2020 has been quite a year. Never have we, in our lifetimes, seen so much disruption to our personal and professional lives. The pandemic, and all the offshoots from it, is both accelerating many trends already set in motion as well as creating a whole new set of business challenges.
Today, just one thing is certain. For business leaders, those tasked with meeting the P&L goals of an organization, there is no place to run and no place to hide. Entering 2020, it’s not like winning in the marketplace was easy. Massive shifts in customer expectations and competitive requirements were already taking place a year ago. These included things like:
The Covid-19 virus has only complicated these trends even more. It has significantly impacted global supply chains, impacting inventory availability worldwide. It has caused significant shifts in product mix for some companies with some sectors seeing rapid growth and the opposite in others. Similarly, sales channels were shifted literally overnight with the rapid acceleration of eCommerce and minimal in-person interaction.
As we look forward, I think there are a few things we know. First, we know the level of interconnectedness and interdependency of people and organizations will continue this unpredictable B2B buying environment. Second, we know customer interactions will continue to be increasingly digital – forcing people, processes, and technology to continue to adapt. Finally, we are seeing that people alone cannot scale in this world and organizations must learn and embrace AI technologies.
Looking toward 2021 with these factors in mind and looking at how quickly software and technology has evolved in the business world to nearly reach parity with the consumer world, here are my predictions for the future of pricing and sales in 2021.