In many industry publications, there are discussions about emerging technologies that are enabling constant changes in sales, marketing, customer engagement, and service delivery. Competing in today's digital environment is not all about adding new skills; but it does demand a re-evaluation of how you approach business today. For those in sales, that means how you engage prospects and customers.
For example, customer needs and buyer behavior are changing faster, and new technologies are raising expectations of you. Think Amazon Go Store – the self-service, mobile innovation and convenience grocery store. You open the app to gain entrance, walk in, grab what you need, and leave. No cashier, no credit card.
Another example: the hospitality industry – the emphasis on "frictionless experience" will be expected at every touch point. So, that means, no front desk, mobile keys, mobile payments for ordering items and special requests and immediate response to service requests. It is going to happen a lot faster than you think. It is already happening right now.
Customers want simplicity, speed, and convenience. Sometimes they view human interaction as a hindrance to that. This is the main threat to your sales future!
The era of self-service has arrived. That means you have to find ways to engage better and more meaningfully, enhance service, develop relationships, and create a personalized experience to retain them, or they'll circumvent you.
It's time to be nimble and think like a startup. Startups challenge the status quo and begin to explore the possibilities.
Start-ups do not wait for change; they make change happen. Take a look around at your organization and start thinking about what you can do to differentiate, add simplicity, speed and convenience. What you're doing right now is not enough, I guarantee it. Think crazy. Think BIG. These are critical times, my friend. 80% of traditional salespeople WILL be extinct in the next 10 years.
Take another look around and explore what kind of technology can you implement that would make their lives “easier” to do business with you. More beneficial. More meaningful. More FUN.
The human element of sales becomes your only trump card. It's not about conversion anymore; it's about customer experience. Remember that each interaction -- whether it is online through social media or face-to-face at a networking event -- is key to a successful sale...not just the moment when the customer signs on the dotted line.
Don't become extinct. The time to adapt is now.