Every industry and profession goes through changes, and the sales profession is no different. Just because a certain sales technique or mindset worked in the past doesn’t mean it’ll work today. To be a top performing salesperson, today and in the future, you need to continually adapt to both market and social conditions.

With that in mind, there are several new business trends taking place—all of which affect salespeople in every industry. Understand what the trends are and how to maximize them so you can reap the rewards of a successful sales career.

People who are in sales long-term tend to be successful. Realize, though, that success is your worst enemy. When you’re at the top and doing well, you’re really just trying to keep up and meet demand. Having so many sales knocking at your door lulls you into a false sense of security. As such, you’re not looking at enough future opportunities because you’re too busy reaping the rewards of the current opportunities.

You’re not sowing the seeds of future success, and that’s setting you up for a fall. An old saying goes: “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” In today’s world we need to rework that statement to be: “If it works it’s obsolete.” For example, if you just bought the latest laptop, is the next newer and better version already in existence and about to be released to the public? You bet! Remember that rapid obsolescence isn’t just about products; it’s about how we do our business too.

It’s human nature to protect and defend the status quo. However, you have to understand that technology is changing the future, your customers’ behavior, and your company’s reality. That means if you don’t change, you’ll be soon out of a job. As a salesperson, you need to embrace change and make it your best friend rather than fight it and hold tight to the way things were. So how do you make rapid change your best friend? You spend some time thinking about where the changes that are impacting you and your customers are going. Remember that change causes uncertainty in customers’ minds. You can bring certainty to your customers when you are confident in where change is going. You can lead your customers through the change, causing them to view you as more than just a salesperson, but as a solutions provider and trusted advisor.

Successful salespeople know that in order to stay on top, they need to keep abreast of trends and changes in their industry. Only then can they stand out and be a true solutions provider for their prospects and customers. Next month, I will share additional trends to help you understand and adapt to today’s changing sales industry.