There are few “slow” years for revenue generating teams (aka sales and marketing) … but few are as momentous as 2022 figures to be, either. The new year is also the beginning of a transformational new age. More than ever, success will rely on leadership’s ability to anticipate what’s coming and be proactive.
While People.ai doesn’t have a crystal ball, we do have the next best thing: experts who’ve been around the block. To celebrate and prepare for the new year, we caught up with our most experienced marketing and sales mavens to learn how they predict the industries will evolve in 2022. Here’s what they’re anticipating:
Art Harding is People.ai’s Chief Operating Officer. He has over 20 years of experience on the cutting edge of sales and marketing technology as a database consultant, custom software developer, and enterprise sales representative alike.
Art’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to see patterns in the development of sales and marketing. His predictions focus on how digital transformation will change processes forever:
The Future of Sales is Digital Transformation—and It’s Already Started
“Telemetrics in B2B sales have made instrumentalizing activity and providing coaching based on it a reality. COVID piqued enough of our fear or desperation to finally ask if we needed more instrumentation on what people are doing so we can help them do it better, and gave us the tools to do it.
It’s about time. There’s not a single professional at the top of their craft that isn’t getting real time feedback about their performance these days. Identifying what works and what doesn’t is already making a huge difference, and it’ll only become an even greater competitive advantage in 2022.”
Data Telemetry Will Change The Sales Process Forever and Render Forecasting Extinct
“The amount of time teams spend operating a 40-year-old ‘analog’ operating cadence is a big problem, and data is going to change it fast. The velocity of data telemetry will transform the sales process forever. We’ll be able to complete annual tasks, like territory design or resource planning, quarterly, quarterly tasks weekly, and weekly tasks daily.
For example, I believe forecasting will be extinct within three to five years. The idea that we ever intentionally procrastinated to determine our forecasts weekly will seem laughable, because the instrumentation and opportunity hygiene about what you’re working on will always be on and accessible.”
Thomas Wyatt is People.ai’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer. Before People.ai, Thomas was the VP and GM of Cisco’s Cloud Analytics, where he took internal start-ups from concept to No. 1 market share by scaling high-growth ventures and leading cloud transformation.
Thomas has spent his career helping enterprise transform for the better by leading digital transformation, so it’s appropriate that his own predictions grant insight into how emerging digital tools and processes will change sales and marketing forever:
Revenue Operations Will Be a Gamechanger for Savvy Go-To-Market Teams
“Go-to-market teams are going through the kind of digital transformation that tech has. Tech teams had Developer Operations (Dev Ops); go-to-market teams have Revenue Operations (Rev Ops).
Rev Ops the idea of marketing, sales, and CS coming together and working in a more integrated and iterative way. Rev Ops requires instrumentation and telemetry of everything that’s going on, so teams can aggregate it, correlate it, and derive insights from it, and take action.
This is already making savvy companies a lot more intelligent about how to allocate resources. Over the next three or four years, it will become a major theme for everyone.”
Artificial Intelligence Will Finally Solve the 360 View Problem
“The biggest challenge facing digital transformation in sales is maintaining 360-degree visibility into what’s going on within an account. Without that visibility, it’s very difficult to plan or understand opportunities.
Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are starting to solve that problem. AI has started to provide companies with sophisticated algorithmic matching. These algorithms automatically track all digital activities and match them to the appropriate account, giving teams the visibility they need to make the right decisions.
In 2022, we’ll see teams apply AI to achieve greater visibility and automate data-driven applications, allowing them to spend less time on data entry and more time building relationships.”
Stephanie Burton is People.ai’s Vice President of Product Marketing. Prior to her tenure with People.ai, she served as VP of Product Marketing at both Campaign Monitor and the CM Group.
Stephanie has tremendous insight into not only the products of the future but, even more importantly, how their users will benefit from them. Her predictions focus on how the tools of tomorrow will change enterprise sales and marketing for the better:
AI Will Never Replace Sales, But Customized AI Will Enhance It
“AI hasn’t made an impact in sales yet because it hasn’t been tailored to fit salespeople’s needs. That’s going to change soon, when the next generation of AI gives salespeople the ability to customize. In fact, we’re already starting to see the benefits custom AI could have with advancements in machine learning.
Machine learning can find data from across a sales team’s CMS and match it to the right opportunities automatically. As customization advancements continue, this matching will become more accurate and users will add customized perimeters for it.”
Data Will Improve Sales Relationships
“Without the skills, the training, or the intel to understand a customer’s needs and how to solve for those needs properly, sales and marketing become emotional and sometimes contentious, internally and externally.
Account based marketing has been held up by a lack of data they can use together. Unifying teams with unquestionable data will help us remove emotion from the conversation and make our processes more perspective, level, and friendly.
In the next year, Rev Ops and data access will make sales and coaching more objective and honest. Everyone will notice the difference—especially clients—so it will pay to invest in better data sooner rather than later.”
RO&I Goes Mainstream
And finally, we come to People.ai’s CEO, Oleg Rogynskyy, who we absolutely couldn’t publish a predictions blog post without. His insight as the founder of People.ai and intrinsic understanding of the value that AI can provide re: revenue intelligence is our secret weapon.
“RO&I will become a mainstream category. You’ll see companies outside of Silicon Valley truly leaning in. All the workflow tools/companies will start overlapping, and there will be a clear separation between workflow tools and intelligence and data companies. So, I foresee that all these companies will be at each other’s throats; but what really matters is who has the deepest IP and cross-customer graph.”
The Great Merge Is Coming
The technology stack will be reinvented as functions merge.
“Another thing we will see is that is the market itself, especially sales operators, will want less tools for reps. They’ll want everything to be native in Salesforce. Tool fatigue is very real.”
We are probably in the second inning of the digital transformation of sales and go-to-market teams. Within five years, we will see a full convergence of sales, enablement, sales intelligence, and Salesforce automation. The technology stack will be reinvented, anchored by the insights of activity and engagement data.
Of course, these predictions are just the start. If you want to continue to stay informed on the latest changes coming your way in 2022, keep up with the People.ai blog. Want to get your own hands on one of the most exciting tools of the future? Schedule a no-obligation demo of People.ai today.