Amid the worldwide crisis due to COVID-19, there has been a surge in evolving consumer behavior and sales trends – reports LinkedIn

Looking at primary market trends, shifts, and evolving consumer behavior, LinkedIn has recently published its fourth annual sales study – “The LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020 US edition”. The study is based on the survey results of more than 1,000 buyers and sellers spanning the US market.

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Undoubtedly, the Coronavirus outbreak has drastically altered the shape of the sales landscape worldwide, and thus, more new trends are likely to emerge. In this essence, marketers are changing their approaches and business models aligned with the “new normal” of the sales environment. Many business leaders in the US have become highly interested in the potential impact of the pandemic. Within February and March 2020, the sales professionals had increased their engagement related to COVID-19 content on the LinkedIn platform by 14x due to growing interests.

LinkedIn has come across with some emerging trends as well as enduring trends that are influencing the sales processes across organizations.

The key emerging trends include –

  • Virtual selling becomes normal: Nearly 77% of respondents said they are conducting more virtual meetings
  • Buyers are less responsive: About 44% of respondents saw a decrease in the responsiveness to outreach
  • Sales cycles are longer: About 44% noted that their customers’ sales cycle has increased

The report found that the course of action for success has evolved – with more organizations opting for longer-term growth objectives.  As mentioned in the report, “Our survey data indicates that measurements of long-term value are moving to the forefront over traditional short-term metrics, such as quarterly quota. When asked to identify how sales reps should be measured, four metrics were selected by more than a third of respondents. The top two metrics looked past the quarterly horizon.”

Again essential context is sales technology – as it is a vital subset of the workflow for all sales professionals. Nearly half of the respondents (47%) reported that they use sales tech once in a day, and another 34% indicated about using it once a week or more. Besides, more than half of surveyed respondents (52%) are planning to spend more time with sales technology in 2020.

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The important metrics while measuring sales performance were found as – customer satisfaction (43%), customer retention (40%), team quota (37%), and individual quota met (37%). May businesses are thus striving to achieve the short-term goals within the context of the current crisis. However, the responses may indicate to some context about where to focus, with solidifying the customer relationships primarily.

Concerning the present situation, more consumers are looking for sales representatives to establish an enhanced understanding of their individual needs and circumstances. As noted in the report, “Not surprisingly, as organizational trust erodes, buyers seem to crave it even more. When asked what qualities they value in a salesperson, buyers ranked “trustworthy (47%) at the top, followed by “responsive” (44%) and “expert in the field” (40%).”

Simply put, what customers are seeking at the moment is trust and genuineness from their preferred brands. Thus, utilizing the available data and reinforcing the need, businesses can strategize their sales and marketing plans – and stand ahead of their peers.