Ready or not, 2016 is here.
In the corporate world, you must be ahead of the game to remain competitive for attracting talent. If you’d like to give one of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” a run for their ranking, prepare now for tomorrow’s norm (and we’re not talking funky facial hair). Forgo hot pink beards and use these predicted trends to influence your 2016 strategy:
1. The Employee Experience Matters
Sure, the butcher, the baker, and candlestick maker have been around for centuries, but the job field is increasingly offering options outside of big employers. Between competing with freelance work, e-commerce sites like Etsy or landlordship through Airbnb, companies will need to step up their culture, perks, and overall experience to win the resumes of jobseekers.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula as every set of employees has different wants and needs—your employees might not even want the same things as “Best Place to Work” Google’s employees. But no matter what that means for your company, a good employee experience will translate organically to a good customer experience. #winning
2. The Slow Death of Cold Calling as Predictive Analytics
The cold-call prospecting tactic is dying out, and it’s not because of global warming. For one, people’s impatience for pushy salespeople will overpower the sales script. Predictive analytics, which uses data to predict future customer behavior and trends, is making it easier to predict who your best prospects will be, and when and how will be the most effective ways to reach and engage them.
According to Mick Hollison in Inc. magazine, predictive analytics “has already helped elect presidents, discover new energy sources, score consumer credit, assess health risks, detect fraud and target prospective buyers.” Now, according to Salesforce Research’s 2015 State of Sales Report, high-performance sales organizations are four times more likely to use predictive analytics.
3. Field Sales, Meet the New Guy, Inside Sales
Whereas inside sales reps work remotely—or “virtually” from their desks at the corporate home office—field sales reps work “out in the field,” interacting face-to-face (or even door-to-door) with their customers. Field sales is slowly but surely losing ground with the advancement of collaborative technology such as Velocify, which makes face-to-face sales meetings unnecessary. And fewer meetings mean more efficiency in everything else, like nurturing customer relationships. Besides, surveys suggest 80 percent of buyers know what they want before contacting a salesperson. Sorry, field sales reps—you’ll have to brush up on your golf some other time.
4. Wear Your Tech
Everything has already gone mobile, from finding tonight’s date to corporate training via Bridge. Now, we’ve reached the horizon of wearable tech like Apple Watch and Fitbit, which offers yet another innovative platform for marketers to cozy up to consumers. Giga Pets probably won’t be making a comeback, but we’re getting closer to Her.
5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Learning
Pairing nicely with wearable tech comes virtual reality and augmented learning. It’s predicted that 80 percent of online content will be video by 2019, which means we’ll be doing a lot more watching than reading. Virtual reality allows for a whole new level of engagement and will be prime for augmented learning, where the environment adapts to the learner using tools like GPS. Augmented learning is predicted to be a fast-growing market—”uge”.
If you’ve seen these trends coming and prepared accordingly, give yourself a pat on the back (or use this virtual high five). If not, there are thousands of resources and software platforms to help you get ahead of the game in your industry—maybe you’ll make some kind of awesome “best-of” list next year.
Do you agree with these predictions? Tell us yours in the comments below.