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Common Questions and Answers
The impact of 2020 was far-reaching, especially for sales and marketing teams. Even though things have changed as a result of the global pandemic, sales activity hasn’t stopped.
Over the past year, many companies have had to rethink their strategies, and we saw remote sales become common almost overnight. Going forward, sales and marketing teams will need to continue to be more creative and resourceful, building on the lessons learned over the last several months. NASP wants to give you an edge over your competition by sharing the hottest sales trends of 2021.
Solving your prospect’s challenges and adding value has never been more important than it is in 2021. In the past, many salespeople relied on their natural charisma during a face to face meeting to build rapport and close a sale. In today’s virtual world, that is much harder to accomplish.
A recent study from ValueSelling Associates shows that 87% of high-growth companies take a value-based approach to sales compared to only 45% of negative-growth companies.
Value-based selling is not about hard-selling, rather it focuses more on showing customers during every interaction the benefits or value they can gain from using your products or services. Salespeople are focused not only on closing a sale but on adding as much value as possible. They are committed to creating win-win solutions.
Over the past several years, the importance of social selling has grown. While it has been encouraged in the past, social selling is a necessary practice if you want your business to stay afloat in 2021. Through social selling, you’re able to target your marketing to people who are already interested in your product, thereby giving them a nudge in your direction.
Instead of trying to sell your product on the spot, social selling allows you to plant an idea into your prospects’ heads and keep nurturing it. You can become a trusted brand by always being there for them, answering their questions, and showcasing your expertise online. When they’re looking for a product or service to buy, you should be the first business to come to their mind.
If you have a business profile on any social media platform, you’re already engaged in social selling. But, if you’re not actively controlling it and don’t employ the correct strategies, social media activity can do more harm than good to your sales. More and more businesses are getting in on the trend and sell socially on purpose, so unless you match the effort, they can easily steal your sales.
According to OptinMonster, 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t, and 84% of C-Level executives use social media to make purchasing choices. With numbers like these, social selling should be a critical piece in your sales plan.
One of the biggest changes 2020 produced is the accelerated transition of buying and selling into the digital world. Of course, different buyers have different preferences, so you can’t expect the same approach to work for everybody.
Given that almost 60% of today’s buying process is complete before the buyer reaches out to a salesperson, the customer experience starts online. Giving your customers a more personalized experience will make them more likely to do business with you. In fact, according to a survey by customer data platform Segment, 49% of buyers make an impulse purchase after receiving a personalized shopping experience.
Their findings suggest that after a personalized sales experience::
You can provide a more personalized experience for prospects by encouraging them to create profiles on your website or app where they can share personal information and encouraging them to engage with your sales team via live chat software solutions or calling directly.
With most of the world in some form of lockdown for the majority of 2020, many people used the opportunity to further their personal education. The popularity of webinars skyrocketed, and we’ve continued to see this trend grow in 2021.
To capitalize on this and use webinars for lead generation, discreetly reference your offering as a solution throughout the presentation, and then include a special offer at the end of the webinar. Remember, a webinar is not a product demo, so make sure any mention of your offering is relevant to the conversation. Depending on the audience you are targeting and the topic of your presentation, you might find greater success by varying the length of your webinar, enabling live chat, or engaging in Q&A.
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, affordable, and commonplace, AI software can help sales professionals by taking over some of the more routine tasks, such as gathering valuable customer data. This data can be used to develop marketing strategies down the road and even to create customized suggestions for future purchases based on recent buying decisions. AI can be utilized for monotonous tasks such as note taking and appointment setting, and even lead scoring, which saves time and resources when taken off the plate of your sales team.
AI can also be used to support the important work of sales forecasting and analysis. The enhanced precision of AI-backed sales analytics can help you plan ahead for trends in your industry and reduce your overall risk in the marketplace.
Additionally, chatbots are a valuable resource for both sales and service departments. Their ability to reliably answer common questions and automatically point prospects and customers in the right direction can take tremendous strain off your real-life sales reps, allowing them to focus more on building relationships and personalizing the experience for their prospects.
Surveys have gained popularity as a way to generate leads, engage with and qualify potential customers, conduct research, and communicate with prospects. Consumers are generally willing to provide information about their needs and desires in exchange for insight and solutions.
According to Dan Tyre, Sales Director at HubSpot, “Using quick prospect surveys to get to the point quicker will be a trend. Most of our prospects hate long surveys, but most everyone is okay filling out a three or four question survey to better assist a sales professional to drill into the right area of interest to make the most effective use of their time.”
Training is a critical component of your sales team’s success. Because inexperienced team members can damage your brand reputation and the customer experience, training is an investment worth making.
According to Highspot:
The chaos and uncertainty of 2020 forced salespeople to change the way they sell overnight. It is essential for companies to understand how the pandemic changed their business and how that is going to affect the way their salespeople have to sell. According to research from McKinsey on the impact of the pandemic, now is the time for companies to double down on their learning budgets and commit to reskilling their workforce.
Visit www.nasp.com to learn how we can support your sales team in 2021 and beyond!
About the author
Brooke Dukes is currently supporting NASP as Chief Sales Officer leading strategy and business development. Prior to NASP, Brooke was a multi-million dollar producer and excelled at various executive-level positions in sales and business development, including two Fortune100 companies. She has worked with some of the largest and most successful companies including Lear, General Motors, and United Airlines, and across multiple industries, such as insurance, skincare and cosmetics, technology, and banking.
Brooke has her BS from Michigan State University. She is a mother of two successful children and an avid traveler. Exploring the world and helping people achieve their dreams is her passion. Brooke resides in Austin Tx.