One of the toughest aspects of working in sales is keeping your finger on the pulse (and staying ahead) of sales trends. All too often, you can get comfortable with what you think is the most current practices and suddenly, the tide turns and you’re back to square one.

So, what’s on the horizon for sales? Here are the top inbound sales trends you need to know to keep up with your competitors:

The Education Shift

As a sales leader, one of your top concerns is making sure every prospect trusts that you and your team are guiding them to make a safe purchase decision – and that starts with the move away from selling and toward educating. 

The best salespeople invest their time in educating prospects. They answer questions and provide valuable information, which in turn helps prospects make solid decisions when purchasing. Above all, this trend is motivated by a desire to lose the ‘pushy sales rep’ stigma and become a trusted adviser instead. When you take time to understand each of your prospects’ businesses, you will gain their confidence.

The Predictive Sales Process

When your sales team changes the way they sell, the process they follow also needs to shift. Focus on what information is shared and how, what messages work for which prospects, and the ways you can leverage marketing materials throughout the sales process. A predictive sales process combines automation and analytics to create a process that delivers a rich, educational experience from start to finish.

With CRM technology, you can build an accurate, actionable sales forecast that pushes your sales to the next level and helps your team prioritize the customer before anything else.

The Data-Driven Decisions

Slowly but surely, companies are implementing, using and adopting data to make smart decisions regarding not only their marketing efforts – but their sales process, too. When your sales team embraces the power of numbers, your projections can be based on strong data and sound models rather than a gut feeling.

Each of these inbound sales trends plays a part in transitioning sales to align with marketing and get out of the tired cycle that worked decades ago. With these top trends, it’s easy to see that the prospect, not the salesperson, has all the control. Think about the changes you need to make to your sales approach to meet prospects where they’re at, produce a shorter sales cycle, and improve your close rates.