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How can Sales and Marketing Teams Achieve Better Business Alignment with 5 Effective Strategies?

As this year is coming to a close, everyone is busy strategizing for the next year. With rapid AI growth, the next year looks very exciting. Next-level personalisation, smart data storage, and AI-assisted sales engagement are almost a reality. These advancements, however, are just a silver lining. Data protection and sales ethics are what’s at the heart of the changes in the sales landscape in 2024.

Read closely and pay attention to the trends — and you’ll find it easier to build long-term and fruitful relationships with customers in 2024.

Customer trust through data protection

Customers want businesses to respect their privacy. That’s a fact that’s shaping the sales landscape. Most customers now see the safety of their data as essential.

So, how do you protect your customer's data?

Launching into data protection begins with getting consent from a client. Be clear with your customers about why you need their data and how you plan to use it. Show a consent form when a customer signs up. Your client needs to know where their data is going.

Keeping your security protocols in check is also crucial. After all, the human factor plays a role in 74% of all data breaches. Sure, coaching a room full of adults about setting good passwords, not opening files they don’t trust, and double-checking the websites they click on may sound silly. However, if you take a second to remember the consequences, a cybersecurity coaching session doesn’t sound that bad.

Here's a checklist with some additional steps to securing your customer’s data:

  • Be honest in telling your clients why you collect their data.

  • Regularly check in with your helpdesk specialists to ensure your security protocols stay ahead of the curve.

  • Educate your team, making data protection and cybersecurity a part of the organisational culture.

Implement sales automation

Some trends are so trendy that they just become the norm. An example of this is sales automation.

A common misconception says that automation loses from creativity and personalisation as you try to scale the process, but this isn’t the case. It actually fosters creativity as you delegate more, laborious routine tasks to dedicated software. You have more time to spend on brainstorming and can come up with more creative ways to sell your products and better personalise your offers. A win-win!

Moreover, sales automation helps to reduce sales friction as it removes incompetent agents and manual data entry from the equation. Regardless of what the customer’s request is — the answer will be right in front of them, in a matter of seconds. That’s possible thanks to the unified database for all the customer information and the elimination of flawed or incomplete data and passing the customer from one sales rep to another until someone is qualified to answer their question.

The best way to automate your sales process is to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It allows you to automate your outreach, set drip campaigns, visualise your sales pipelines, and manage them more efficiently.

You just have to choose your CRM system carefully, finding the one that offers the most appropriate functionality to match your business' workflows.

It automates webform capture, drip campaigns, and contact-email linking. Algorithms and notifications make life easier because sometimes working hard is too much hard work.

Still, it isn’t just a CRM system integration that can help you automate the sales process. Everything related to the sales process optimisation with the software and/or hardware means falls under this category.

Implement value-based selling

It sounds counterintuitive, but the best tip for boosting sales in 2024 is to stop trying to sell! Yes, even when we’re on the verge of an economic recession.

Gone are the days when you could shove an offer into a prospect’s face and expect them to accept it just because it’s ‘an offer they can’t refuse’. In 2024, customers have every right to refuse offers left and right — with everything becoming increasingly more expensive and their purchasing power declining, they have to be cautious about what they spend their money on.

Of course, you could base your sales strategy on giving out discounts to those in need. But don’t think that you’re exempt from the global economic crisis. Giving discounts like there’s no tomorrow will likely send you bankrupt before anything else.

So, in 2024, before you resort to changing prices, you should change your leads’ perception of your offers. Implement a value-based selling strategy.

Social selling is essential

The rise in social selling further proves ‘obvious selling’ is dying out. If you want to increase sales, you should be delicate and unintrusive. Social selling as a concept has been in heavy rotation for a couple of years now. However, if in a previous couple of years it was merely advisable to wrap your head around the concept, in 2024 social selling is a must-practice for your business to stay afloat.

Instead of trying to sell your product right here and now, you should plant the idea into your prospects’ heads and keep developing it. Move into their heads by always being there for them, answering their questions, and showcasing expertise online. When they’re looking for a product to buy, you should be the first business that comes to their mind.

If you have a business profile on any social media platform, you’re already socially selling. If you’re not in control of it; not employing the correct strategies, social media activity can do more harm than good to sales. Increasingly, businesses get in on the trend and sell socially on purpose. Unless you match their effort, they easily win your customers.

Customer success over customer support

Another way to convince customers to make a purchasing decision is by persuading them that you’re genuinely interested in their business success. Instead of focusing on outstanding customer support, you should prioritise providing a more positive, holistic customer experience. Shifting your focus towards customer success lays the foundation for this. The importance of implementing a customer success strategy has been multiplied by the change in customer priorities caused by the pandemic and the upcoming economic crisis.

It’s no longer enough to produce a high-quality product and promote it to the right target audience. Customers are more demanding than ever before. Unless they’re one hundred percent sure the solution they invest their money in will work for them, they aren’t going to settle for it. You must be the perfect fit for your customers to stay loyal to your brand and keep generating sales.

32% of customers claim they’d walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience.

You aren’t waiting for a problem so you can showcase your expertise and solve it promptly. Instead, you’re proactively reaching out to customers to educate them about your product and how it benefits their business. In 2024, the role of a sales rep and a customer success manager is to personalise a business’s product offer in a way that appeals to the customer’s specific workflows and processes.

In 2024, increase the number of demos and walk-throughs your team conducts. Show customers how to reach their full potential, getting the most out of your product. Enrich your communication strategy with assessment calls to review your customers’ accounts and suggest improvements.

Another sales trend that’s going to be huge in 2024 is relationship-building associated with proper customer success.

Like never before, you need to be attentive to your customers' needs and asks. You need to regularly reach out and check in with them to understand how the economy is treating them.

Look for possible solutions if they’re showing signs of churn and struggle to keep purchasing from you due to economic hardships. Giving in and discounting your product until they can afford the full price will not do you much harm but will show your customer that you genuinely care about them.

At the end of the day, the recession isn’t forever. It’s going to end someday, but the robust relationship you’ve built with your customers will stay — and having a brand advocate like that is absolutely priceless!

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