7 Business Development Trends for 2020

7 Business Development Trends for 2020

2020 is here, and with a new year and decade comes new business development trends. From  increased emphasis on personalization to advances in AI, these business development trends are reshaping how you can crush your sales goals this year. 

The digital transformation continues and technology will enable organizations to create personalized interactions to build deeper customer relationships at a higher pace than ever before. In addition, advancements in machine learning and the recent roll out of 5G around the globe are transforming capabilities across all industries. 

For help energizing your business development strategy, we’ve gathered the top new business trends that will impact growth through 2020 and beyond. Which business development trends are you incorporating for this fiscal year? 

1. Consumers Will Demand More Control Over Their Data 

Beginning with the CCPA in January 2020, there will be a continued interest among consumers to ensure businesses are better protecting their data. This state-level legislation is beginning with California, with interest from several other states who are likely to follow suit. This is just the start of data regulation and privacy evolution, and governments around the world will begin to change their approach to regulation. 

Implementation may come with some challenges, but overall these privacy initiatives will provide greater transparency for the consumer and seek to build trust. 

Keep in mind that compliance is ongoing, and what is required of your business today may need to be updated in the coming months. Organizations should be able to respond as additional requirements come into place. When preparing for the CCPA specifically, check out our guide to best practices when it comes to compliance. 

2. Increased Emphasis on Personalization 

In 2020, anything that can be personalized will be personalized. A supermajority of consumers prefer to work with brands using channel of choice communication and personalized experiences. Instead of showing every little thing to the customer, you can digitally cut the noise and show the options most relevant. 

According to Gartner, by 2020, smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%. The days of simply showing a wide range of options to every customer are long gone. There is too much noise and too many options in any industry for the modern customer. Naturally, people will gravitate towards businesses with personalized options that cut through the noise and give them precisely what they want.  

3. Technology As a Key Investment 

New technologies will define and spur business development trends. Technology is no longer a luxury or cost, it’s a necessity for business growth. Time-saving tools are making it possible for entrepreneurs to accomplish more with fewer resources. With improved efficiency, growth becomes more attainable for companies of any size. 

The promise of 1:1 marketing is now becoming a reality thanks to the combination of rich, contextual data, AI and technology. The technology available is constantly changing, but if you take time to research and implement new tools, you’ll be ahead of the business development trends in 2020 and beyond. The technology trend is not slowing down anytime soon. According to sources, the global sales intelligence market is projected to grow from $2 billion in 2019 to $3.4 billion by 2024. 

4. Advances in AI 

This is a business development trend that’s here to stay. AI is already being used to increase efficiency, improve productivity, and create better performance across a wide range of industries. These technologies will continue to integrate into the world of business development trends and change processes. While AI will not replace the human worker, it helps customer support efforts. AI should be looked at as a co-worker who helps us become more efficient, so customers are better served. 

According to reports, 85% of executives believe AI will help their businesses obtain or sustain competitive advantage. The artificial intelligence industry is continuing to grow and will continue to have a significant impact on the customer journey in the coming years. Even smaller uses of AI and algorithms can improve the user experience across nearly any industry. Today’s virtual assistants are able to facilitate more customer service tasks than ever before. 

Artificial intelligence is helping sales teams specifically boost lead volume, quality, and close more deals overall. With a technology that automates the majority of the process, sales teams are given the freedom to focus efforts on closing more deals. According to sources, high-performing sales teams are 4.9 times more likely to use AI than others. 

A few of the top uses for AI across sales professionals today include: 

1. Build Pipeline

  • There are tools today that find leads within databases, find leads that look similar to the current ones in place, and some tools even provide contact information for the addressable people within your market. Examples include InsideSales.com and Seamless.ai.

2. Generate Leads 

  • Sales people also have tools available through AI that can rank the likelihood of a lead to close, allowing them to spend their time more productively. Other tools include engaging with leads a rep may not have time to contact, and ensuring outreach is personalized. Examples include Node and Hubspot

3. Automate and Augment Tasks

  • AI takes away tedious tasks to give salespeople something everyone needs: time back in their day. These tools analyze data in place to help scale operations. Examples include Salesforce and Gong.io

5. The Rise of 5G 

5G technology will create a wealth of opportunities for new products and services. Delivering faster data speeds than ever before, 5G will help brands optimize the relationship between people and machines. 5G networks will likely be all across the world in 2020 and can open avenues like we’ve never seen. 

With such high download speeds, it will radically change the way we interact on the internet. Interactions will become almost instantaneous, which will greatly benefit business to consumer relationships as businesses will be able to communicate and ultimately accomplish things more quickly. 

5G also plays a part in supporting the video-hungry audiences as well as allowing new technologies such as virtual reality to take off. This business development trend could mark the beginning of an even more connected world. 

6. Focus on Cause Marketing 

Brands with a long-term, forward-looking view that care for the planet and causes that really matter to people will emerge as winners. Customers are increasingly looking to patronize businesses that follow sustainable, green and socially responsible practices, and the Gen Z and millennial generations are especially concerned about these values. 

Millennials are worth $1 trillion in consumer spending, and 73% say they’d spend more for sustainable products. Millennials are an exceptionally purpose-driven generation and they expect businesses to adapt to their standards in the workplace and in society. Millennials want to find meaning where they shop, hence why environmental sustainability is so important to them. 

Over the next few years, the next generation is set to take over. Gen Z is made up of 86 million people, and they are expected to represent 40% of all consumers by 2020. To leverage this audience, businesses will need to evaluate how they market themselves and what causes are important to them in order to attract this demographic. 

For both of these generations, authentic storytelling and meaningful connections resonate best. Gen Z and millennials will look for immersive experiences and expect advertisers to reward their time with something of value. 

7. Higher Impact from Word of Mouth Referrals and Reviews 

Word of mouth referrals and reviews have always been popular, but the importance of this business development trend will grow throughout 2020. Before buying a product or trying a service, consumers want to know other people have used it and found success. 

Online reviews have a strong influence on the success of any business. When scoping out new products or services, the first step for a consumer is typically searching for client reviews to ensure money is being spent wisely at a reputable company. According to sources, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal reviews. In addition, review quantity gains the trust of 70 percent of consumers. 

In order to encourage the review process, express the value and importance of feedback to your customers. Explain how reviews help your business grow and even consider offering an incentive such as a discount on a product or service if they participate. 

Heading into this year, it’s crucial to build more engagement and community with your company’s prospects and customers. When you create an emotional connection with customers, you humanize your brand and set yourself apart from competitors. Creating relationships can be simple gestures, but small efforts establish a level of trust with current and potential customers.

In Conclusion 

This year will be just as dynamic, fast-moving and competitive as the last. Developing and growing your business is something that requires close and constant attention – no business in the modern world can afford to stand still. 

Harnessing the power of these business development trends requires a deep understanding of the direction in which things are moving, and then an agile team to make adjustments to ensure your business is operating at its full potential. 

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