Organisations don’t buy from organisations, people buy from people. This is a fact and will remain as long as we have people managing the buying decisions. However with the advent and now the take over by technology in most of the core processes of an organization we are witnessing a big change in the sales processes.
Information that was scarce and gave people the power and also the permission to enter into conversation with customers is now moving from analog to digital platforms. To get information about products services all I need to know are the keywords to search for and / or the key influencers to follow. So then what’s the role sales professionals now play in winning deals?
Recently I read an interesting article by Scott Hartley – “Robots Want Your Tasks, Not Your Jobs” and it made me think how true is this. How much ever you can automate you can only automate repetitive, predictive tasks not the job of a sales professional unless that’s all they were doing. Don’t get me wrong but there are many sales people who do just that – we call them “courier boy” salespeople. Their role is to land up at the customer understand the requirement and submit a proposal (read:cut copy paste proposal). This for sure can be taken care by bots in the new world, cause artificial intelligence can be programmed to find the right fit !
So the only way sales professionals can make themselves irreplaceable is that they can elevate their game ! The roles of sales professionals is not just to understand requirements and submit proposals but to understand the marketplace trends, share perspectives, maybe even challenge current thinking, bring alignment in the buying influences wins and results, showcase the value (read ROI) of their offerings and most of all be proactive.
Technology and Big Data are great tools for sales professionals to be able to build new skill sets in selling. Using analytics coupled with the ability to join the dots you can enable your customers to Be Ready for the future in their business. Leveraging Big Data you can develop strong messaging for strategic conversations with the senior leaders. With the ability to predict coupled with best practices you can create though leadership rather than worry about lagging indicators.
The future of Sales is welcoming a new era of Social Selling, of innovation and collaboration of crowd funding ideas instead of organisations. Just the way learning to communicate in English was a key skill when we went global in our marketplace, being active on the digital platform will be the new literacy quotient.
Just like the elephants do, its time for us to now shed our old molars and make space for the new; it will require us to chew on rocks for a while but this will be our new survival guide.
Happy Selling !
Priya Sachdev – Sales Director