Transcript: Hi guys, it’s Ben Lai from Sales Ethos. Today I’m going to address the question “Will sales professionals be made redundant by technology in the future?”
The Threat to Sales Professionals
With the advances in technology, marketers are getting more information than ever before to specifically target who it is that they want to buy their products. There’s a concept called Big Data that enables them to do this. Furthermore, I was speaking to a CEO of a large company just a short while ago, who expressed the opinion that if all of the sales people suddenly quit, that it would make only a very, very little difference in the economy. Now, that’s quite an extreme situation.
But I think it is an important question to ask because as technology advances, more and more people in certain roles are being made redundant. So how can we ensure, or how do we know what’s going to happen with the sales profession? In the sales profession, I think there are three factors that are making them future proof, and will never be replaced by machines.
Sales professionals build relationships
The first factor that sales people bring that machines can never replace is relationship building. We have to face it that when businesses buy from other businesses, there has to be trust involved. Just because you see two products on the piece of paper side by side doesn’t mean that you will go with the superior one, quote unquote. Because of the trust factor, you don’t know whether they’re going to really fulfil the specifications on that piece of paper.
And as a result, the sales people need to build relationships with those that they want to do business with. As a result of building that trust, people will be more willing to transact with them, even if the product on paper seems to be an inferior product. So relationship building is key to salesmanship, and can never be replaced by machines.
Sales professionals influence emotions
The second thing that sales people can do that machines will never be able to do is to provide the emotional aspect to decision making and buying decisions. When you’re comparing product specification to product specification, you’re only looking at the intellectual side of things. But for us as humans, we don’t make our decisions purely based on information. We make most of our decisions emotionally. This applies to small decisions such as impulse buys at your local 7-eleven, or in the chocolates when you’re checking out at Coles. But it also applies to big decisions, such as buying a house. When you buy a house, you’re not just buying bricks and mortar. You’re buying the feeling that you get when you live in that house… and how it looks, how it feels, and the neighbourhood that it’s in.
In the same way businesses also use emotions as part of their decision making. That is strongly linked with what I was saying about relationship building, but it also has to do with the emotions that the sales person brings to the table. When describing and selling their product, oftentimes the emotions of the salesperson transfers to the person that they’re selling to. And that helps them to trigger their intuitions to know whether or not they should make a decision to buy. So emotions are really important when it comes to making a sale. And machines will never be able to replace that.
Sales professionals provide expertise
The third thing that sales people can bring that machines will never be able to do his expertise. As a result of all of this flood of information that we have now available, salespeople have the role of being a curator of that information. So rather than the buyer having to sift through tons and tons of websites and PDFs and white papers to research all of this stuff, spending hours and hours doing that… The salesperson can come in, tell them only the most important facts that they need to make an informed decision. And then they can buy from that sales person straight away. So this is a huge value add for decision makers, the salesperson essentially saves them all of that time and effort and mental bandwidth looking through and sifting through information.
So there you have those are the three things that I believe make at least the top salespeople future proof. That’s relationship building, the emotional factor in each sale, and the trusted advisor and the expertise that sales people bring. I’d love to hear your thoughts as to what you think the future is for sales people in light of emerging technologies. Leave a comment below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and remember that integrity plus skills equals success!
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Sales Ethos helps companies increase revenue through sales training in Melbourne. We achieve results through sales coaching, customer service training, sales management training, and sales process consulting. Ben Lai is a sales trainer and business coach in Melbourne, and offers public sales training courses in Melbourne.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai