Key Technological Trends driving Sales Enablement in 2017

By: Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO & Co-Founder, Denave

The sales industry landscape is fast changing owing to the technological revolution taking place at nano-speed. In fact, one of the largest contributors to the Indian GDP, after agriculture, IT is expected to treble by 2025 to the tune of $350bn as per the IBEF report. The evolution of data sciences is making it a pre-requisite for organizations to proactively adopt data technology in order to sustain in the competitive industry while maintaining their uniqueness. The technology wave has, therefore, turned out to be a disruptor across all industry verticals, especially for sales enablement and thus, the two are great combination to lookout for in 2017.

As per Gartner research, there is a visible increase in the technology investments by companies with heavy sales orientation. There is now a trend to acquire small tech start-ups and thus leverage the latest tech-platforms, by the sales industry stalwarts. Sales enablement sector is also adopting these modern technology tools, which equip the sales teams to execute their job, way more efficiently and effectively. The projected worldwide expenditure, as per Gartner, will be $3.5 trillion on IT in 2017. A significant portion of this estimate can be safely assumed to be incurred towards sales enablement. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Mobility, IOT, Big Data, Digitization etc. are some trends which are acting as transformation catalysts.

Let us take a look at some of these trends and their subsequent impact on Sales enablement sector in more detail:

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has transformed the industrial landscape, leveraging technology to remove any kind of subjectivity in the planned processes, thereby adding efficiency and precision. Machine learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. From a sales process perspective AI leverage can reduce human intervention in iterative processes thereby allowing scalability and great reduction in costs. AI thus has the inherent capacity of decoding the future trends and disrupting the industry further.

Cloud Technology & Mobility
There is an industry shift happening owing to the advent of technological innovations of Cloud and Mobility. Researchers have predicted that by 2020 there will approximately be more than 8.2 billion active mobile devices with many more applications to follow on cloud. Some industry frontrunners say that 50 percent of companies will have hybrid clouds as early as in 2017. Software services will be available on mobile tap due to cloud which will further be an active driver for sales enablement. Right information at the right time at any place will take sales force automation deployment and relevance to a new high.

Internet of things
Given the current increase in digital connectivity of devices, manual interface has steadily gone down in the customer service industry. Internet of Things will evolve further to impact a larger section of the market and upkeep a new phase of digital business. These days, there is a shift from a stand-alone to a collaborative model, wherein IoT tools communicate and act in a concerted manner to accomplish tasks. Upcoming year will see this intelligent technology intrusion – IoT, further enhancing the outcomes and taking the quality and efficiency of sales processes along with consumer experience and tracking of the same to greater level of accuracy and impact.

Big Data Analytics
Big Data is expected to grow at unprecedented levels; Machine learning, cloud and smart appliances are driving the next wave of Big Data. With many prominent industry players working on predictive analytics platforms, big data analytics ensures dynamic decision-making process. This, in turn, enables usage of real-time data to discover and improve sales opportunities by understanding the consumer behavior; thereby providing a competitive edge to the seller. As per a report by Forrester, by 2020, most businesses will be data driven.

Digitization has disrupted the domestic demand for technology to help improve operational efficiency and effectiveness at optimal costs. Irrespective of the industry, India has seen a surge in consumer engagement through digital platforms, a non-traditional channel. It has in fact, given a new dimension to marketers to strategize their sales programs in a more efficient manner. With the help of digital tools, right from the delivery of sales collaterals to capturing the consumer reaction, all have become way more easier and real-time. This in turn, has equipped the sales team for inducing a far greater desired impact on clients. It is an interesting and engaging means to connect to the overall process. Industries which have not yet completely opened to digital adoption, the upcoming year will see majority of them taking a major dip in this vast sea of digital innovation. In fact by the year 2020, the entire next generation, also called Generation C- connected, will have matured up in a digital world, thus, not even the providers, but also the customers will be completely digitized so to say.

For the connected ‘Generation C’, internet, texting, smart phones, computers, social networking etc. are inherent in their nature. Their reliance on digital communications and familiarity with the latest tech platforms, as well as, their increased networking across social media reflects the fast-changing demographic quotient and its dependence on technology. To be successful and profitable in today’s world, then, the companies and their sales team need to leverage technology enabled sales techniques. Rendering the economic benefits at the doorstep of the enterprises, technological push is of much value to the organizations. Given the transformation, there is a pressing need for companies now to incorporate these trends, which hold a sway over the economic turnover for their company, as well as, the world.

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