Top 10 Sales & Marketing Innovations of the Past 10 Years


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Sales Leaders have experienced a lot change in the past 10 years. Some have embraced it and some are still in denial. This blog represents a test. Look at the top 10 innovations and ask yourself each question below. Is your team embracing each trend or fighting them?

As you go through the ten, grade yourself as a leader. Have you embraced, or been skeptical about each of them? The leaders that embrace innovation will get the next promotion. They will outpace their peers.

The Top Innovation Improvement Resources will help you improve in each area listed below. Download the tool to learn how to implement each and enable your sales team. Assign an innovation area to each person on your team. Ask them to become an expert in that category. Have them share best practices on how to become more effective with the team.

Top Innovation Improvement Resources

Top 10 Sales Innovations

  1. The Smart Phone: Are you utilizing content that is mobile friendly? Are you capturing cell phone numbers for leads, prospects and customers? Are your systems and training mobile enabled?

  2. The Tablet: Do you provide content that addresses your buyer’s market problems? Or is your buyer reading someone else’s content on their tablet?

  3. CRM: Did you spend a lot of money on what amounts to a forecasting tool? Or are you driving revenue because you have gained 100% adoption? Does your team understand the value of CRM? Do you?

  4. Social Selling: Is your profile top tier? Do you have a plan to connect to more of your target buyers? Are you getting referred to those target buyers? Or are you waiting to see if this is another fad.

  5. Content Marketing: Are you leading the charge or is this too much work? Is your content accessible, customer focused, and organized properly?

  6. Customer Aligned Sales Process: Do you sell the way the customer wants to buy? Or are you selling the way you want to sell?

  7. Buyer Process Mapping: Is your team able to spot where a buyer is in their buying journey? Can they address questions the buyer is asking before they actually ask them?

  8. Marketing Automation: A larger percentage of the buying process takes place before a rep is engaged. Do you have visibility to what buyers are doing during this time? Are you making investments and qualifying based on how buyers interact with your website?

  9. Buyer Personas: Do you know your buyers better than the competition?

  10. Insight Selling: Are you differentiating early in the sales cycle? Or is your team still product pitching and commoditizing your offering?

You could argue that a couple of these existed prior to 10 years ago. They might have, but were not widely adopted. The best sales organizations have been early adopters of these innovations. They are stealing mindshare from you right now.

Top 5 Most Obsolete Sales Practices:

  • Solution Selling – developed in the 80s when hair bands were popular.

  • Cold Calling – using a more strategic approach is probably a better use of time.

  • Relying on a PCeverything a rep did on a PC should now be mobile enabled. Productivity dips every time a sales person visits the office.

  • Hiring for tenure and industry experience – the tenure scale has tipped. Being tenured can actually be a bad thing. Knowing a lot might mean wanting to learn a little.

  • Closing techniques – buyers now have more control than ever. In complex sales, you don’t close them. You help them navigate their buyer’s journey to a logical conclusion.

What do all of these tell us? With each new innovation sales is becoming less about art and more about science. Sales people should be enabled with real time information at their fingerprints. If you are still in the art world, you are falling behind.

If you fall behind the competition, it will be difficult to catch up. Innovation continues to accelerate and your competency gap is widening. Start now by downloading the Top 10 Innovation Improvement Resource Tool.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Scott Gruher
Scott has extensive experience helping B2B Sales and Marketing Leaders Make the Number. Gruher has helped companies such as Yahoo, GXS, Ryder Systems, Conoco Phillips, Expeditors International, Genesys Telocommunications and Caliber Collision Centers accelerate their growth by leveraging the benchmarking method.


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