Top Trends 2022 - Sales Technology
As cliched as this saying might be, you can't deny that everything around you changes in the blink of an eye - including technology. For anyone in the sales industry, it becomes even more relevant because if your prospect's expectations change and if you don't evolve to meet them, well, it's your doomsday. Sales Technology can be your best aid in reaching out to prospects faster and better but it can also be redundant if you're not keeping up with the times.
In simpler words, if your target audience is Gen-Z, your sales channels need to be Instagram or TikTok - otherwise you're definitely wasting your time! So, to make sure that the technology you're using to drive sales revenues is not only up-to-date but also relevant to your business, check out these top Sales Technology trends for 2022.
Some of us may remember the time before the Internet became mainstream. Oh, the good old days! No social media, Google search or digital communication channels - everything had to be done in-person, including sales! From buying a box of matches to a second-hand car, users needed to visit brick-and-mortar stores or shops. Heck, the only way businesses could reach out to consumers to boost their sales was through door-to-door sales agents!
Now, recall your shopping experiences over the last two years - without online shopping and digital sales facilities, it would have been impossible to cope, right? In fact, due to the pandemic's sudden nature, businesses had to revamp their sales verticals with new technology and tools. In 2021, Sales Technology was driven by the pandemic, giving rise to trends such as artificial intelligence integrations, video format, CRM-social media link and omnichannel strategies. However, given the subsequent needs of the hour, 2022 would be different. Now that we're past the initial bumpy road, technology in sales would evolve even more to make the entire experience better and more convenient for consumers, even if it's remote.
So, what does 2022 have in store for us? Let's find out together.
Trend 1: Digital Environments Will Replace In-person Sales
Given that the aftermath of the pandemic is here to stay for long, every business vertical needs to go digital - including sales. The stay-at-home lifestyle compelled sales teams to learn the art of converting prospects effectively without meeting them in person. Needless to say, the sales team as well as the buyers are looking forward to negotiating deals and doing all necessary work digitally now. Everything - right from pitching demos and signing contracts to sending payments and receiving confirmation receipts - will happen online!
In fact, Gartner's Future of Sales 2025 states that 80% of interactions between B2B buyers and sales teams will take place in digital spaces in the next 4 years. This will not only allow people to sell anywhere, anytime and as per the convenience of their existing customers but also help them in personalizing their sales experience. Hence, digitization of sales is a massive trend for 2022.
TechDogs' Opinion: With most businesses making the digital jump in 2021, this year, we expect sales to be one of the fastest adopter of digital services. Thanks to great response to digital sales over the past few years, businesses will be looking at new ways to digitize their existing sales approaches. This will enable better sales data analytics, improved brand awareness, precise audience targeting through personalized outreach, etc.
Talking about tailor-made digital interactions, technologies like 'Digital Rooms' or 'Deal Rooms' will be a ready-made option for better collaboration between consumers and salespeople - without any delays. These digital rooms will allow personalized and seamless experiences for both sellers and buyers to close deals faster.
Trend 2: Businesses Will Invest In Sales Intelligence Tools
As an offshoot of the first trend, with lesser face-to-face interactions to rely upon, the only way to make a convincing sales pitch digitally is to know and understand your potential client’s prospects better. As a result, Sales Technology with intelligent features will not only be extremely sought after but will evolve to give sales representatives and executives a better understanding of the prospect's profile and of their overall audience demographic.
As a result, sales teams would increasingly rely upon sales intelligence tools in intelligence to understand their target clients and manage their efforts effectively for smart revenue generation using actionable insights. In fact, as per LinkedIn's State of Sales 2021 report, 77% of sales professionals say their sales organization plans to invest "significantly more" or "more" in sales intelligence tools.
That's because these tools enable sales professionals in getting more accurate data about their strategies, audiences and goals which help them build stronger bonds with their buyers and sell faster.
TechDogs' Opinion: Not only would we see many more sales intelligence tools in the market but we will see the entire sales verticals leverage these intelligent tools and software for their day-to-day tasks. Sales leaders will be in a better position to understand their prospects’ needs and even forecast future demand, while sales agents will have a more granular insight on potential sales clients.
We believe that sales professionals will be relieved to have more AI and ML (Machine Learning) integrated sales tools for better data analytics and predictive sales performance. Moreover, the automated features will enable sales teams to focus less on analytical tasks and more on putting analytics insights to work. We definitely believe that there will be a visibly better performance as there will be deeper business intelligence and sales analytics and as a result, better conversions.
Trend 3: Mobile Sales Solutions Will Make A Difference
Let's face it, there's a slight possibility that we start our day without having breakfast but god forbid if we miss checking our phones in the morning, we'd be all over the place. The world is glued to their phones, so it's only logical that sales tools should also be available on mobile devices. Hence, the demand for mobile-first sales technologies will continue to grow in the year ahead and 2022 will be the start of this revolution.
