I’m one of those guys that loves to read the predictions about the coming year in the news come late December / early January. While it can be interesting to read the tastemakers’ views into their crystal ball, I thought it could be interesting to take a 2nd look, now that we’re well into the year and at the end of most companies’ Q1. For this post, I’m focusing on trends in my world of B2B Sales. I did a decent amount of research on the topic, and here are the 3 that I found most fascinating and relevant:
1. Intent Data will drive all Prospecting efforts.
In the future, intent data will be able to deliver what seemed impossible just a few years ago: a go-to-market operating system that identifies for organizations the target prospects that should be reached that day, week, month or quarter based specifically on buying signals that indicate a higher level of purchase intent and interest. It will come from more sources and potentially even include personal activity away from the office. Once aggregated, this blending of personal and professional identities will ultimately allow B2B companies to, for example, target ads directly to the CEOs of companies of a specific size and in a specific sector and region.
2. AI will generate a better sales pitch
No, AI won’t replace humans this year, but we firmly believe that artificial intelligence will be used in creating personalized sales pitches. For years, companies have recorded data about lost and won deals, and reasons behind those outcomes. At the same time, the new data sources are drawing a much more nuanced picture of each potential customer.
Already now seasoned sales professionals can come up with a personalized sales pitch to almost any customer that belongs to their ideal customer profile. And they can do so in the blink of an eye. We predict that this will soon be done at scale. And not by salespeople, but artificial intelligence algorithms that read all that data in no time, and learn based on new data added by users or analytics professionals.
3. Real-Time Sales teams will emerge
At the moment, there are only a handful of companies that have a real-time sales team. Drift and Intercom were some of the first companies promoting this concept: a sales approach where new sales inquiries are being responded in real-time. The first RTS teams have focused heavily on online chat discussions, but we assume that the scope of RTS will expand to cover the whole sales process across multiple channels.