In 2022, the days of the long sales lunch are coming to a close. After decades of technological innovation and two years of pandemic disruption, closing a deal today is about so much more than picking up the tab.
This is clearer now than ever, with 64% of sales leaders who transitioned to remote selling hitting or exceeding their revenue targets, compared to just 50% of those who didn’t.
But what does a successful hybrid-ready sales strategy look like? In 2022, which sales trends do you need to stay on top of to set your team up for sales success? Read on to find out.
5 Key Sales Trends for 2022
1. Build your tech stack for hybrid and remote sales teams
Technology is the foundation of any effective remote or hybrid sales team.
But with more business apps available than ever, where do you start? First and foremost, you can’t make a sale without connecting to customers. And the most emotive way to do this is through voice.
A cloud-based phone system should be at the heart of any hybrid-ready sales ecosystem. This enables teams to instantly connect with prospects anywhere they need to, whether that’s at home, at the office, or in between. Flexible, remote-ready, and intuitive. Win-win-win.
To maximize the impact that system needs to be talking to the wider sales tech stack. The first must-have integration should be with your CRM system, enabling teams to seamlessly pull information on customer activity into calls. This leads to personalized interactions, a boosted ability to meet customer needs—and ultimately more sales.
Yet that CRM integration is only the beginning of hybrid-ready sales. A fully-fledged cloud-based calling app marketplace can provide countless ways to optimize your sales strategies, with tools like:
OneUp, which supercharges data and reporting with features like call leaderboards
Bloobirds, which boosts efficiency via one-click calling and real-time script suggestions
Salesloft, which streamlines sales workflows, automatically logging and surfacing caller details
2. Focus on talent retention
In the U.S. and the U.K., record numbers of resignations and vacancies were seen throughout 2021. This “Great Resignation” means sales teams need to rethink culture and support, making talent retention a top sales trend for 2022.
Sales is an always-evolving role. Teams need to know the latest tools and techniques to stay on top of their game. For organizations, that means offering ongoing coaching and training to drive individual development.
From incentivizing high performers and offering them internal opportunities to helping junior teammates learn the ropes, it’s all about recognizing and responding to your team’s skills and needs.
The right voice platform can help. It can offer insight into performance and provide features like call whispering that allow managers to provide real-time support to agents without the customer being alerted.
As the battle for talent grows in 2022, employee engagement plus a culture that celebrates learning will help organizations stand out and build rock-solid sales teams.
3. Bring empathy into sales conversations
Knowing your product inside out is vital, but demonstrating empathy is game-changing, making it one of the most important sales trends for this year and beyond. No customer wants to be treated like a number on a spreadsheet. They want to know their pain points are understood. In short, they want a personal connection.
Too often, organizations can treat empathy as an intangible goal. Yet what it really requires is personalization throughout the sales funnel. That means ensuring buyer journey data is clearly tracked (for example, previous interactions with marketing). This enables seamless handovers and customers never having the frustration of repeated interactions.
Integrating voice systems with CRM tools is key here, ensuring every member of the team has the latest customer information at their fingertips so they can quickly build those human connections and meet customer needs as efficiently as possible.
4. Work on your social selling skills
With fewer in-person meetups, in 2022 every salesperson should be working on their socials. But remember, this isn’t a like-for-like replacement for grabbing lunch. A light touch is key. Overly familiar approaches or unsolicited DMs with the hard sell will only lead to damaged reputations.
Instead, listen to what’s taking place and engage. Demonstrate that you understand and relate to customer perspectives. If you’ve chatted a few times in a comment section, then it’s time to drop them a message or to see if they’re up for a virtual coffee.
And in the meantime, build your own brand. LinkedIn research shows that 51% of sellers plan to write more articles in the year ahead. That’s because demonstrating expertise as a thought leader will make you the first port of call for potential customers. With an engaged network and your own thought leadership presence, you’ll be on the fast track to social sales.
5. Incorporate AI into your strategy
We can’t cover sales trends for 2022 without talking about AI. Innovations in AI continue to gather pace in the world of sales. But fear not: This doesn’t mean we’re heading for a robocaller dystopia. AI can be a powerful tool for fostering closer human connections.
There are a couple of nifty ways AI can do this. First, by doing the heavy lifting of data analysis, AI can uncover trends with pinpoint accuracy. Plus, taking on repetitive manual processes can free up sales teams to do more of what they love: engaging with prospects.
Finally, AI can even play a support role when engagements take place. AI-powered real-time transcription, from apps like Chorus.ai or Modjo, can be integrated directly into a cloud-based calling platform. Giving every salesperson this AI-powered instant record of their latest touchpoint makes picking up to close the deal simpler than ever.
2022: Using sales trends to drive success
The world of sales never stays still.
In 2022, building meaningful connections, creating strong teams, and hitting targets require a new playbook. And the differentiator will be technology choices and customer experiences—not lunch budgets. For a fantastic 2022, put these sales trends to good use and focus on using technology from social posts to CRM integrations to create empathetic connections with customers.
To discover how cloud-based calling coupled with an unparalleled app ecosystem can help you achieve sales success in 2022, try Aircall for free.
Published on January 2, 2024.