After all, don’t we do everything on our mobile devices! Even research by Dynamic Yield shows that 76% of consumers find mobile applications more efficient. Also, by 2021 end, mobile commercial sales will be accounted for 54% of total Ecommerce sales. You get the drift, right?
This number will surely increase in 2022 thanks to 5G and social media shopping. The coming year will be all about seizing opportunities for improving these mobile solutions and developing even better and efficient customer experience through mobile strategies.
TechDogs' Opinion: We expect mobile sales platforms to connect brands and businesses to the worldwide consumer network, as most individuals prefer shopping online. Hence, we expect sales teams to integrate a mobile-based solution on priority this year. Mobile websites are also a better option for the consumers but what we believe will be the defining factor is a mobile application. This will provide consumers with a more adaptive, personalized and responsive experience, improving the sales revenue and enhancing the brand loyalty.
We expect, by the end of 2022, more and more companies will have their personalized and comprehensive mobile applications with a major focus on developing a more user-friendly interface for quality interactions. Businesses will hence be able to provide a better digital experience as well (Trend 1), which in turn will drive sales
Trend 4: Augmented Reality Will Be The Newest Player
Augmented Reality (AR) is often what make video games and digital interactions an unforgettable experience. How about combining Ecommerce with AR and VR (Virtual Reality) elements? This is what is going to happen in 2022 and surely it will be a more interactive shopping experience for the customers.
When it comes to shifting preferences of buyers, more companies are quickly adopting AR solutions, making it a rising market that will generate about USD 75 billion by the end of 2023. AR would bridge the significant gap between an offline and online shopping experiences. For instance, have you ever bought a diamond ring online? No, right! You would prefer an offline mode only because you'd rather try it on first and see if it'll suit your hand before making such a hefty investment, right?
With AR, you just need to use your smartphone camera to capture your hand's image and a software will then let you try on any ring you like virtually and see how it looks on your hand. Cool, right? Trust us, In the coming year, it will be a very common feature – and not just for rings! From virtually trying out glasses (gotta try those Aviator frames, right!) to trying out that Top Gun leather jacket, AR will make shopping virtually very convenient and seamless.
TechDogs Opinion: Augmented Reality has been around for some time but will find new uses in the sales spheres. Businesses that have dedicated apps and websites will focus on integrating Augmented Reality features soon to improve consumer interaction and boost sales. Moreover, with this trend in place, we expect businesses to see less returned orders, helping them reduce transport expenses and consumers to make more informed shopping choices.
AR solutions might evolve even further to create experiences that would be more than just images. For instance, property and car sales might soon become virtually experiential to close deals remotely. Not just that, AR would also boost the reliability and credibility of the brands by giving consumers a "try-before-you-buy" experience. Moreover, this trend will allow businesses to create more interactive advertising, thereby boosting sales and brand awareness even more. Some retail brands have leveraged the power of AR, allowing users to scan QR codes in print advertisements to view an item virtually and place an order at a discounted rate. This will enable buyers to truly preview a product before buying it, a huge factor in creating top-notch digital customer experiences.
Trend 5: Gamification Will Change The Sales World
How many times do you play the spin-the-wheel games on Amazon just to get an offer on your next order? That's what gamification for sales cycle is all about. However, the game is all set to level up because now gamification would rule the online shopping experience in 2022. Games such as contests and tiered VIP loyalty programs will engage prospects with brands more keenly.
Take it from the 'Chief Fun Officer' and co-founder of FreshBiz, Simcha Gluck, who believes these "for-benefit games will cheer up the dry and boring concepts of sales." When brands welcome the fun factor (read: gamification) into the blunt world of business, things will suddenly become more interactive and alluring. "People are just having fun and while they're having fun they (businesses) are also learning; they're getting deep insights," adds Gluck. Through gamified sales approaches, businesses will generate more interest and the luck factor of games will be the cherry on the top.
TechDogs Opinion: Gamification in sales strategies is not a new concept. We all witnessed the Chipotle's Love Story game, didn't we? The game allowed users to test their memory by matching up real Chipotle ingredients – talk about generating brand loyalty and advocacy! Soon, this gamification approach would be more readily deployed for consumers across their mobile devices, allowing them to opt-in as per their convenience.
However, we expect that the gamification trend will also affect the individuals on the other side – the salespeople. Through a gamified approach with leaderboards and sales targets, sales agents will be more motivated to make sales and drive the revenue. Moreover, businesses that use gamified sales approaches within their sales teams will likely see a higher degree of collaboration, knowledge sharing and mentorship within the team. This will lead to better teamwork and more creative approaches as teams will look to outperform others. We believe that in the long run, this will enhance the overall work culture and employee satisfaction among salespeople.
To Sum Up
Overall, in the year ahead, you can expect sales management teams across the world to find all possible ways to make offline, digital and virtual selling as streamlined and effective through technology. Trends such as Augmented Reality and digital sales platforms will streamline online sales, while businesses will focus on a mobile-first sales approach and invest in sales intelligence tools. These trends will help your Sales Technology keep up with the new normal in 2022.
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