Like in any field, the sales sector is buzzing with new opportunities and trends.
From the impact of AI on sales growth and sales team productivity to the rise in sales enablement content and value communication challenges in sales processes – it’s a dynamic landscape.
In this article, I’m highlighting 21 sales trends that I expect to see in 2024.
1. 82% agree that connections matter most.
Sales representatives recognize the importance of building relationships and connecting with others in the sales process.
A large majority — 82% of sales professionals — consider building relationships and making connections as the most crucial and enjoyable aspect of their job.
I believe this will stay the same in 2024, with even more professionals putting in extra effort to form real connections.
2. Timing is still key in follow-up success.
Waiting for about 3 days before following up with a potential customer leads to the highest increase in the likelihood of getting a response, with a boost of 31%.
But if you wait longer than 5 days, the chances of a response decrease to 24%.
Surprisingly, following up within just 1 day has a negative impact, reducing the reply rate by 11%.
3. A significant portion of B2B resources go unused.
Despite companies putting a significant amount of effort into producing content, 65% of the content created by B2B organizations ends up not being used.
The main issues are twofold: the content is either challenging to locate or isn’t practical for the intended purpose.
4. Syncing sales and marketing for ongoing success.
When sales and marketing teams work closely, it results in better content to support sales efforts, higher-quality leads, and more successful deals.
61% of sales professionals believe that the alignment between these teams is even more important now compared to the previous years.
But only 30% of sales pros feel that their sales and marketing teams are strongly aligned in their company.
5. Elevating efficiency in sales processes.
About one-third of sales professionals aim to make their sales process work better in 2023.
They’re using tools like email templates, call recording apps, and calendar tools to boost productivity. This trend is expected to continue in 2024.
But the challenge could be making sure these tools actually fit into their daily work and really make things more efficient.
If not done right, these tools might not help as much as expected.
6. More calls coming from sales teams in 2024.
Did you know that the typical salesperson dials up to 52 calls each day?
If you’re in the B2B tech sales, the average is slightly lower at 35 calls daily. The hustle is real, and it’s not just about closing deals — it’s about consistent and proactive engagement.
In 2024, I think the number of calls might increase a bit. We get so many emails and messages these days that a phone call can stand out and feel more personal.
So, sales reps might make more calls to connect with potential customers in a meaningful way.
But these calls shouldn’t feel like spam or too forceful – that’s really important.
7. The need for more comprehensive buyer intel.
42% of sales reps say they don’t have enough info about their customers before making calls.
Without the right information, sales reps might end up spending more time on unproductive calls or pursuing leads that aren’t a good fit.
So, in 2024, the opportunity is to invest in improved prospects and customer intelligence tools.
8. True sales value beyond the price tag.
A significant 75% of people don’t believe that higher prices necessarily equate to better quality.
This challenges the traditional notion that higher-priced products or services are inherently associated with superior quality.
The potential problem here for sales is that relying solely on a high price point as an indicator of quality may not align with customer perceptions.
This shift in consumer mindset suggests a trend towards showing value, transparency, and tangible benefits in sales approaches rather than relying on the assumption that a higher price automatically signifies great quality.
9. Opportunity-to-win tops sales KPIs.
Nearly half (43%) of sales managers think the opportunity-to-win rate is the most crucial key performance indicator (KPI) to measure how effective and accountable their telesales teams are.
Surprisingly, 11% of sales managers see daily talk time as an important KPI.
10. Social selling continues to drive success.
78% of salespeople who use social media to connect and engage with potential customers outsell those who don’t.
Social selling is essentially about using platforms like LinkedIn to identify promising leads and create valuable connections.
The lesson here is clear: Social media isn’t just a place for personal connections, it’s a valuable medium for relationships with potential clients.
11. Referral programs work for 51% of companies in sales.
More than half of the companies using referral programs find them effective in keeping their sales pipelines active and healthy.
When businesses encourage existing customers or partners to recommend their products or services, it works well for maintaining a steady flow of sales opportunities.
12. AI’s strategic role in shaping future sales growth.
Sales teams are incorporating AI into their processes in creative ways, and it’s making a significant impact.
