What happens when we have so much information that it is impossible to even decide what to read? We constantly check our phones, computers or tablets. We are online and connected 24/7. We have an overload of information, stuff, processes and stress…

There’s a reason why ‘de‑cluttering’ businesses are growing in number around the world. People are seeking help to go back to basics, to a clearer and simpler life, with less “stuff”.

Our businesses have become overloaded and cluttered as well. When a company grows, the levels of management multiply and more co-ordination is needed; that in itself increases complexity, but it also increases clutter. There’s a need to go back to the essentials and for that we need clarity.

Sales operations loaded with dated processes, hard-to-work systems and countless priorities cannot function efficiently.

We need to de-clutter.

We can’t oversimplify what is a complex system; we can’t transform every process into a linear one. But we can remove what is just making noise, occupying space in our minds only causing stress and clouding our vision.

 Less is more. 

The 12 Barrett Sales Trends for 2016 all share this thread about bringing things back to basics, bringing clarity and transparency to businesses and sales.

Here is a summary of the trends, or you can download a copy of the full report here.

 Sales Trend 1 – Beyond profit erosion

Over the last few years, a vast majority of companies derived their profits mainly through cost-cutting but this is not possible any more. Costs have bottomed out. Companies will have to change how they sell to find profit and growth through selling value.

 Sales Trend 2 – Beware competitor zero

There is a new competitor in our midst: indecision.

This sales trend looks at how and why the decision-making process has changed in organisations and what we can all do about it.

Sales Trend 3 – Selling is everybody’s business

This trend is about how smart companies recognise the importance of selling across the value chain and making sales and customer satisfaction a whole business activity with purpose.

Sales Trend 4 – Sales and marketing unite

With shrinking markets, micro segments, more informed buyers and the digital revolution to name a few key influences, smart companies know that if they are to steal the march on their competitors, win market share and engage the right kind of buyers, the sibling rivalry between sales and marketing must end.

Sales Trend 5 – How we sell around here

Smart companies are adopting best practices as a minimum standard of sales excellence to embed ‘How We Sell Around Here’. They are reaping the rewards of their continuous learning programmes and sound sales strategies. This trend highlights how these companies are doing it.

Sales Trend 6 – The sales curator

No longer are salespeople seen as the purveyors of information that they once were in the 20th century, 21st century salespeople now need to be experts at sifting and sorting information for their clients and prospects. A new sales capability is required in this information overloaded world. This sales trend sees 21st century salespeople needing to develop their skills as curators.

Sales Trend 7 – Buyers in transition

This sales trend highlights that more mature procurement professionals, who have been through the sourcing cycle several times, are now starting to seek new ways in which they can be relevant and valuable to their organisations. They are seeking innovation, ideas, and collaborations because they have seen that taking prices lower would be detrimental to their business. It’s early days but things are starting to shift, albeit slowly.

Sales Trend 8 – Streamlining CRM

Smart companies are adapting and embracing the new ways of doing things to make it easier and more efficient for their sales teams to sell better i.e. from utilising the comprehensive analytics available from the web and social media to the ability to customise a Customer Relationship Management system and deploy applications on various devices.

Sales Trend 9 – Marketing technology for better sales results

Less is more when it comes to technology.

This sales trend focuses specifically on the impact technology is having on businesses large and small for good and bad and what technologies we should be paying attention to and what we should be ignoring.

Sales Trend 10 – The evolution of sales incentive plans

Sales incentive programs (SIPs) constitute a major cost in many companies but the research indicates that a well-designed SIP can be a worthwhile investment. Certainly, SIPs are becoming the norm in many sales settings. This sales trend tells of the shift towards more customised variable SIPs taking into account team selling, complex solutions, longer sales cycles, and so on.

Sales Trend 11 – The renaissance sales manager

More and more sales leaders and their respective sales managers are realising that too much data across too many spectrums is counterproductive to effective sales leadership and building sustainable sales results. They know that you can’t lead a sales team from behind a desk in front of a screen crunching numbers. This trend sees smart companies employing and/or developing the Renaissance Sales Manager to be the standard of ‘how we lead sales teams around here’.

Sales Trend 12 – The rise of “seniorpreneurs”

Senior entrepreneurs are Australia’s fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs. Seniorpreneurship is a global trend with the over 55s showing a strong representation in the USA and UK. They are a force to consider in the business landscape with much to offer to the economies.

You can read the full article here.

These trends can sometimes be taken with a grain of salt, yet being early in the year, whilst you prepare for the nest year of your business (and personal) life, it is very interesting reading nonetheless.

So what do you take from this?

We here at Marked Focus have started the year with growth on our minds.  Already we have bought in an outside marketing consultant who is helping smarten up our online communication and social media presence.  I am constantly looking at ways to improve my business as well as my clients business, whether that be the business of family or a fully-fledged trading business.

Through the years, I have seen businesses start and succeed, and yet I have seen even more fail.  Why?  There are not enough hours in the day to write down why.  But this has shown me where critical errors in judgement, poor business advise, and the incorrect tax structures for the type of business they were really hurt them, most of the time when they really thought they were succeeding.

If you want to sit down and talk to me about your plans for the year, and seek advice on your best way moving forward with your plans, whether they are business or family/personal, please drop me a line and I will be more than happy to spend some time looking at how I can help you achieve your financial goals,

For this year and every other one to come, remember: everybody lives by selling something.

Until next time,

Mark @ Marked Focus

About the Author

Mark Peterson is the Director of Marked Focus and leads a network of financial industry professionals to help you know your numbers and make the best possible financial decisions for your professional and personal life. To speak with Mark about all things tax, financial planning, superannuation, or to review your insurance, home loans or personal loans, please contact:   (03) 5996 1990 mark@markedfocus.com.au markedfocus.com.au Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn