Salesforce report: role of sales is changing, technology-savvy teams will thrive

Jukka HarjunenZero Keyboard

What are the key global trends in sales right now? What are the top sales teams doing today to stay ahead tomorrow?

Here are our key takeaways from Salesforce’s State of Sales report that studied over 3,100 global sales professionals.

We’re living the Age of the Customer!

According to Salesforce, today’s customers are empowered by technology and know the importance of information. They expect sales reps to understand their business and deliver a fast, personal service. The traditional product pitch is replaced by tailored customer solutions.

Customer experience has become the #1 success metric for sales. Modern sales reps are becoming more and more like consultants who add more value to the customer. According to the survey, six out of the top eight objectives for sales teams are customer-centric.

“79% of business buyers say it is absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor — not just a sales rep — who adds value to their business.” -Salesforce State of Sales report

Mobility and smart technology boost productivity and customer experience

While their role is changing, sales reps are still in high demand. Salesforce’s data shows that a human sales rep with a personal touch is still king: 72% of business buyers say they are likely to switch brands if they’re treated like a number instead of an individual.

So, personal productivity and spending your time on the right things has never been this important.

Despite this, data shows that on average, sales reps spend 64% of their time on non-selling tasks – like manually entering data in a CRM!

According to the report, successful sales teams have a robust mobile strategy in place and are able to arm their reps with apps that allow guided selling, real-time visibility into analytics, and instant collaboration.

“Sales teams can no longer afford to be hindered by time-consuming and manual administrative tasks. Top teams are bullish on technology that will help them close the productivity gaps, while others continue to lag behind.” -Salesforce State of Sales report

Future is all about data

Going forward, intelligent technologies, like automation and artificial intelligence, make sales processes smarter and more efficient. This lets the sales reps focus on delivering the best possible customer experience with near real-time speed.

However, everything will depend on timely, high-quality data. Every successful sales organization should do everything they can to remove any blockers from the flow of data.

“When sales reps have data, analytics, and automation in their hands, they can interact with customers, collaborate, and close deals from anywhere, at any time.” -Salesforce State of Sales report

To sum up, a talented sales rep will be more important than ever before. However, how the sales professional spends his time will be critical to the company’s success.

Jukka Harjunen – CMO