Change is unavoidable in sales. But these days, the pace of change is only accelerating, and new trends come and go at a rapid speed.
HubSpot surveyed 1,000+ sales professionals to get a better picture of the sales landscape in 2022. These powerful insights can inform every aspect of your sales process — from pitching to customer retention.
Read on to learn how to sales has changed from 2021 to 2022, and what to expect in the coming months.
6 Ways Sales Changed Between 2021 and 2022
- More interaction with prospects throughout the sales process.
- Existing customers took priority over new ones.
- Building trust with prospects became more crucial.
- More personalization with sales communication.
- Greater alignment between sales and marketing.
- Leveraging CRM to its full potential.
1. More interaction with prospects throughout the sales process.
Rarely do we make a sale at first contact with a prospect. In reality, it’s a process that requires multiple touch points. After all, trust isn’t built in a day. And in 2022, winning that trust takes even more effort than before.
According to HubSpot’s 2022 Sales Strategy & Trends Report, 33% of sales reps say they average 2-4 interactions with prospects in the sales process. Trailing close behind, 26% of reps report 5-7 interactions.
What’s more, 84% of sales professionals communicate with a prospect on 2-4 different channels (i.e., email, social media, text, live chat, etc.).
The trend is clear: a multi-touch approach is necessary to lay the groundwork for quality relationships in 2022.
2. Existing customers took priority over new ones.
More than a quarter of sales professionals say existing customers took priority over finding new ones this year. This hints at a simple truth in sales: a customer’s revenue potential doesn’t stop after the point of sale.
So how are sales reps prioritizing existing customers? Mainly through upselling and cross-selling.
3. Building trust with prospects became more crucial.
What’s the biggest change sales reps are seeing in their field? The growing importance of building trust with prospects. So much so, 54% of sales professionals feel this change is impacting their role.
While trust is a critical element of sales, buyers are just seconds away from more choices and information. Now, more than ever, salespeople must learn how to build trust with prospects — and quickly.
Let’s take a look at how to do just that:
The second best strategy is staying positive (35%), followed by finding common ground (29%).
4. More personalization with sales communication.
No two prospects are the same. They have different goals, needs, and pain points. So why would you use the same script? For example, if your sales pitch is so vague that it applies to everyone, it won’t resonate with anyone.
In 2022, personalizing your sales communication is a must. In fact, more than a quarter of sales professionals believe personalization is the biggest change in the sales field this year.
While personalization requires a bit more research on your part, this approach makes it easier for the prospect to see that you truly understand their problems. And nowadays, solving for your customer’s problems is more important than selling the bells and whistles of your product.
5. Greater alignment between sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. Yet, when they fail to work together, it leads to lost revenue, poor customer experiences, and wasted budgets.
According to 45% of sales professionals, aligning marketing and sales became more critical in 2022. That said, only 23% say these two teams are “very aligned” at their company.
Of course, increasing collaboration between sales in marketing is no small feat. But salespeople at companies with aligned teams perform better. On top of that, 28% of salespeople say it improves the customer experience, and 26% report stronger lead quality.
One of the easiest ways to align these two teams is with your trust CRM. In fact, a staggering 79% of sales professionals say a CRM is moderately to extremely effective at improving sales/marketing alignment.
6. Leveraging CRM to its full potential.
These days, a new app or widget seems to emerge every week promising to make sales reps more productive and efficient. While some are more effective than others, one piece of tech is here to stay: CRM software.
In fact, a whopping 83% of sales professionals say their CRM is important to the sales process. More specifically, it helps them keep track of leads, organize data in one central location, and even improves customer retention.
On top of that, top-performing salespeople have higher confidence in their CRM data than their counterparts. In other words, there is a clear link between sales performance and high-quality data. It’s no surprise 22% of sales leaders want to leverage their CRM to its full potential this year.
From increased personalization to more touch points in the sales process, an overarching trend is clear: prospects are seeking stronger relationships with their sales reps. With the right strategies in place, you can offer a highly personalized experience that builds trust and rapport.