The new millennium has brought numerous changes that are affecting your business and your sales. Many of these we could have never predicted, which makes them even more intrusive. We have entered a new age of selling and a way to do business. Selling, marketing and buying seem to have melded together. What used to be our competitive advantages are slowly eradicating making businesses vulnerable.
With change comes conflict and opportunity. For global organizations this will continue to intensify and shrink as markets get larger.
If your’ organization is engaged in sales, and who isn’t, these changes will call for an overhaul of your sales force and their duties. Those stores that make the cut will survive those that don’t will fall behind their competitors and eventually fall off the radar screen. In order to make changes in your selling system, here are some trends that simply can’t be ignored.
# 1. Never forget that customers are smarter than ever.
This is the age of the customer not the age of technology. The consumer has disrupted how we do business and how they want to relate to your salesperson. By the time the customer gets to your store, she is more than 50% though the buying process and has a pretty good idea how to solve her own problem. This means your selling system has to change.
#2. Selling is quicker than ever.
This is because consumer’s expectations are increasing and out of hand. If your business can’t keep up the pace, you’re off the grid. Customers know about new products and what’s changing in your world. Your job is to keep up and learn more—quickly.
#3. It’s becoming impossible to have the better mousetrap.
We used to talk about competitive advantage; it’s harder than ever to keep one for very long. Instead, your company needs to be imaginative.
According to Peggy Noonan in a 2011 Forbes Article, “Why Businesses Die“, she notes that half a century ago the life expectancy of a firm in the Fortune 500 was around 75 years. Now it’s less than 15 years and declining even further. How long do brilliant ideas last? About 15 nano seconds!
#4. Look out, generation Y is on the move.
By 2025, the majority of the workforce will be these tech-savvy workers who not only think differently than your veteran sales force but interact differently. Combining them with your present workforce will present challenges. Training will be more important than ever especially team building for this inharmonious grouping.
Consider scheduling some team building.
#5 Start planning to make your business a destination, or you will be history.
Shopping is not what is used to be; by 2025, 50 % of the malls will be closed. Only those that come up with a new reason to exist will make it. Jose de Jesus Legaspi and his Plaza Fiesta Malls has changed the malls into a destination for Hispanic families. His malls contain great food, doctors and dental services and entertainment.
How will you make it? Future success will be predicated on rethinking how your organization functions—and making serious changes. Some of these changes will have to be radical. Over the next few weeks, I will talk about what might be on the horizon for you.
Lisbeth Calandrino helps business build Loyal Customers through Customer Retention Sales and Marketing. To have her speak at your business, call her at 518.495.5380, EST.