• December 23, 2014

5 Sales Predictions for 2015

5 Sales Predictions for 2015

How’s The Old Crystal Ball?

Mine can be foggy from time to time, but it doesn’t stop me from each year looking into the future and trying to discern what might be coming at us. Often I make an accurate prediction, like when in 2013 I whole-heartedly endorsed the idea that ‘internet of things’ would be really big in 2014.

How’s that internet-connected crock pot working for you by the way? What, it hasn’t arrived?!

Nevertheless, I am boldly going to make five predictions for salespeople for what will likely occur in 2015:

1. Almost Half Of You Won’t Make Your Sales Quota

Harsh, I know, and the hits just keep coming – a recent report by Accenture not only said that the number of sales representatives who have met their quotas has decreased steadily over the past four years, while the average quota per representative is also decreasing.

With that said, this definitely isn’t the time to start getting cozy in a sales job. If you plan on succeeding in the next couple years, it’s time to get smart and have a plan for how you’re going to stay on quota.

2. There Will Be More On Your Plate Than Ever Before

The rise of marketing automation has, funnily enough, led to more work for sales representatives. Even if they’re great leads, it’s still more work. Ditto that about CRM technology. This, along with the fact that employers are expecting more from sales representatives by the day, and you might have a recipe for some serious stress in 2015. I have a lot of empathy for the sales rep who is always concerned about deals falling through the cracks.

3. Management Will Be Even More Self-Serving

I know what you’re thinking: “I thought he said predictions,” right? Yeah, this one isn’t new, and shouldn’t come as a shock. There are still factors at play which have caused managers to look out for themselves, and in 2015 it’s probably going to keep happening. In both good and tough economic times, shareholders are always pushing for higher performance from management, who in turn, take it out on you. But hey, at least you can know what to expect: more meetings, more reports and more data entry required into CRM systems.

4. A Tremble In The Economy

A lot of economic data points toward slow-down in the US economy. Europe is in a slump and so is Japan. Even the seemingly unstoppable growth of China’s market has slowed. What this means precisely isn’t quite clear – there could be an upturn or there could be slump – but as they say, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Make sure you have a good strategy for the tough times ahead. One things is for sure: a worsening economy isn’t going to help you make your quota.

5. New And Exciting Sales Technology Due To Be Released

I can tell you more about this in a few months, but for right now my prediction is that it is going to be a great year to be a sales rep who looks for technology to help her improve her sales game.

What’s Your 2015 Sales Plan?

With these predictions in mind – it is time to look at your own business. Analyze your sales tactics, and what you need to do to exceed your quota, endure through an unstable market, look out for yourself when your management isn’t and handle your overflowing plate of responsibilities. Here are some tips:

  • Stay focused: This one seems simple, but can be surprisingly difficult, especially if you’re under a lot of stress. Set yourself reasonable goals and complete them before moving on to other projects.
  • Be proactive: Like I said, now definitely isn’t the time to start slacking off. Take your challenges as they come and it’s less likely that you’ll be overwhelmed by them.
  • Stay informed: Technology is rapidly changing all the time, and with it, so are most businesses. Do your homework, brush up on the latest developments in your field, and ensure you don’t fall behind the curb.
  • Finally, don’t be pushy: Buyers have more options now for products than ever before, and every single brand has some guy in a suit talking about how their brand of chemical dog pheromone nullifiers is the best. Take a deep breath, push when you have to, and try to sell with the knowledge that a lot of people aren’t really interested in having something sold to them. In other words, don’t be a sales robot.

With the New Year approaching, you can set resolutions to prepare and excel in the upcoming months. Don’t be a victim of these factors, but grab the bull by the horns and prepare with a realistic plan of action.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Flavio~.