How leading businesses will sell in 2020 and beyond

“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”

I wonder if Justin Trudeau knew just how true that would ring when he addressed the world’s leading political and business minds at Davos?

In the last decade, Apple launched the iPad, we survived the Mayan apocalypse, an artificial intelligence developed a secret language and a black & blue dress divided the world.

Perhaps the most notable shifts for me have been the informed customer and the move to ‘everything-as-a-service’.

A competitor is only ever a few clicks and  a bad experience away and if you aren’t maintaining a personal, trusted and empathetic relationship with every customer – you’re risking revenue.

It’s not all bad news for suppliers though. Almost every business can be a multinational and service customers anywhere in the world, online and at scale.

Ever since Steve Jobs pointed the finger at Microsoft for copying Macintosh – and lost – rival businesses have had to find a lasting way to invest in differentiating themselves.

Why?

Because it’s faster, easier and cheaper than ever to replicate your features, functionality, and service.

Selling on this alone is no longer enough.

Especially moving forward in 2020 where the pace of change is accelerating and the future belongs to the connected and the fast.

Over the last decade, successful businesses have realised that the “informed” customer, their ongoing experience and the touch-points they connect with are the real USP.

How to succeed in 2020?

Put the customers’ problems at the heart of your sale, be part of a wider solution and make your solution visible for where and when a customer is ready to engage.

Your business model might be great and your ideas unrivalled, but the truth is that nobody will ever care about your company as much as you.

People are fatigued by the same chorus of solutions to problems they never knew they had.

Stop pushing a unique offering and start engaging with each customer in a way that identifies their individual pain.

Context is king and the more you understand about each customer the easier it is to find how to align your efforts to fix their pain.

A new department for a new demand

It’s less of a new department and more about consolidating existing teams around the customer.

Every engagement with a customer needs to create a single unified experience so that they see you in the same way that you see them.

There are no neutral engagements. Businesses need real-time visibility of how and when every person across the business is engaging and how to make every interaction a continuation of the last.

In other words, many departments hunting as a pack to deliver a connected experience.

With Ebsta, we bring this to the world of Salesforce. Every person in your organization can identify who knows who, how engaged a customer is and the reasons why.

It means every call is warm, existing relationships are leveraged for introductions and every engagement is supported with context.

A sales ecosystem

There is no single solution for any business.

Customer experience is undoubtedly the most important factor in sales and its influence spreads across multiple areas of the buyer journey.

One that’s much wider than any platform or single tool.

Salesforce suggest that the number of data sources used to create cohesive customer experiences are growing at a rate of 20% annually and that by 2025, businesses will work from 45 sources.

In 2020, seamless customer experiences can only be created from technology stacks that complement and connect that journey.

The next ten years will be even more defining than the last. A Mayan warning has been substituted for a very real climate one.

Personalization has become a competitive battleground between businesses and although it may come later than many suggest, AI will perhaps be the greatest game-changer in business the world has ever seen.

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Calum Morrison

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