Every year, I give a rundown of the business trends I see in the upcoming year, and today I am sharing the top 2017 business trends with you on this episode of Grow My Revenue.

Specifically, I’ll be talking about the different roles in sales today and which role you should be focused on, how the sales process has changed for the buyer and how you can be a key component in that process, as well as crowdfunding to test your ideas, and why you must start segmenting your marketing lists.

Listen to this episode and discover:

· What are the three sales roles, and which should you be evolving into?
· What is the single best sales tool you can have?
· How to use crowdfunding to validate your ideas.
· Why and how monthly recurring revenue changes the value of your business.
· And so much more…

Episode Overview

Of the top trends I see coming in 2017, I chose a few to discuss here that are going to have the most impact on your bottom line. The first concept is the three roles in sales: the order taker, the salesperson, and the subject matter expert.

The order taker is exactly what it sounds like: someone in this role simply takes orders and fulfills their customers’ requests. Today I explain that this role is being replaced because of the convenience and quickness of online ordering sites like Amazon. If it’s easier and it’s faster to buy from Amazon, the client will go that route versus going to the order taker.

Next up is the salesperson: this is someone who believes their job is to sell what their company offers to anyone who will buy it.

And finally, there is the subject matter expert. In this role is the person who has enough expertise that the customer would be willing to pay to meet that person, if that’s what it took to have a conversation with him or her.

As you might guess, the customer will always want to deal with subject matter expert. That means you must offer this to them; if your competitors do and you don’t, you will miss out.

As you begin to evolve your sales roles, you should understand that subject matter experts have high credibility and high integrity, but they will not have skills with follow-through and the sales process. This is where you must pivot: have your subject matter experts supported by sales process and systems experts who will guide them through the sales steps.

Going hand in hand with the subject matter expert trend is knowing and utilizing the buyers’ new sales process. The sales cycle for the buyer is different than it is for the seller, and as the seller, you must know and understand this.

To compare, here’s how it works on the sales side: first there is the inquiry/initial contact, then a meeting occurs. During the meeting, the sales side determines if there is a good fit. If there is a good fit, a proposal is given to the potential client. From there, a negotiation may occur before an agreement is made and the work is begun.

For your customer the sales process works differently; in between every step and interaction with your sales team, they are doing research on their own.

They may have a meeting with you in person, but they may have been searching and gathering information about you for weeks or months before they reached out to you and met with you. After you meet, they may do additional searches and have questions about what the risks are if they implement what you offer, or they may research what the risks of purchasing from you are, and what kind of customer service you provide.

I touch on several other business trends for 2017 today, including the use of crowdfunding and why it’s better than focus groups when validating new business ideas, as well as why and how to segment your audience. I also cover why monthly recurring revenue is so much more beneficial to your bottom line, versus single-shot projects. Listen in for all of that and more on this episode of Grow My Revenue!

For full show notes, please visit: http://www.ianaltman.com/podcast/2017-business-trends/