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Signs Your Audience Is Changing: Turning Sales Trends into Marketing Foresight

June 23, 2014 | Shauna Bradley | No Comments |

When I was a kid, my friends and I were all about jellies—those cheap, bendable plastic shoes that came in a delightful assortment of sparkly pastel colors. It was the thing, the trend of the season and I was all over those shoes like, well, a young girl on sparkly plastic shoes. It was only later that we realized the implication of this trend—perpetually sweaty feet and gross smelly shoes.

Plastic shoes came back around in the early 2000s but now I was a grown-up and could wear the cute plastic high-heeled versions. And yep, same gross problem. Clearly, I hadn’t learned from the previous trend.

Shoes. Sales. Marketing. Where was I going with this…? Right! You can learn a lot from trends, if you really take the time to analyze what they mean and what the implications might be. For you marketing peeps out there, it’s not just about marketing trends either. Sales trends can actually give you some remarkable insight – and even foresight – for how to adjust your marketing for better sales results. After all, we don’t want you to end up with [metaphorically] smelly feet, right? Ok, you’re right, it’s time to drop the shoe thing.

I know what you want now. You want examples. I can do that. Let’s just forget about the shoe story. I have delightful-smelling feet now.

Sales Trend #1: Know Your Stuff

Your leads and customers are more informed than ever before, so sales people really have to know what they’re talking about. Niche expertise, areas of specialization, up on the latest trends—this is the modern salesperson.

Marketing Foresight: If you got it, flaunt it. Brag about your knowledgeable staff and find ways to get them featured in or contributing towards your content. If you’re not quite there yet, adjust your marketing to be heavy on the educational side so people are super informed and ready to buy when they get to a salesperson.

Sales Trend #2: Socialize

Social media is no longer the bastion of a small team of “experts” who guard the Hootsuite password like overprotective squirrels. Getting salespeople comfortable using social media helps them harvest a social knowledge base for your brand and start compelling conversations that end in a sale.

Marketing Foresight: Want to drive increased sales? Of course you do. And you can do without spending any more money or effort than some simple social media training for the sales team.

Sales Trend #3: Give It the Personal Touch

Personalization is in. Prospects and customers want to develop a relationship; they want to know they’re not just another name on the contact list. Salespeople must engage in active listening and approach the sales process as a collaborative, personalized experience rather than a one-size-fits-most push.

Marketing Foresight

As interactions get more personal, sales people will need quality pieces of content that match an individual prospect or customer’s needs. Talk to sales and use what you learn to create bite-sized chunks of content—think videos, case studies, etc.—tailored to specific industries or needs.

See where I’m going here? What would you add?

(Oooh look, jellies are coming back in style again!)

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