The question for every business that is looking to expand next year is what role will chief sales and revenue officers play in 2016? As leaders in an ever-changing environment, these people must stay ahead of the curve. Below are three of the biggest trends in sales looking forward to 2016 and how the leaders of successful business organizations will navigate those trends.
Channel Partnering Becomes Far More Common
Customers look for solutions that take them from end to end with no hassles in between. A company with a specialty may find fulfilling these needs alone too difficult of a task, especially if this is not what the company is there for in the first place. Successful sales officers must look ahead of the curve in their industries and cultivate relationships with channel partners that help a business deliver a more complete solution to customers.
The secret to a great business partnership is a focus on the added value of that partner. This is where revenue watchdogs within the business must shine. A channel partner may bring production value to the table, but how much does this value raise the cost per unit sold? Will the supply chain bottleneck in critical places and cause cash flow problems? Although both sales and revenue officers focus on the incoming cash flow, the best will also focus on the path to the sale and pick channel partners that add value and not workflow.
Chief Sales and Revenue Officers Must Go Digital
The most loyal buyers with the most expendable income self-educate about products more today than ever. This would seem to relegate the sales professionals within a business into a passive stance; however, the best sales leaders still know exactly how to take charge. The digital platform opens up a new world of B2C and B2B sales that rely on indirect pathways and inbound marketing to catch a big fish. Although the sales department will not seem as aggressive, they are still pushing just as hard for the close, just in a different way online.
The business to business world has prioritized the e-channel as a more direct route to the market. Generating a niche quickly is of the utmost importance, as the 800-pound gorilla in the room, Amazon, refutes any efforts at a generic online storefront, no matter the industry of the business in question. It is up to the revenue leaders in the business to challenge the cost structure of this expansion into the digital space, keeping it low enough to generate profit even in a down market. With the savings coming from less overhead and human resource cost, this should prove an easy task for a revenue department that moves forward without fear, although the upfront cost may scare a few people.
Sales and Revenue Departments Come Together for Partnerships that are Not Traditional at All
Maintaining go-to-market differentiation for a company is paramount. As stated before, companies must expand their partnerships if their product does not cover the needs of the customer base end to end; however, the success of the new ideas for creating these partnerships rely on the aggressiveness of the sales and revenue leaders within a business.
First of all, a sales leader needs enough foresight to partner with businesses that are not in competing markets. These non-competitors may have reached that the primary company does not. Secondly, the end solutions must also include service providers as well as product manufacturers in most cases. Next generation OEM companies will likely play a role in the supply chain of an expanding business in 2016, and the revenue office must make it work on paper.