The start of a new year is the best time to gaze into the future and position your business for success in the coming months. So, what's different about this year that will require new strategies, tools, and perspectives to stand out and shatter sales goals?

In 2016, disruptions to existing sales and marketing models will be guided by an overarching theme: increasing penetration of technology.

Before you stop reading based on your existing expertise in marketing automation or CRM, know that the technologies positioned to become focal points this year are likely to quickly surpass those notions of vital tech in terms of value, accessibility, and ubiquity.

The Power of Predictive Analytics

Think about your sales funnel. If your company is using a quality sales process in the B2B space, around 20% of prospects ultimately convert. Getting them there, however, is a long process.

It requires 20 teleprospecting calls to reach one buyer persona, and 95% of all outreach ends with either a negative or no result, according to Sirius Decisions. The number of touchpoints required to achieve conversion grows each year, which equates to more time each marketer must spend to generate a sale.

Predictive analytics has become accurate enough to effectively disrupt the traditional sales funnel model and to create something much more efficient. By identifying the most receptive targets and spreading out from there, companies using predictive analytics effectively can turn their sales funnels upside down. Doing so gives them the power to use market intelligence to hone best-practices and then expand them outward to accommodate additional personas instead of casting a wide net and wasting valuable time whittling it down.

Marketers slow to adapt to the persona intelligence provided by predictive analytics will quickly fall behind competitors that reinvent their funnels.

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image of Tim Killenberg

Tim Killenberg is senior vice-president of sales and marketing at N3, a global outsourced sales execution firm.

LinkedIn: Tim Killenberg