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12 Sales Trends for 2020 – The Time is Now

2020 marks 25 years in business for Barrett, our parent company, and over this period of time we have seen many things – good, bad and indifferent – when it comes to managing businesses and sales teams, successfully or otherwise. Fads, trends, myths, hype, well-worn facts, new innovations and home-truths have all been a part of this 25 year journey.

We’ve talked with over 10,000 business leaders from the C-suite and Sales about their issues, concerns, ideas and opportunities when it comes to sales strategy, sales operations, processes, salespeople and culture. Some have been the early adopters and pragmatists – those who could see changes, took the lead and adapted, catching the opportunities early, while others were closed off and preferred to talk about change instead of taking decisive action; they bided their time and remained with the status quo until it became a crisis, which left them scrambling to secure their future. Sadly, the latter example are in the majority.

It begs the question: With everything we need for positive change and progress available to us now, why wait for a crisis to secure our future?

The house is on fire

The same goes with governments, industry bodies and the global business community who have been talking for decades about making changes and taking action to address climate change, reduce the impact of industry on our environment, reduce waste and CO2 emissions, create ethical supply chains, deliver viable innovations, and alternative strategies and triple bottom lines that create more and better sustainable businesses and communities; however, only a few have really put their money where their mouth is.

The brutal fact is we are running out of time. The house is on fire. We’ve done enough talking about what to do. It’s time to take purposeful and decisive action and make positive changes in the way we do business, the way we sell, and the way we measure success. The traditional business paradigms of the last 50-60 years are past their use-by-dates and no longer working.

The mantra of sell and consume ‘more, more, more’ no longer has a place.

There are better ways of doing business now where companies and sales teams can be a force for good and contribute to a better society, a better world.

So why wait for the house to be on fire before we take action?

The time is now.

Doing Business and Sales for a better world and the common good

The best businesses for the planet are businesses that make a positive impact on people and the environment; businesses that give back more to the environment and communities than what they take. The best businesses for communities are businesses that stay in business, providing jobs and helping people flourish, which in turn, help the communities in which they operate prosper. These premises can and should coexist with running a viable business.

The evidence is here, organisations can be profitable and do business and sell in a way that protects the world’s finite resources and is good for the economy and society now and in the long term. Instead of waiting for governments, businesses need to take the lead and walk the talk on positive change, ditch short-termism, embrace collaboration – with colleagues, clients, suppliers, communities, and other stakeholders-, as they adapt to a post-consumerism world.

The good news is that everything is available and ready to go and the early adopters and pragmatists have already made a start. But it requires all of us to pitch in and make an effort. It’s time to do better for our people, our businesses, our customers, our communities, and our planet now and for generations to come.

So this special edition of the Barrett 2020 Sales Trends Report, on our 25th anniversary, is about what businesses can do now to prosper, for the betterment of their teams, clients, communities and for the sustainable future of our planet. We take a look at the big global trends that are affecting businesses, customers, consumers and communities everywhere including the impact of climate change on business, consumerism and the common good. We also explore the practical trends that are affecting how we buy and sell under the pressing mantle of these big global trends: AI, crowd sales forecasting, new sales funnels, tenders, procurement and sales education practices that help people sell better, faster.

As we transition to a new paradigm of business, we ask the questions:

  • What are we selling now?
  • What are we buying now?

The time is NOW

Sales trend 1 – Global trends

The time is NOW to confront an uncertain future. While forecasting accurately beyond 90 days is generally a coin toss, it is never pointless asking [and sharing] questions about the future and likely scenarios. This sales trends highlights some of the questions worth exploring and why they are important.

Sales trend 2- A better way of doing business

The time for talking is past. The planet and its inhabitants can’t wait any longer. Now is the time for decisive action. This sales trend sees businesses and organisations as part of the solution and supporting sustainable development, wellbeing and a prosperous future for all.

Sales trend 3- No but actually… the time is really NOW

This sales trend sees forward thinking countries, cities, businesses and organisation taking action on the climate emergency. It is what it has to be done and citizens and customers are behind them. The opportunities abound. The time is NOW.

Sales trend 4 – Human-centred sales operations

Our business and sales models need to evolve to become businessworthy and operate in manner that looks after customers, employees, suppliers, communities and the planet. Making a profit and benefiting people, communities and planet can coexist. This sales trend explains what human-centred sales operations are and how they aligned to business-worthiness.

Sales trend 5 – We change or we burn

Comparing our current times to the Bronze Age, this sales trends explores the changes that are coming in procurement and how we are moving from a push to a pull economy.

Sales trend 6 – What are we selling now in a post-consumerism world?

As more and more nations enter the hyper-consumerism stage, messages for people to stop buying are not having enough impact. We are still addicted to stuff. This sales trends looks at what are we buying and what are we selling now, and what we’ll be buying and selling in the future.

Sales trend 7 – AI, data analytics and selling certainty

There are many pluses and minuses when it comes to using data to drive better business and sales results and customer experiences. This sales trend highlights several ethical considerations when it comes to the collection and use of data and how the human factor can bring better business and sales outcomes.

Sales trend 8 – Selling better faster

This sales trend points out specific approaches businesses are taking to help their sales teams sell better, faster using technology, modern learning practices, the wisdom of the crowd and unity around a common purpose.

Sales trend 9 – 25 years of sales leadership evolution

Over the last 25 years, along with industry, commerce and the environment, sales leadership has evolved – not always for the better, not always consistently and not always in the same direction. This sales trend explores the characteristics that made good sales leaders in past, if they have changed at all and what will be needed to be a great sales leader in the years to come.

Sales trend 10 – Win³ – tendering for you, your client and the benefit of others

The time is now for decisive action when you are tendering, too. This sales trend discusses what you need to consider when you are tendering for the benefit of your business, your client’s, communities and the planet.

Sales trend 11 – The soft skills revolution – Humans wanted

Soft skills are the must have skills of the future. This sales trends sees a shift in businesses and organisations looking at people being at the centre of relationships and decisions with the help of AI.

Sales trend 12 – The new world of sales and marketing funnels

There is a new sales process and it’s all about the funnel. Not the sales funnel, but the lead generation and nurture funnel. This sales trends explores what are the different offers in the market and what are implications for B2B teams.

You can download the report here.

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