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Did you know that Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” was actually just an allegory for the changing nature of the European sales model in the early 19th century?

While that might just be an urban legend, sales is once again undergoing a universal and fundamental change in order to meet the demands of a more informed and increasingly digital world of prospects.

The convergence of marketing and sales, combined with the wealth of data that modern technology has made available to prospects, has led to the emergence of new ideas like “social selling” and “smarketing.” The sales rep is no longer in charge; in fact, it’s quite the opposite, as prospects now hold the power. This change in the buyer-seller power structure demands a corresponding change in the way sales reps interact with prospects. It’s no longer about selling, it’s about helping.

In the coming year, the functionality of sales technology will change to reflect the evolving role of the salesperson. It will no longer serve to automate the tasks of salespeople, but will focus on personalizing the sales experience to each prospective customer. It will necessarily make buyers feel like more than just a name on a list.

The modern buyer’s demand for a help-oriented salesperson is the reason HubSpot created Sidekick, and motivates every new innovation we make to our free HubSpot CRM. These tools create value by helping reps document each step of the sales journey, providing context for every prospect interaction.

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In order to get a better idea of what the future of sales looks like, we polled a few of the most innovative minds in the sales arena to get their “forecasts.” Their guidance is a good starting point, but it’s up to you to shape your business strategy to accommodate the changing landscape.

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