achieve your goals in 2016.