Future of Selling

This forecast is created by our robot (Athena) from our latest analyzed daily Indicators with embedded AI developed by ForeKnowledge and text analytics from WebSummarizer. Learn more about this service and how to obtain the full forecast. Contact us to create your own.

What is changing?

Sales tools

  • A projected 65 percent of the global population will be using a mobilephone by 2015 and an estimated 83 percent of internet usage will be through handheld devices.
  • Affordable smartphone devices will drive the bulk of sales asconsumers first explore virtual reality before committing to the more expensive platforms.
  • Cognitive computing can help businesses “optimize every opportunity for increased sales” with the help of visualization and listening tools that identify market trends and patterns.
  • Retailers are looking to more accurately predict sales.
  • Content-based communications will continue to play the dominant role in lead nurturing.
  • In 2015 expect retailing to get even faster to meet consumers’ desires.
  • Traditional customer segmentation will be replaced by highly personalized “segments of one” enabled by advanced data analytics.
  • Many sales jobs will give way to self-service and other automated sales methods.


  • The proliferation of mobile payments and mobile point of sale (POS) systems means more retailers will replace traditional sales counters.
  • Online advertising and digital wallet sharing will drive more revenue than content sales.
  • Total mobile payment sales will rise faster than average spending per user in 2016 because of the growth in the number of overall users of the technology.
  • By the end of 2015, the number of payments terminals equipped with NFC capabilities is expected to hit 24 million, presenting a large opportunity to providers facilitating mobile payments at the point of sale.


  • B2B e-commerce sales will top $1 trillion.
  • Selling subscription-based software will require a major overhaul of sales teams, making companies more dependent on direct sales.
  • Internet commerce in the U.S. grew from $13.63 billion in 2011 to $42.13 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $133 billion in sales by 2018.
  • India’s retail sales will double from current levels to $1 trillion by 2020.
  • Mobile devices in the hands of sophisticated mobile shoppers’ guarantees that competitive battles for product sales will continue in store aisles and won’t end until the cash register rings.
  • In the United States over the next five years, 70% of the growth in home, personal care and food sales is expected to come from products with green labels.
  • Micropayments could lead to a fourfold increase in sales for distributors of clean energy products.
  • Telecommunications firms will see the biggest jump in digital-generated sales.
  • Amazon is betting that the troves of data it generates from shopping patterns on its website will give it advantages in its retail location that other bookstores can’t match.
  • Mobile travel sales are forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent.
  • Travel providers will soon be pushing personalized options for hotels and restaurants via mobile devices.
  • More than 6 in 10 Americans will use a sharing service in the coming year.
  • Mobile e-commerce sales will account for more than half of online retail shopping in mainland China by next year.
  • Mobile ad sales are growing rapidly and will reach an estimated $43 billion by 2020.
  • Retailers will need to respond by offering free in-store Wi-Fi and mobile-friendly retail websites optimized for different kinds of personal devices.
  • Future technology systems will integrate social selling seamlessly.
  • Consumers will increasingly use the Internet to purchase goods and services from each other’s markets.
  • Retailers will face a tough time expanding their e-commerce sales while preserving their profit margins.
  • Many businesses will think social first when crafting a marketing plan or developing sales outreach strategies.
  • Organizations will invest in social network software/content management enhancements to host social communities/forums aligned to unique customer and prospect challenges extending further than marketing, sales or service.
  • Brands will struggle to drive profitable sales growth in the future without a consistent, relevant and timely consumer experience across multiple sales channels.



  • For organizations that have yet to embrace more modern systems – meaning that they are focusing primarily on sales results and competition between individuals and departments-the concept of mapping out the entire sales process from end to end will most likely be met with resistance.
  • Companies will need to adopt a new playbook in order to maintain sales growth and profitability.
  • For retailers who have relied on blast marketing gleaning a granular knowledge of the customer will be essential to repeat business and sales.
  • More intelligent hardware, sensors and devices will result in an industry shift from selling products to selling outcomes.
  • Sales leaders expect mobile sales app use to double within the next two years.
  • Forrester has proclaimed that by 2020 1 million sales jobs will be obsolete.


  • Geo-location services could map the perfect route around town to take in the most sites and reconfigure based on transportation type.
  • In 2020, 80 to 90 percent of sales will still happen in a physical location.
  • Shoppers could be shown the latest gadgets or clothing using augmented and virtual reality.
  • Experts envision a high-tech future that wows shoppers with fun technologies they want to play with and makes shopping easier.

sales · mobile · consumers · retail · online · market · smartphone · retailers · vehicles · cars · selling · China · technology · virtual reality · electric cars

Learn more

Develop your answer and response

Find the sources and more resources onShaping Tomorrow’s ‘Future of selling’ some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailed GIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you.

Also, click here to find out how ShapingTomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.


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