A man stands in his kitchen with a laptop sitting on the counter. The man makes an online purchase using a credit card, which he is holding in his right hand.
Due to a confluence of factors, customer attitudes and buying habits are changing in 2024. Smart planning now to hone your sales strategy can have a big payoff later. — Getty Images/Justin Paget

Today’s customers are savvier than ever, using artificial intelligence (AI) and YouTube to do their research before making a purchase. Data from HubSpot show that 71% of consumers prefer to gather information themselves rather than speaking with a human. This dynamic should change the way you and your team approach sales in 2024.

Here are some ways to update your sales strategy, allocate resources, and focus your messaging to increase sales in 2024.

Prioritize the most effective sales channels

Chat tools like LiveChat and tawk.to have received a lot of attention in the media, but data show they might not be the best use of your sales resources. The three most effective sales channels, according to HubSpot’s research, are in-person meetings, phone calls, and email.

While AI may help sales leads find information, it isn’t closing the deal. Your sales reps are — by investing the time into more productive, personalized conversations.

“Rather than focusing on sharing information, sales pros will act as consultants. They’ll prioritize building strong relationships, boosting buyer confidence, understanding their needs and challenges, and using AI to offer a highly relevant, personalized experience,” wrote HubSpot.

In 2024, sales teams should focus on in-person meetings to increase sales, using customer relationship management tools and AI to provide early stage engagement and product education on autopilot.

[Read more: 4 Forward-Thinking Sales Strategies to Embrace in 2023]

Build trust with customers

In line with deepening customer relationships, businesses will need to prioritize building trust with consumers in 2024 to increase sales. Forrester predicts that trust for both established and new businesses will decline by 10% in 2024. Global events, a national election, and economic uncertainty have caused anxiety among consumers, and companies of all sizes will be affected.

What does this mean for your venture? Make sure the customer experience matches your brand’s mission. “Businesses must sharpen their strategy, aligning internally on brand values and their stance on social issues,” wrote Forrester.

Prepare for customers to be vocal when they see business practices that seem out of alignment with your brand promise. Hone in on a messaging strategy for your sales team that is authentic, true, and cohesive with your products or services, customer experience, and branding. Companies that are prepared can take advantage of eroding customer support for their competitors and boost sales.

[Read more: How to Grow Sales Through Customer Engagement]

In 2024, look for customers to be cautious — they won't stop spending, but they will expect to maximize value.


Improve your lead generation

Many businesses are having challenges generating high-quality leads: Only 59% of sales reps say leads from their marketing team are high quality. To increase sales, your company may need to improve the quantity and quality of your leads. Lead magnets are one way to broaden your outreach, especially for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

“There is an increase in the importance of inbound marketing approaches in the B2B sales landscape. With companies merging marketing and sales teams, there is a heightened emphasis on creating valuable and compelling content, such as in-depth studies, webinars, white papers, and engaging emails, to attract and retain prospects,” wrote The Clueless Company, a consulting firm for B2B software as a service businesses.

Content marketing is a good way to unite both your sales and marketing teams behind common messaging. Bring more potential leads into your funnel by providing high-value content across different platforms.

Update your key performance metrics

Many sales teams are revisiting their performance metrics and prioritizing productivity with the same importance as profit. “In past years, sales productivity was a close second behind profit margin when we asked sales professionals about their most important metrics,” reported HubSpot. “Today, it comes in first with 30% of professionals saying they prioritize it, followed by average profit margin and conversion rate, which tie for second with 24%.”

It’s worth revisiting your productivity rate to see what can be tweaked in your internal operations. Today, sales reps spend around two hours a day selling and at least one hour per day on admin tasks.

Burnout is also at an all-time high. Tracking productivity can help you understand where time is lost due to routine tasks, overwork, and burnout so you can implement solutions to alleviate these issues.

Focus on value

Finally, customers across the board are focused on value. “In 2024, look for consumers to be cautious — they won’t stop spending, but they will expect to maximize economic value,” wrote Forrester. “And this isn’t just a shift to shopping at value stores or looking for value brands but an expectation of value through trials, special offers, bundles, payment plans, and more.”

Discounts are nice, but customers are responding well to limited-time-only offers, according to Bank of America. Economic uncertainty and distrust of brands will encourage consumers to spend wisely, but they still want to shop. Increase sales with tactics that make shoppers feel like they’re getting an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime deal.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.