How to master Sales in 2018

Karel Vandeloo

Whilst 2018 is just starting and with the fast-changing environment that we are living in, this year already seems to become the most challenging year for Sales and Managers. Each year there are changes on the horizon within every industry, but with the increase in data generation in 2017 and the upcoming regulations there is no doubt that the sales cycle will encounter a lot of changes in 2018. As decisions are based on data and companies are getting more insights into their customers, do have a look at the following image. This scheme shows exactly how crowded the landscape is and how important customer insight has become.

Salestech landscape 2017 by Nicolas De Kouchkovsky

Let's take a moment to reflect on what 2018 will look like with all these new tools that are available for companies. With the above picture in mind, we can be certain that 2018 will bring a lot of changes. Here are the three inevitable trends in Sales.

1. Generation Y is here

Let's get this straight, 'old-school' managers and business leaders are somewhat reluctant towards the inevitable influx of the millennials. However, those that have been following M18 Executive Search on social media will have noticed we are a firm believer of unlocking young potentials. They will be the business leaders of tomorrow and can cope with this extremely fast-changing environment.

This generation will know how to leverage all potential from new technologies, and they compensate their lack of extensive experiences by their creative mindset. New kind of skills to sell to the new generation of buyers. 

2. Increasing importance of customer experience

Customization has always been important but nowadays it is key for companies in order to stand out in the crowd. The buying process is constantly changing and will continue to do so. 
As you can see in the above graph, various software tools are making it easier to gain customer insights and will help you to deliver the best customer experience. With this in mind, be ready to implement corporate chatbots on your website, they will shorten the traditional sales cycle.


This EU legislation will in 2018 be imposed in Belgium, and this will impact the way Marketing and Sales are operating. GDPR will make it harder to contact people in an unsolicited manner, and will thus make outbound Sales very tough. And such regulation will only continue to make Sales and Marketing more difficult over time, not easier.

Some experts will paint May 25th, 2018 (GDPR launch date) as a doomsday for all Marketing and Sales Persons but the truth is that the rules were already there. As a Sales person you should be aware and understand what 'consent', 'opt-in', 'right to be forgotten' and 'sensitive personal data' are all about. And of course, you should take these in account and act accordingly. Not only are fines expected to be high and as a Sales person you don't want to be the one making the mistake, it's also important that you, as representative of your company, make sure that your employer's reputation is well-protected and remains impeccable.

Finally, do enjoy reading the following the quote from a reputable salesperson:
By 2020, 70% of sales teams will be using analytics to understand their customers. Companies who are able to target potential customers with the right messages at the right time will win. With the explosion of available data on buying behaviours and preferences, along with tools and artificial intelligence to automate the process, the time is ripe for analytics to become a mainstream and seamless part of the sales cycle.

- Tiffani Bova (http://tiffanibova.com/), Global - Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

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