Sales trends and trends in sales careers change rather frequently. However, companies can prepare for changes in trends and can transition smoothly depending on how drastic the changes are and the costs involved.
One emerging sales trend for 2014 comes from the shift to increased employment of inside sales reps. Many companies have previously employed outside sales reps, but the cost of doing so has increased over the years. Hiring inside sales reps is less expensive and more effective for business. Likewise, activity expectations with inside sales reps increase drastically. Typically, outside sales reps visit clients and meet with them face to face, meaning that they may only have time for a few calls throughout the course of a day. Inside sales reps, however, can average to over 100 calls per day, which makes inside sales reps far more attractive to companies.
A second emerging sales trend is an increased tendency towards non-commissioned sales reps. While salespeople typically work on commission and can make a pretty healthy paycheck by doing so. However, consumers have become increasingly suspicious of the motives of salespeople and wonder if they are really looking out for the consumers' best interests or if they are just looking to make a big commission. As such, companies have begun advertising their non-commissioned salespeople. However, this effectively caps the earnings of top performers who make consistent, high-dollar sales, and these performers may end up moving to a competing employer that rewards them more directly for their sales volume.
Hiring part-time employees is another rising sales trend as full-time employees become increasingly expensive. Due to legislation passed in 2014, larger companies with full-time employees are required to offer those employees insurance packages – or pay a hefty fine. Rather than dish out the cash for these costs, companies are more comfortable hiring more part-time employees and avoiding the costs associated with having more full-time sales reps on the payroll.
A third sales trend comes from how products are sold. In 2013, sales trends shifted towards online sales and social media promotion, shifting the responsibilities and duties of marketing and sales reps all over the world. In 2014’s business climate, consumers are turning to the Internet more than ever before for consumer reviews, product information and company outreach through social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sales trends and trends in sales careers are always changing. With the U.S. economy continuing to recover from recession, more sales jobs are being created as consumers begin to make more leisure purchases with renewed confidence. As such, companies in 2014 are turning towards inside sales reps who are part-time and non-commissioned; whether these changes are for the better has yet to be seen.
Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley at Flickr.com