Marketing Focus: Five Paradigm Shifts to Watch Out for before 2020

What’s next for sales and marketing? If you’re a business, answering that question can seem like looking into a crystal ball and trying to see the future. Unless, of course, you read more below about how sales and marketing will look over the next few years.

1) Sales and Marketing Departments Will Align

Between now and 2020, businesses who want to be able to provide customers with what they want during the buying process will combine their sales and marketing departments. This singular force will enable every avenue to be explored, which will result in the customer getting exactly what they want at each stage of the purchasing process.

2) Sales Reps As We Know Them Will Become a Thing Of The Past

Today, sales reps are very important. They are given an area to work with, grow that area, and then enjoy the financial benefits. But tomorrow, they could very well be replaced by digital sales reps, who even today are outperforming them.

The sales rep is not as needed by companies as it used to be. As well, the idea of commissions for sales reps doesn’t make much sense for companies who are watching their bottom line (read: every company). Lead generation is, and will continue to be done online by the time 2020 rolls around.

3) Sales Pros Will Get Paid Less than Their Marketing Counterparts

Many may balk at this one, but numbers don’t lie: today, customers are 70% of the way to buying even before they speak to a sales rep. This means that a business’s marketing department is responsible for a customer’s decision to buy. So it only makes sense that marketing experts would receive adequate compensation.

4) Today’s Offline Products Will Be Sold Online Tomorrow

Over the next five years, even those products that most believe must be sold face-to-face will make the shift to being sold online. Think of some of today’s popular online shoe stores. While this change may not be desirable to some, purchasing items online is the way of the future.

5) The Internet Will Be the Way Government Locates Contractors

Governments looking for contractors today usually publish their RFP in the newspaper to attract bids. However, by 2020, the internet will be the primary source used by governments to locate contractors. In fact, it’s already happening. Unfortunately, there are many contractors who aren’t buying into this reality who will have lots of work to do in a short amount of time when it becomes necessary to sell and provide value via the internet.

Where should you start if you are a business owner who isn’t prepared for the inevitable shift to online sales and marketing? One way is to educate yourself about the tools that are available to you. There are many sites out there which can teach you how to make the switch from offline to on, and even more tools to choose from that can help your business be on track when 2020 dawns.