As the 2014 holiday season goes into overdrive, it’s time to take a step back and see where we’ll be at the other end of it, when 2015 arrives. Productivity tends to drop during these two months as colleagues struggle to claim the last of their carryover vacation time and family obligations take center stage. That’s why now is the perfect time to do some research and get the jump on the competition by paying attention to these trends and predictions from social selling experts.

Are you ready for 2015? Your appointment with the future starts now.

1. Sales will evolve, from Koka Sexton, social marketing manager, LinkedIn

“The age of social selling is upon us. High performing companies like IBM, ADT and Salesforce among others are already reaping the financial and brand benefits of empowering their sales teams with training in social selling and access to the best tools available.”

2. New strategies, from Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert

“2015 will be the year of paid amplification. Content marketing, especially through social media channels is ever-present, but we’ll see an increase in spend to ensure that your carefully crafted content is actually seen by your target market. As a result, we’ll see a heavy upswing and focus on testing and tracking of the effectiveness of these efforts.”

3. M&As, from Joe Pulizzi, founder, Content Marketing Institute

“In 2015 we will see a large move among brands to buy media companies, flush with cash and short on patience to build loyal audiences.”

4. Attention challenges, from Steve Rubel, chief content strategist, Edelman

“Your challenge, my challenge is to communicate in constellations. We must deeply connect our paid, owned and earned programming into self-evident narratives. This way, our audiences won’t just see a star or two but the entire story.”

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5. The adoption of social proximity, from Jamie Shanks, managing partner, Sales for Life

“Google this word ‘Social Proximity’ – or send a LinkedIn message to Koka Sexton @ LinkedIn. Welcome to the future my friends. Yes, there will be logistical challenges in the transformation of your lead distribution (territory & vertical). But, wouldn’t you want a hot lead in the hands of the sales rep with the highest probability to close it? Any manager with their bonuses connected to sales rep success is going to take a hard look at Social Proximity. LinkedIn’s new tool in 2014 will help with the transformation.”

6. New skills required, from Jill Rowley, social selling evangelist

“Companies that invest in operationalizing and scaling Social Selling will have a massive competitive advantage, as 78% of sales professionals using Social Networks outperform their peers.”

7. Paid content wins, from Erica Campbell Byrum, director of social media, ForRent.com

“The shift to paid has already happened. It’s time to embrace that shift. Paid content drives 11 times more social interactions and 10 times more comments than non-paid.”

8. The rising power of social commerce, from Gartner Research

“Social commerce sales will reach $30 billion per year by 2015 with 50 percent of web sales occurring through social media.”

What did we miss?

What do you see coming in your crystal ball? Click the button below to let us know what you’d like to add to this list of trends and predictions for the world of sales and social networks, or if you just want to talk Social Selling.

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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