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How to increase sales effectiveness in 2020

Jan 22, 2020

Written by: William Johnson, Division VP of Sales and Channel
(View Author Bio)

Here are four trends you need to know about what’s going to motivate your sales force to go above and beyond for your company in the year ahead.

It’s a new decade and like everyone else, you’ve probably got 20/20 vision, 20/20 focus, 20/20 hindsight about what’s working (and what’s not) – and 20 ideas about how to make $20 million or get 20 new accounts.

All jokes aside, the beginning of a new year is sometimes just the push we need to take a closer look at our sales strategies and try something new. Here are four trends you need to know about what’s going to motivate your sales force to go above and beyond for your company in the year ahead.

  1. Generation Z

One of the first factors affecting the future of sales is the growth of Gen Z. Born between 1997 and 2010, they are starting to become powerful influencers when it comes to selecting and promoting products and services – and companies need to start listening to them accordingly.

Previous generations have focused on consumerism and the acquisition of things. With the Millennial generation, we started to see increasing emphasis on the acquisition of experiences and that trend has ramped up significantly with Gen Z.

Gen Z wants to not only experience the world they live in but also make an impact on it. To make sure we know how to effectively motivate them, we need to know more about what characterizes them:

  • They were born with full access to technologies (sensory telephones, PDAs, etc.).
  • Their subject mastery is much faster than other generations and therefore they pick up on flaws quickly.
  • They are very concerned about world problems and how they can influence the world to make it better. Environmental issues are at the top of their list, as noted by more companies marking their products as “environmentally friendly.”
  • In stark contrast to other generations, Gen Z has somewhat rebelled against the online shopping trend and many prefer shopping at brick and mortar stores. They value the overall ‘experience,’ which is in keeping with their emphasis on valuing all experiences more than things.

Understanding the differences in what motivates Gen Z versus previous generations is key to inspiring and driving behavior change with this growing part of the workforce.

  1. Experiences

Live it up! Just do it! These catch-phrases will be the mantra in 2020 and the coming decade as people strive to live more and collect less. As individuals, reducing our carbon footprint on the planet is trendy. So is going someplace cool, taking a selfie and documenting it for the world to see. Experiences are what people want – and what they’ll work hard to earn.

You just read about how Gen Z values experiences over things, but according to research conducted by Expedia and The Center for Generational Kinetics, that trend is making an impact across all generations.

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Source: Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics, 2018

In fact, experiences are so powerful that 71% of Gen Z said that would get a part-time job to afford an experience or trip and 49% of Gen Z and Millennials would sell their clothes or furniture to save money for an experience or trip. If people are willing to go to these great lengths to experience something, you can count on the fact that they’ll exert more effort, learn a new skill, make another sales call, etc. if you offer them the chance to do so.

  1. Games

Games are everywhere. There are games on your computer, on your tablet and on your phone. It’s estimated there will be 2.6 billion gamers in the world in 2020 and over 2.7 billion by 2021.

In the workplace, games are popular because they provide a proven and appealing mechanism to motivate people and increase revenue. Whether the goal is to reinforce the behaviors that drive business or to recognize specific achievements, games and game playing can make a big difference. Here are just a few scenarios where games can help:

  • Your top sales performers are doing well (as always) but you’re having trouble “moving the middle.”
  • Your brand-new product just launched but you haven’t had the fast sales start you were hoping for.
  • Your call center reps turn up to work every day but they just don’t seem motivated or fully engaged.

Amplify motivation with strategic gaming-focused initiatives that create a sense of fun and accomplishment while driving business results.

  1. New product launches

To ensure the success of a new product, you need to create excitement around its launch. Without a sense of anticipation and – most importantly – awareness, even the most well-designed product can fall flat.

The lesson: Engage your sales reps to be part of the build-up. We conducted a study showing that reps who are working with the sales organization in a new product launch can make a huge difference in how well new products are embraced. Focusing on product education and learning (along with tying this learning to incentives) helps to reinforce and accelerate the adoption of new products and services.

 

We have 20/20 vision when it comes to helping you inspire your sales teams and grow your business. Together, let’s create a clear path forward.

William Johnson

Division Vice President
Sales and Channel

As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Sales & Channel Engagement Group, William Johnson's primary focus is to develop sales and channel engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of sales people, distributors, dealers and channel sales representatives. An expert in sales incentive strategy, he educates sales professionals around the world on how to best engage their sales force through sales engagement strategies, solutions and best practices.

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