Buyers and decision makers are rapidly changing and doing more and more research prior to making decisions. Traditional selling efforts and Sales Force Automation (SFA) technologies are now a foundational must-have. In your sales readiness strategies, where are you on the sales process and technology maturity scale?

To move into a Best Practice state for your sales processes and strategies, here are the trends in Sales Customer Experience (CX) for 2018:
1. BUYER DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CHANGING
 Members of the Generation Y (sometimes referred to as Millennials) have been in the job market for a while now….and are being promoted into more senior decision making positions. These buyers know how to use technology, they value work-life balance, and are enthusiastic and creative. Your processes, techniques, and SFA technologies must adapt. Also, many millennials are also your sales reps, and also are expecting more advanced tools to help them do their job rather than just set up appointments and have lunches.
2. ACCOUNT-BASED SALES BECOMES THE NORM
With marketing creating ideal customer personas, it’s time for sales to approach the ‘most wanted’ accounts in creative ways. Strategic Account Selling is not new. Neither is Whitespacing. Automating account plans and leveraging advance technologies such as Artificial and Predictive Intelligence (AI) making proactive suggestions on account engagement will continue to grow in 2018.
3. VIDEO CONFERENCING WILL BECOME MORE COMMON
You might ask, isn’t video conferencing already commonplace? Think about it…isn’t most of your communication still done by email, phone, chat, and in-person? Modern sales tools and applications that allow for quick customer touch points. What if when you send a quote, your customer sees a quick video message popping up when they start reviewing that proposal? You can engage in a more personalized way and see those all-important facial expressions in a quick video chat.
4. CONTEXT-BASED INTELLIGENCE BURSTS ONTO THE SCENE
Good sales people know when to use the right collateral at the right time. What if technology can suggest the right content in the right context at the right time? Advanced SFA technology can help sales teams with the WHAT and WHEN based on the WHO. These are the automated things, called ‘Bots’ that can help automate engagement with your sales teams and your customers.
5. PREDICTIVE? MORE PRESCRIPTIVE! 
Even though many organizations are still figuring out their predictive lead scoring models, modern selling teams are developing prescriptive models. Sales people just want to know what their next move should be to move their funnel forward. Technologies can provide more insights….and these can be used to calculate ‘next best actions’ leading to better outcomes. Machine Learning models analyzing all of this data and collecting feedback will help adjust these prescriptive suggestions.
If you are interested in learning more or having a conversation, please contact us.

Apex IT is a leading CX/CRM consulting firm helping transportation and logistics organizations improve their customer’s journey. To learn more about Apex IT, please visit our website.

Oracle is a Gartner and Forrester leader, providing solutions in CX/CRM, BI, and Data. To learn more about Oracle CX, please visit their website.