The Science of Selling

It’s November, and with the skies turning gray and the air growing crisp, tradition dictates that we gather together with everyone even remotely resembling family and share the bounty of our harvest. Then, possibly before the meal is truly over, we all bolt out the door, eager to get the best deals that Black Friday (the “other” November holiday) has to offer. In a single heartbeat we are meant to give quiet thanks for what we have and simultaneously run screaming and kicking into the night to get more of it.

Here are some upcoming customer trends and what you can do to meet them head on.

This, in a nutshell, is the world of sales. The pressure to succeed is ever present, biting at our heels. So too is the need for gathering together and making the most of our community. Thankfully, those of us who exist perpetually in this seemingly self-contradictory realm have come up with a fair few tricks of the trade, allowing us to be at once a united front and ever-alert individuals.

Every year, just as Black Friday steadily eclipses harvest festivals like Thanksgiving, the needs of our clients and customers evolve. So must we, or be left behind. Here are some upcoming customer trends and what you can do to meet them head on.

The wearable tech revolution. The once-humble wristwatch has evolved, giving tech-savvy folks access to their messages, calendar, and health at the literal flick of a wrist. This means that, more than ever, customers will have immediate access to you and your business. Be ready for them with a constant presence of your own. Whether your customers reach out to you on social media, your website, through chat or on the phone, you’ll be there.

Social customer service. You may have heard Gartner’s prediction that ignoring the service side of social media will soon do you as much damage as ignoring phone calls. The truth of the matter may be stranger than the fiction in this case. Customers can now instantly rally strong support for their customer service requests, as you may recall from what we’ll just call the Applebee’s incident.

The choice to make social customer service work for you or against you is still yours, but don’t expect the storm to simply blow over as it once did.

Automated customer purchases. Many customers today make purchases without communicating with a human being. This trend will not only increase, but will extend to the entire relationship customers have with your business. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2016, billions of dollars of purchases will be made not by customers themselves, but by their digital assistants. Be ready for them. Renewed subscriptions and groceries are just the beginning.

The choice to make social customer service work for you or against you is still yours, but don’t expect the storm to simply blow over as it once did.

Even complex processes like filling out customer forms and determining which cable provider is best will soon be taken over by a customer’s digital assistant.

Adapting to these and other changes in the online sales landscape can feel as daunting as getting your hands on the best Black Friday sales. Thankfully, when it comes to the science of selling, you’re not alone. New sales productivity solutions are coming out all the time, allowing you to engage with your clients and customers on new and unprecedented levels.

If you’d like to do some holiday reading, check out this Microsoft Dynamics CRM e-book (PDF) on the subject. After all, progress waits for no one.