I was recently asked to see what lies ahead in professional selling. Here’s what I wrote:
Ocean Palmer’s Top 5 Predictions for 2015
Demand for Value Creating Salespeople will Significantly Increase
As companies continue to focus on top-line revenue growth, the global and domestic market need for sales professionals who can communicate, establish, grow, and sustain value will continue to mushroom.
The Market Supply of Professional Value Creators will Continue to Shrink
While the search for value creators will continue to expand, supply will continue to contract. When cost-conscious cuts expanded managerial controls and eliminated sales talent bench strength, with those reductions went the professional development of future high performers.
HR Leaders and Talent Development Organizations will Face a Very Hard Choice
Talent has options. Mediocrity does not. In order to strengthen sales organizations, HR leaders will be put in a position to find and pay more for skilled performers or else invest in talent development plans if they have any hope of helping sales organizations nurturing their sales force effectiveness.
High Performing Sales Cultures will Coach More and Manage Less
Coaches teach, managers inspect. Calling someone a “coach” or telling him or her what to do in order to “coach” does not make a coach any more than changing a football player’s position on the field makes him qualified to excel at the role. When talent does not develop, it leaves. In order to do that, salespeople must be coached, not micromanaged, badgered, or constantly inspected.
High Impact Messaging will Become Increasingly Important
As our sound-bite interruptive society continues to place a relentlessly increasing emphasis on “saying a lot while saying a little.” Few salespeople have command of all four elements of effective communication, much less the ability to influence behavior and consistently gain actionable interest. Persuasion and brevity present an interesting — but increasingly important — challenge for all.
Time will tell soon enough whether we’re right or wrong about these, but I’ve got a funny feeling we’re pretty darn accurate.
Continued good selling to everyone who honors the profession. May your quotas be filled, your customers satisfied, and bonus checks large.
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