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6 Sales Trends in 2023: What to Expect

6 Sales Trends in 2023 What to Expect
6 Sales Trends in 2023: What to Expect
The key trends you can’t ignore if you want to be ready for the 2023 sales market.
Posted in: Sales
6 Sales Trends in 2023 What to Expect
6 Sales Trends in 2023: What to Expect

After enduring the imposed changes for over a year, businesses that managed to survive the global pandemic are now placing a greater emphasis on sales effectiveness than ever before.

In fact, a survey conducted among business leaders worldwide revealed that 75% of them believe the adaptations they have made to overcome recent challenges will continue to benefit them in the future.

To address this question, we have compiled the top six sales trends in 2023 to assist you in shaping your business strategy moving forward. 

1.Rise of self-service for B2C customers

In a digital world full of instant messaging and one-click checkouts, average consumers are expecting convenient and lightning-fast sales processes – faster than any human sales professional can manage, especially as crowds return to in-person shopping. 

If customers are made to wait, they become impatient and dissatisfied with their shopping experience.

And even with online shopping, it's the same pattern of shorter customer patience – Gillis Sales reports that buyers are over 60% done with their customer journey before they even think about talking to a sales rep, meaning that a sales rep who attempts to talk to them as if they're new to the product will risk boring the customer.

To reconcile the increasing gap between employees' management capacities and customers' expectations of fast service, companies will increasingly make more information available to shoppers online so they can research on their own time, and deploy self-service technology online and in stores so shoppers can complete their purchase at their own pace. 

This increases overall customer satisfaction and the speed of sales cycles. 

Self-service for B2C customers can take various forms depending on the industry and the specific needs of the customers.

2.Increased uncertainty for B2B customers

In contrast to end-user shoppers, B2B buyers making large purchases for their company are faltering in the face of information overload and self-service, with increased access to data, cases, and testimonials resulting in an 18% decrease in purchase ease.

Though B2C shoppers might feel empowered to compare products and check out by themselves for everyday items, B2B buyers are often buying large and complex solutions for their business and are part of a large buying group with a vast collection of backgrounds. 

The more aspects and information there are to consider, the less certain the group is about any given decision, leading to an overall decrease in satisfaction.

Thus, B2B sales reps should take the opposite approach as their B2C counterparts, offering less information and self-help and instead offering one clear prescriptive recommendation for their client company. 

3.More price-conscious consumers 

Even as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic wind down, consumers are still uncertain about their economic future, fearful of inflation, recent bank shutdowns, and a fluctuating economy. Consequently, PWX found that 96% —almost all— of surveyed consumers in 2023 were planning to enact cost-cutting measures in the next six months due to economic instability.

Though sellers may also feel economic contractions, they should be careful not to pass those increased costs onto consumers lest they choose to shop with another vendor. Instead, sellers could keep costs down by selling in bulk and streamlining operations. 

4.AI salespeople

The hottest trend for almost all industries is artificial intelligence (AI). Though companies are already using AI for customer service chatbots on their websites, these AI chatbots are often currently limited in their dialogue options. Instead of writing true answers, they often simply search for keywords in customers' queries and recommend a related page from another part of the website or app.

With the advancement of generative AI use cases such as ChatGPT, with the advancement of generative AI use cases such as ChatGPT companies can expect to see AIs that can tailor their responses and suggestions to each customer, helping them find the right product for their specific needs and cross-selling and upselling based on their current selections.

By implementing AI salespeople through online shopping channels and in-store AR technology, businesses can expect to see a customer base fascinated by the new novelty and an uptick in sales to match.

As e-commerce grows at an 11% CAGR from 2023 to 2027, businesses utilizing AI salespeople will be poised to expand their selling operations at no cost on these digital channels, generating a huge return on investment. 

5.Robotic process automation

Another hot new technology is automation, which makes sales reps' jobs easier by automatically completing simple and repetitive tasks.

Currently, sales reps spend less than a third —28%— of their time actually selling. Instead, they spend their time on deal management and data entry. The same goes for marketers who spend their time sending emails and managing digital campaigns rather than focusing on broader strategic plans and content.

With robotic process automation (RPA), a business can implement software or AI that can monitor market conditions and campaigns, identify competitors, segment customers, and create data-driven forecasts. With AI handling the minutiae, marketing and sales professionals can focus on higher-level strategic tasks, improving their company's overall productivity.

Not sure what sort of processes RPA can help manage for you? These sales resources will help you streamline your company's processes and identify areas for improvement. 

6.Data overload

Finally, as companies use AI and machine learning to trawl the internet and learn customers' behaviors and preferences, these processes create an unfathomably large amount of confidential data – more data than companies could even begin to use.

Though 90% of global executives say that their organization collects data from the physical world through ERP, CRM, or PLM systems, only 50% say that they use the data efficiently. In other words, those unused sums of sensitive customer data sit unused in company databases, at risk of being stolen.

Consequently, the International Data Corporation predicts that by 2024, at least 30% of organizations will be forced to expand data management and privacy measures to mitigate risks of data breaches. Salesforce also reports that 94% of companies intend to reduce their tech stacks in the coming year. 

Wrapping up

As 2023 hits its peak, businesses can expect to see more empowered B2C consumers, more guidance for B2B buyers, price-consciousness, AI salespeople, automation, and tightening data management. 

By keeping up with these sales trends, businesses can stay flexible as the marketplace changes, coming out on top and ready to seize every new opportunity.  

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Monday, 15 April 2024
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