The 7 Most Important Sales Trends that You Need to Know in 2021

By Grace Cho | Updated March 26, 2021

Sales automation is the keyword that synthesizes this year’s sales trends. Sales automation allows you to allocate redundant, time-consuming tasks to automated technology so that you can devote more time engaging in high-priority tasks.

Of course, a discussion about sales automation cannot be complete without a discussion about Microsoft Dynamics 365, the right hand of today’s sales landscape. Through features that allow you to integrate other frequently-used sales tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator as well as high-quality automation features, Dynamics 365 allows your team to seamlessly incorporate automation tools to existing structures and strategies.

This article will summarize the top 7 sales trends of 2021 that you need to know to maximize sales performance.

What's inside this article:

1. Increasing Productivity through Automation

Automation has become a key element of sales strategy, so if your team has not already integrated automation technology into practice, this should sit at top priority for the year. The benefits to automation are significant.

On the most fundamental level, it allows your team to allocate mindless tasks such as contact-email linking and drip campaigns to bot. Given the high opportunity cost of time spent on these mindless tasks, automation will drive up cost savings and productivity.

For example, Aptivio’s revenue enablement platform enables organizations to unlock hidden opportunities using proprietary intelligence tools. It seamlessly integrates into your existing CRM and ERP platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

2. Social Selling

Social selling has become a buzz-word in sales, but what does this actually mean? Essentially, it refers to the practice of using social media in order to engage more deeply with prospects and generate sales.

This has become especially relevant in light of the pandemic, which has made digital the primary way to interact with our customers. Since most of us are already on one form of social media platform, social selling allows us to organically reach and engage with our potential customers.

Social selling ultimately goes hand-in-hand with technology. Technological infrastructure allows you to overcome the constraints of capital and time to pursue new priorities without affecting costs.

3. Personalization through AI and Machine Learning

Are you relying on the same repertoire of follow-ups to engage with potential and existing customers? Well, taking an aggregate approach to engage diverse customer profiles may be affecting performance.

There are platforms that use intelligence to provide insights and predictions about customers on an individual basis. For example, Microsoft Dynamic 365’s Conversation Intelligence uses AI and NLP (natural language processing) to automatically transcribe calls and analyze calls and sentiment. You can use these data and insights to customize your engagement with customers and improve sales.

4. Video over field sales

COVID-19 has made dents in our traditional ways of life that has also impacted how we approach sales. Traditionally, field sales had an important role in our overall sales strategy; however, with virtual meetings replacing face-to-face interactions, video calls and meetings have largely replaced field sales.

Since the pandemic is expected to last at least throughout 2021, you need to make sure that your team has found a good rhythm to managing virtual meetings with potential and existing customers.

5. Balancing Human-to-Human and Human-to-AI Interactions

Although news of vaccination is bringing back some hopes of normalcy, the pandemic is expected to leave long-term changes to our workplace. This means that while sales reps may return to the fields, companies will opt for a hybrid-model that mixes virtual and physical meetings.

To best engage with customers in this new atmosphere, it is important to leverage the ‘omni- channel experience – ask yourself, how can I seamlessly integrate the human-to-human and human-to-AI interactions to maximize sales?

6. Honing Remote Team through OKRs and Dashboards

Being remote has made teamwork ever more crucial. Since it has become much easier to get distracted and more importantly, lose a sense of cohesiveness as a team, organizations need to invest in the proper infrastructure that can keep sales reps on track.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have become important tools to manage teams virtually. Dashboards such as the Case priority on Microsoft Dynamics 365 enable teams to align their visions, prioritize tasks, and maximize productivity.

7. Greater Focus on Customer Success

The paradigm of sales has been shifting from providing support to providing an experience – customer success. Customer success refers to proactively engaging with customers throughout their lifecycles to improve loyalty and retention.

This is a new but rapidly growing trend that will critically define your team’s success in the coming years. To maintain a competitive edge, your organization needs to think about how to implement a customer success strategy and efforts.

Summary

Sales automation and COVID-19 are two major forces shifting the overall sales climate of 2021. In order to best position your organization against these coming tides, your organization should integrate automation and intelligence platforms into existing teams.

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