Wow! It’s already 2018. Old trends keep evolving. New trends keep arriving.
If 2018 is anything like 2017 then we’re in for another exciting year.
Last year saw a lot of interesting things happen with major mergers and partnerships such as Salesforce and Google, the continued growth of customer success as a key focus to scale your business, customer acquisition costs rising, and much much more…
Now the question is, what’s in store for 2018? What trends are going to help you scale?
#1 - Smile for the Camera
How many websites do you visit and immediately leave? How many emails do you receive and ignore? I’m guessing a lot...
An area that is growing and shows great engagement is video. Research has shown marketers who use video are 49% more likely to grow revenue than non-video users. It can greatly improve your email stats, is great for SEO, offers a powerful way to share success stories, and more…
Now is the time to start to start putting your business in front of the camera. It’s is a trend that’s here to stay and help you grow!
And the best part is, of course if your videos are of professional quality it’s ideal, but even ametuer videos show great results too. Here’s a great little tour of our office in Medellin, Colombia, I knocked together on my phone in a couple of minutes whilst writing this. Enjoy!
#2 - Sales Reps at the Forefront
Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) have often just been the people to hammer out the calls and emails. Quantity, quantity, quantity… and who knows after a few hundred attempts they may get a bite..!
Well needless to say this approach may be costing you money IF your reps aren’t properly trained. And think of those calls you’ve received, let’s be honest many reps aren’t...
Through 2018 there will be a rise in the quality of recruitment and training for BDRs. They’re the people who often give the first impression of your business and therefore, they’re vital to your success.
It’s a trend we saw through 2017 in identifying how the BDR/SDR is arguably the most important member of your sales team.
#3 - Message Me on WhatsApp
Good afternoon, could I speak to ‘Insert Prospect Name’ please? This being the most common way to reach your prospect traditionally.
Now there’s a new method in town when you already have a relationship. Meet your contact where they are, on the technology they use.
Simple business communication has already begun to take place through WhatsApp and similar platforms. It’s often the easiest way to agree simple things from meeting locations to a quick check in.
And hey, as a side note even emojis are now being used in business to enhance customer experience.
#4 - B2B with a B2C Approach
Target the CEO! Target the decision maker!
Of course you will still need their buy in but reaching out to them with no context like everyone else remains as challenging as ever.
While still a relevant tactic, giving attention to the end users is equally important (such as developers or engineers). These people can become your inside salesmen to reach the CEO, and hey, when you talk to the CEO yourself, you will have a lot more context.
This approach has always been around but now with so much competition and content that decision makers have to view, B2C engagement will become more critical.
#5 - Focus on the Middle
Too long has the Bermuda Triangle of the sales funnel gone uncharted; while top-of-the-funnel focuses on lead quantity and quality, and bottom-of-the-funnel on closed deals, it’s the middle-of-the-funnel that needs to be addressed. Afterall the key to you inbound sales strategy is the whole buyer’s journey, not just the poles.
As the cost of lead generation continues to rise, it makes sense to pay more attention to the contacts you already have... Why are they stuck in the middle? What do you need to do to re-engage? Why have some people leaked out?
Enhance and test new strategies to fill this void.
Furthermore, this is the point where sales and marketing often meet and things can become misaligned. When highly aligned sales and marketing teams achieved 38% more sales, you need to get this part right.
#6 - Influencers that Speak to Your Audience
Before it’s been about getting the support of the big influencer to raise your awareness, the Tom Brady type speaker or the Microsoft endorsement... Whilst still great if you can get them, we’re seeing another trend.
Continuing into 2018, it’s less about using the biggest influencer to reach the most people, and more about using micro-influencers, with a smaller but more loyal followership, to reach the targeted profiles you want.
To give you a greater flavour of how it can be done, check out these 10 micro-influencer marketing campaigns to inspire and get you started. Less quantity, more quality!
From an increase in account based selling, to more automation and closer sales and marketing alignment, these are just a snapshot of the trends that will take place in 2018.
Bring It On
There’s so much exciting stuff coming, we're excited to get cracking.
We experienced an incredible amount of growth and evolution through 2017, and like all emerging companies, it came with its fair share of challenges too.
We expect 2018 to be no different.
Bring it on!