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2021 Predictions for Sales Teams and How You Can Prepare

In case you missed it, we recently had the pleasure of hosting Forrester Research Analyst Mary Shea who shared current trends across the sales landscape – the touchless economy.

While many of the trends have been underway prior to COVID, the pandemic has clearly accelerated certain behaviors since travel has been reduced and work from home is the new normal for many of us. One of the key takeaways from the webinar is that many of these trends are here to stay. Some people may continue working from home even after the pandemic eases. Online events are likely to continue even as live conferences resume. This has implications for sales teams, especially those that rely on in-person touchpoints.

In Shea’s latest publication, Predictions 2021: Grounded Sellers Fly in the Face of Old Norms, she and her team make 5 key research-backed predictions that sales teams should take note of. Not surprisingly, several of these trends include technology.

AI and Automation will turn CRMs into robust data mines without the manual labor

This trend of using automation and artificial intelligence to streamline the lead qualification process frees up time for sellers to use the data they collect to learn more about their customers individually and holistically, putting them in a better place to make deals.

As a sales engagement solutions provider, Marchex has seen this shift take place with several of our own customers. Once businesses realize where AI really adds value and how automation in the right places can accelerate the sales process, there is no turning back to old practices.

For example, some businesses have installed a textbot on their website, making it easy for customers to ask a quick question. While the responses are automated, they are also well targeted and quickly route the customer to the right place for information or to a sales rep if the questions are unique to the customer’s situation. Not only does this free up a salesperson from vetting routine questions, but all the customer data also entered and the conversation that ensued is collected and integrated into the business’s CRM, providing rich data for the seller once the prospect reaches the decision phase. To learn more about this solution, see Marchex Sonar.

Automation and AI—specifically conversation intelligence—can be applied to several use cases that help sales teams find and convert new customers more efficiently.

If you are interested in learning more about how these scenarios work, watch our on-demand webinar: How to Accelerate Your Sales Funnel with Conversation Intelligence and Automation