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Every day there are hundreds of blog posts published about what’s hot in sales. Problem is: most salespeople are too busy to mine the best insights in the market.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a roundup of the 5 most valuable insights this month for sales leaders, both current and soon-to-be.

1. Trends in B2B Sales Training

The folks over at Corporate Visions just released the report: State of the Conversation Report, “Beyond the Classroom: New Trends in B2B Sales Training”.

The report uncovered various challenges in the sales training space, including:

  • 4 out of 5 companies aren’t able to train as many reps on the skills they think they need.

  • Most companies (45%) believe classroom-based events are most effective, while only 9% think modular online training works.

  • But investments in instructor-led classroom training are projected to be flat, while more than 60% of companies say they will increase spending on virtual, online training content.

There is a clear challenge here for virtual-based training companies to a) create models based on critical skills sales professionals need to master b) custom learning paths determined by data and not arbitrary factors and c) flexible, modular content delivered when and where reps need it.trends-b2b-sales-training.png2. The Age of The Customer

Earlier this month Forrester released a (gasp) FREE report, titled 2017 Prediction: Dynamics That Will Shape The Future In The Age Of The Customer.

The overarching message of this report was clear: the impact of the digital customer on global company dynamics. As the report states, “More than one-third of businesses will restructure to shift to customer-obsessed operations.”

Three takeaways:

  • Business and leadership: CEOs will exit 30% of their CMOs for not mustering the blended skill set of design and analytics.

  • Customer experience: Firms will experience 25% to 50% increases in revenue risk as more customers operate as free agents.

  • Technology: In 2017, investments in AI will triple as firms work to convert customer data into personalized experiences.

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BENEFITS OF SOCIAL SELLING

CSO Insights compiled data from their 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study and found of all the global study participants, only 20.7% reported having their social selling strategies aligned with marketing’s social strategies.

Those with aligned strategies saw:

  • 53.9% deeper relationships with clients.

  • 44.6% reduced account/contact search time.

  • 27% lead conversion rate.

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State of Digital Transformation 2016

Altimeter surveyed 528 B2B and B2C digital transformation leaders and strategists and packed them into this wonderfully designed report, The 2016 State of Digital Transformation Report. The overarching theme made clear how many companies are still facing significant challenges to operate in a digital economy.

Report highlights:

  • Only half (54%) of survey respondents have completely mapped out the customer journey within the last year or are in the process of doing so.

  • A mere 20% of digital transformation leaders are studying the mobile customer journey and/or designing for real-time “micro moments” in addition to customer journey work.

  • Just 29% of companies have a multi-year roadmap to guide digital transformation evolution.

If you found yourself wanting more, you might want to check out “The 2016 State of Digital Content” partner report, focused specifically on digital content marketing.  

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Social Media Marketing Industry Report

More relevant to marketer than sales, the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report breaks down how marketers are using social media to grow their business. A few things to know:

  • No surprise: video has become essential. A significant 60% of marketers use video in the marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video.

  • Experiment with live video: 50% of marketers plan on using live video services such as Facebook Live and Periscope, and the other half want to learn more about live video.  

  • Facebook ads for the win: 86% of marketers use Facebook ads, while only 18% use Twitter ads.

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Julia Manoukian

Author: Julia Manoukian

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.

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