SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

2016 Sales Technology Predictions

  • by Elay Cohen
  • January 4, 2016

2016 Sales Technology Predictions – We’re at the beginning of a big wave of innovation and new technologies serving the “Sales Tech” category.  John Koetsier, Venture Beat columnist writes:“Salestech isn’t just CRM anymore.”  We’re seeing new solutions to elevate sales team results for salespeople, sales managers, sales operations, marketing – at all levels from rep to manager to VP to CxO.

With the rise of “Sales Tech” (SaaS) investment and technology comes heightened expectations of measurable results and revenue outcomes.  To achieve our collective goals, let’s proclaim 2016 the “Year of Revenue Outcomes” in Salestech.

Every decision we make and every technology we use should be focused on time to market, time to first deal, and time to close. Let’s use Sales Tech to solve problems that are indisputably measurable by pipeline, revenue, win rates, and sales cycle time with speed being the differentiator. ROI should be clear, proven, and fast. Who has time to wait and see?

To exceed these goals, here are our technology predictions fueling “The Year of Revenue Outcomes” for Sales Tech in 2016:

Prediction #1: Prescriptive Overtakes Predictive 

Everyone is talking about analytics and predictive. The missing piece is the “so what”? What does the data mean? What do I do with the insights? Expect more investment in technologies providing, in particular, first-line sales managers, with prescriptive coaching and performance aids. We’re going to see many new startups emerge under the banner of AI sales personal assistants for reps and managers.

Prediction #2: Sales Learning Uses Data To Deliver ROI 

Mobile makes every moment a learning moment. Forward thinking CROs and CMOs invest more in sales training, coaching, and certifications to leapfrog competition and take market share. Boardrooms hold CEOs accountable for time to market, time to ramp, and time to close metrics.  With data science, structured onboarding uses rep engagement as leading indicators of performance. Expect major players in the sales tech space to include learning and coaching in their marketing. Did you see Xactly’s recent announcement of their new product Inspire?

Prediction #3: Snackable Video Content Goes Viral 

Sales teams need just-in-time content that’s bite-sized, video based, and crowdsourced. Rep generated video content is going to be the hottest and very sought after by sales operations, CMOs, and product marketing. Marketing will learn how to effectively crowdsource top reps for winning pitches and stories. Watch sales teams ask for more and more top performer rep videos and pitches.

Prediction #4: Presentation and Screen Sharing Is Standardized

A group of companies come together to build video and phone conferencing standards to deliver better cross-platform collaboration of presentation and screen sharing. We see more openness and web services connectivity making it easier for interoperability across all the competing platforms – GoToMeeting, Webex, Join Me, Google Hangouts, Skype, BlueJeans, ClearSlide and many more. Who wants to lead this charge?

A group of companies come together to build video and phone conferencing standards to deliver better cross-platform collaboration of presentation and screen sharing. We see more openness and web services connectivity making it easier for interoperability across all the competing platforms – GoToMeeting, Webex, Join Me, Google Hangouts, Skype, BlueJeans, ClearSlide and many more. Who wants to lead this charge?

Prediction #5: Account Based Selling Is Reborn

Expect to see new life pumped into the sales process, territory planning, and account planning space. New technologies make it easier to read and use signals from prospects on key accounts in territories. We’ll see lead scoring evolve into account prioritization and executive buyer readiness. LinkedIn will release Territory Navigator and a lot of VC investment will go into this area.

Prediction #6: Deals Rooms Automate Buyer Journeys

The sales process and the buying process become one. The idea of better collaboration of buyers and sellers in “deal rooms” is all about automating the steps to making decisions. The hottest use case is automating mutual close plans with the same precision as Jira does for development.  Think Jira for Sales.  The new technology loosely called “deal rooms” will bring transparency to how buyers and sellers work together and complete tasks together. Salesforce Chatter repositioned could be a good candidate to fill this void.

       What does all this mean to you?

If you’re a VP sales, make sure you’re mapping your technology buying decisions to your top priorities. Don’t try and do too much. Pick a problem that’s material to your business right now and find a technology provider created to accelerate solving revenue problems.

If you’re a VP marketing or CMO, it’s time to rethink your content assumptions and move towards short video-based content that is all mobile enabled.

If you’re a VP sales operations, invest now in technology to streamline onboarding and messaging alignment so you don’t have to research and set up a solution when your CEO says here’s a new pitch deck, now get everyone certified by next week.

What are your 2016 Sales Tech predictions?

Here’s to an amazing 2016 ahead for all us looking to deliver more value and revenue in Sales Tech. Happy New Year.

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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