A notable 63% of sales leaders believe that AI is making it easier for them to compete with other businesses in their industry.
Depending too heavily on AI for decision-making may lead to oversight.
So, I believe that human intuition and critical thinking are still important in understanding nuanced situations that AI might not grasp accurately.
13. Buyers crave better visuals from sellers.
Around 86% of buyers feel that sellers either don’t use visuals effectively or don’t use them at all. As a result, buyers become disengaged in the sales pitch.
I think the opportunity in 2024 lies in improving the use of visuals during sales interactions.
Whether it’s infographics, charts, or interactive presentations, using visuals in some way can make the sales process more engaging.
14. Sales teams rethink strategies for more productivity.
Sales representatives dedicate a significant chunk of their time, about 40%, looking for or making content to share with potential buyers.
This could be inefficient, taking away valuable time that could be better used in direct interactions with clients or focusing on other aspects of the sales process.
To tackle this challenge, a smart move is to team up closely with the content marketing team.
Lots of companies are already doing this, and it works well. By working together, the content team can prepare materials that match what the sales team needs.
This saves time for the reps and ensures the content is spot-on and makes a real impact.
15. The rise of sales enablement content.
About 52% of sales pros used sales enablement content, and a significant 79% of them believe it’s crucial for making a sale.
In 2022, approximately 40% of sales pros used sales enablement tools, and this number jumped to 60% in 2023 as teams recognized their effectiveness.
The prediction is that this upward trend will persist in 2024.
16. Agile sales organizations will be essential for effectively navigating change.
67% of sales teams were working either fully remotely or in a hybrid model (combining remote and in-person work).
To adapt to this trend, leaders are encouraged to invest in tools that facilitate virtual team building and collaboration.
For 2024, sales leaders might want to think about being more flexible in how they set up the team structure.
The opportunity is to make the most of this situation by improving how teams communicate and work together virtually.
17. The sweet spot in B2B outreach.
When it comes to B2B cold outreach campaigns, sending 2 follow-up emails is an effective strategy.
Interestingly, campaigns with a total of three email rounds, including the initial email and two follow-ups, tend to achieve the highest reply rates, reaching 9.2%.
18. Value communication challenges in sales.
48% of respondents in a study identified a major challenge in the sales organization: the inability to effectively communicate the value of their products or services.
When sellers struggle to convey the worth of their offerings and face difficulties visualizing their value proposition, it has negative consequences on sales performance.
This includes longer sales cycles, larger buying committees, and lower success rates in closing deals because sellers can’t meet the expectations of potential buyers.
It’s time for companies to reconsider delivering training programs and coaching sessions for sales representatives to enhance their communication skills.
Another approach could be developing customer-centric messaging.
Make sure you understand the buyer’s journey and craft messages that resonate with their pain points, so they can see the value of your product.
19. 38% struggle with lead prioritization.
38% of salespeople are unsure about which leads to reach out to first.
The problem here is that without a clear strategy for identifying and contacting the most promising leads, valuable time and opportunities might be lost.
20. Top sales reps are winning with listening.
The most successful sales representatives dedicate 55% of their time during a discovery call to actively listening to the prospect, rather than focusing on delivering a sales pitch or discussing their product.
So, effective salespeople prioritize understanding the needs and concerns of the potential customer.
No surprise, this should always be a priority for sales reps.
21. The impact of consistent touchpoints.
On average, it takes 5 to 10 interactions or touchpoints with a potential customer to successfully close a deal.
Yet, many salespeople give up after only a few attempts.
The opportunity here lies in the persistence of the sales team. If they stop after just a few attempts, they might be missing out on potential deals.
Expert Insights on Sales Trends
“To enable growth of any kind, it’s crucial for businesses to invest in their sales teams and resources. Currently, many B2B companies are struggling to find the right sales reps for their business.
At the same time, we’ve observed that the industry is falling behind expectations in training their sales teams. An issue that must be addressed to better equip the salesforce and achieve growth.”Fotios Sepidis, Commercial Strategy & Sales Expert at Simon-Kucher