Biggest hits for Sales 2024: the must-know technical sales trends

Top sales trends symbolised by an abstract colourful painting of musical instruments

The top technical sales trends will help you thrive in your sales role in 2024 and stand out from your competition!

Sales is a fast paced, dynamic industry that changes as fast as salespeople think! Based on our hiring experts’ direct experience with clients of all sizes and candidates of all levels across 5 continents we’ve identified the following top sales trends to be aware of in 2024 – whether that’s to advance your career or to build your team.

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The 5 top technical sales trends to watch out for in 2024!

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation
  2. Virtual selling
  3. Omnichannel sales
  4. Social selling
  5. Data-driven selling

These trends are echoed by the most recent global reporting from Salesforce, Hubspot and Gartner, who’s insights we include in our deep dive below.

1. Artificial Intelligence and automation 

62% of customers expect businesses to anticipate their needs, according to global research. Happy customers are key – and both artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools are being rapidly adopted across sales teams to achieve customer satisfaction effectively at scale. AI can’t replace what you do as a salesperson, but it can make what you do easier, taking on tasks to free up your time where it’s needed most. 

According to Salesforce, one of the key ways AI can help Sales is to reduce the time it takes to nurture and convert sales leads and prioritise deals. AI tools are also changing customer service and success roles, with chatbots answering common customer enquiries. For business development, product sales and pre-sales (and many other roles), AI also helps by analysing customer data and providing the information you need to create a personal touch to selling and targeting.

Globally 68% of business leaders say AI and automation tools are already important to their overall business strategy. Researching what tools are available and keeping up with the news in this field will help your application stand out.

Sales roles listing AI and automation as key skills include:

  • Sales Engineer
  • Sales Solution Specialists
  • Technical Sales Specialist
  • SaaS Product Sales 

However, there’s also a marked increase this year in job posts listing these skills for the more general sales roles below on LinkedIn:

  • Salesperson
  • Sales Executive
  • Account Executive
  • Sales Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Sales Director

How to develop your AI and automation sales skills

To develop AI and automation sales skills, whether for your team or for your own career, there are lots of options. With this trend fast developing, it’s important to stay in the loop and follow the updates as the landscape changes. There are lots of paid and free courses that can give you a solid starting foundation here – and explain the potential of these tools to revolutionise the sales process. If your current workplace doesn’t use AI and automation yet, you can try signing up for free trials of these technologies to get that valuable hands-on experience.

“Employers like sales reps to be technically savvy, and being able to use AI to reduce time spent on prospecting is important. But sales also needs to be personal as ‘people buy from people’. AI skills in sales are about finding the right balance between the two.”
Emma Peters
Senior Sales Consultant for Salt Australia
See our open Sales jobs in Australia here

2. Virtual Selling

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how we work and how we buy. 90% of sales professionals report that their team is fully remote or works in the office part-time, with 96% wanting to continue working this way. Working from home has also changed the buying and selling landscape, with salespeople honing their outreach techniques with sales tech and CRM data, focusing on researching and prospecting over making cold calls. According to the State of Sales survey by LinkedIn, 50% of the buyers surveyed in the UK and 68% of those surveyed in APAC stated that remote working made buying easier.

With many people working from home more frequently, and using digital tools to communicate, selling things online has become a key part of a salesperson’s repertoire. So, your online sales skills are important to showcase in your applications. Hosting virtual meetings, presenting on video, and demoing products online will help you to connect with potential buyers and customers, wherever they are for work.

Virtual selling is a key part of most sales roles, but is a particular benefit to:

  • Sales Representative 
  • Sales Development Representative 
  • Business Development Representative 
  • Global, remote or hybrid sales teams 

Highlight your virtual selling skills in job applications

Explain which platforms and touchpoints you’ve used and how you’ve leveraged these. Share your experience and results selling virtually. Mention an example of a successful deal you’ve closed or a relationship you’ve built with virtual selling techniques.

For instance, describe the platforms you have worked with, such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, or video conferencing software. Explain how you have used these platforms to engage with customers, build relationships, and ultimately close deals.

“The paradigm shift towards virtual selling has been accelerated, with the digital realm now serving as the primary platform for interactions; sales roles are adapting to this change by honing virtual communication skills, mastering online presentation techniques, and utilising technology to establish meaningful connections with clients.”
Bianca Roos
Practice Manager for Salt South Africa
Find Sales jobs in South Africa

3. Omnichannel Sales

At work, at home, online and off, the modern buyer’s journey has lots of different touchpoints today and sales strategies must adapt along with their behaviours. The omnichannel sales experience aims to provide a seamless buying experience across all channels, whether that’s in store, on a mobile, or online. To actualise this, businesses are building their presence at every customer touchpoint and across lots of different channels, from their website and social media platforms to in-person events and physical stores. 

