Although automation will never entirely eclipse the effectiveness and capabilities of a human-to-human sales experience, it will have a profound effect on the profession’s current state. But if you’re in sales—and you’re good at what you do—technological assistance may be the best sales tool since the telephone.
What makes a sales expert? Experts know business trends, client details, and their potential solutions inside and out. A sales expert works with a client—as a partner or a subject matter coach—to help a client discover possible solutions. These types of salespeople will refrain from the up-sell and search for any solution to address your need, regardless of the source.
Sales experts will see innovation as an opportunity to improve their efforts, rather than a threat to their position. An expert understands the value of human-to-human interaction and will apply technology to increase their opportunities and time in front of a prospective client, rather than behind their computer searching for leads and poring over sales data.
Sales experts approach a sales opportunity the same way they approach the new feature to their lead-generator app. Experts ask "What do you do?", "What do you need?", and "How might we discover ways to improve, together?" It isn’t a chance to improve your sales numbers or an attempt to automate your job. It’s a chance to make you even more of an expert.
Herein lies the question: who’s the champion of technology’s advancement in your sales force? If this answer isn’t clear to see right away—although most managers know who their experts are—then they will reveal themselves soon. Look for the salesperson leading the charge of your new technology initiatives—or maybe even sourcing them on their own—and rest assured your sales efforts will continue to flourish as time passes deeper and deeper into the never-ending technological revolution.