If you’re applying to retail or larger companies, particularly if they sell both online and off, an understanding of the omnichannel sales approach is a key differentiator. Showcase that you know how to use these different channels to talk to customers in a real and consistent way, no matter where you’re interacting with them.

Popular job titles for omnichannel sales include:

  • Lead Generation Associate
  • Digital Sales Executive
  • Account Executive
  • Media Sales Consultant
  • Sales Channel Manager
  • Client Manager
  • Ecommerce Manager
  • Sales Manager 
  • Account Manager
  • Sales Director

Show your understanding of omnichannel sales in your applications

Showcase your understanding of an omnichannel sales approach and why it’s important to a modern customer. Explain tools and techniques you’ve used to engage with customers across multiple platforms previously if you’ve been working in an omnichannel environment. 

“Omnichannel sales have gained prominence as customers expect a seamless experience across various channels; sales teams must adeptly navigate multiple touchpoints, emphasising the need for versatile professionals capable of integrating strategies across online and offline platforms to ensure a cohesive customer journey.”
Bianca Roos
Practice Manager for Salt South Africa
Find Sales jobs in South Africa

4. Social Selling

According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. Social media doesn’t replace human connection, it enhances it. With social platforms, you can now build relationships around the world from your mobile or laptop, engaging in real-time with a real understanding of their interests and values. You’re also able to build your presence online to showcase authority, knowledge and experience. Converting more prospects, and standing out to future employers. 

Social Media and industry sites and channels also provide multiple ways to keep tabs on the areas that interest you as the narrative takes shape. You’re able to gain valuable insights into your market, industry and field of work, as well as track competitors’ activities and stay ahead of emerging market trends as they develop.

Sales roles where social selling is a key skill listed in job postings:

  • Business Development Representative
  • Sales Development Representative
  • Salesperson
  • Sales Specialist
  • Sales Consultant
  • Sales Executive 
  • Account Executive 
  • Sales Manager
  • Key Account Manager

Showcase your social selling and networking abilities

When applying, let your profile demonstrate your personal brand and network. If you have been social selling and networking then your profiles should speak for themselves. For those less confident – here’s how to stand out on LinkedIn. You can also highlight social selling as a skill in your applications to go beyond the quantity of connections or followers. It’s not how many people you know, it’s who. Provide examples of influential contacts, connections, or audiences you can reach. Share strategies you’ve liked using to increase brand visibility and how they’ve helped prospects convert.

“In the age of social media dominance, social selling has emerged as a potent strategy; sales professionals are tasked with cultivating an online presence, engaging with prospects on social platforms, and utilising social data to personalise interactions, underscoring the importance of social media acumen in the modern sales landscape.”
Bianca Roos
Practice Manager for Salt South Africa
Find Sales jobs in South Africa

5. Data-Driven Selling

Data-driven selling is all about analysing your customers’ behaviour to better understand their needs, and to better sell your solution to their pain point. Linkedin’s Career Pathing for Salespeople report found that 85% of sellers agree understanding buyer intent is integral to the success of their sales strategy. 

The ability to use data to your advantage as a salesperson is something hiring managers will look for, and this skill will only increase in value over time. Gartner anticipates that, by 2025, 60% of B2B sales organisations will transition from intuition based selling to data-driven selling. With more use of AI tools, ensuring accurate data and understanding how to leverage it, are crucial across the sales landscape.

Popular job titles for data-driven sales

  • eCommerce Analyst
  • Sales Operations Analyst
  • Channel Sales Market Analyst
  • Sales Strategy Analyst

Share how you’re able to use customer data to better meet their needs

By sharing the ways you’ve used data to inform your sales strategies and approaches, you demonstrate to potential employers that you’re not just adept at traditional sales techniques but also well-versed in the modern tools and approaches. Share platforms and data sources you’ve used and how. Follow key voices in your market or industry to get ideas about what to analyse and how, as well as their summaries of trends and insights as they happen.

“The rise of data-driven selling underscores the significance of extracting actionable insights from vast datasets; sales roles now require proficiency in interpreting analytics, understanding customer behavior patterns, and employing data to tailor strategies, highlighting the pivotal role of analytical skills in achieving sales success.”
Bianca Roos
Practice Manager for Salt South Africa
Find Sales jobs in South Africa

Upskilling in the top technical trends in Sales

Top sales trends for 2024 including AI and automation, virtual selling, omnichannel sales, social selling, and data-driven selling technology are crucial upskilling areas to help you keep up with your competition, shine in your current role, and progress up the career ladder.

We know upskilling yourself can be challenging – from deciding where to start to balancing your time with work or home responsibilities. Here’s our guide to making upskilling sustainable!

Sales skills symbolised as music notes in an abstract brightly coloured painting

How to spotlight the sales skills that will land your dream sales role.

How to stand out as an amazing Sales candidate

Here is some further reading to help you showcase your sales prowess in your job applications and interview to land you the role you’ve been searching for!

Ready to apply to your next Sales role?

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