So, what about the prediction that sales robots will wipe out millions of sales jobs?
In a way, they already have. Maybe not millions yet, but information and automation working together as sales slaves have brought efficiencies to selling that are the real reason that the sales job is changing.
The prediction that “sales robots” will replace whole B2B salespeople can be safely ignored. Salespeople cost money by the hour and minute, regardless of what their comp plan says. So, any technology or technique that saves sales time will reduce the demand for sales hours, which over time increases sales productivity and reduces the number of salespeople needed.
Get with the program!
So what does this mean for the working sales rep? Well, if you are really close to retirement, and all you need to do is service your existing customers as you run out the clock, do whatever you please. Carry around that trunk full of catalogs and order books; remain lunch-oriented; call in orders from a pay phone. (OK, so this last one has gotten a little challenging, but why change something that’s only a little broken?)
For the rest of the B2B sales world, most of you could stand to up your game when it comes to using the plethora of sales robots at your fingertips.
- Do you know how to drop a lead into LinkedIn Sales Navigator to keep track of what your prospects and influencers are talking about and, more importantly, when they change jobs — and how they’re connected to each other, to you, and to other influencers?
- How good are you at quickly reading your prospect’s investment history in Crunchbase or using CB Insights to know there the venture money thinks the puck is going?
- When a prospect jumps on your LinkedIn profile during a cold call, does it speak for you, or say something unfortunate about you?
- Can you pull a tightly targeted list from ZoomInfo or DiscoverOrg?
- And are you smart enough to have a phone connection robot like our product ConnectAndSell Lightning™ get you a conversation with one of those humans in less time than it would have taken to look up a number in a phone book back in the day? Or are you still dialing and navigating phone systems by hand and ear?
- Do you know the dominant personality type of your prospect before you talk to them? If not, Bruce Lewolt has a robot for you.
- Do you know everyone in the buying center of your top-tier target accounts who are aggressively checking out your category of solution on third-party websites? No? Better check out ZenIQ: their robot watches this stuff relentlessly.
What’s in it for YOU?
Of course, all these sales robots, these willing digital slaves, have one thing in common: their job is to free up your time for human-to-human interactions in which vast amounts of information can be exchanged, trust can be built, and progress made toward that special moment when a relationship becomes a partnership. The B2B sales rep who uses sales robots most effectively will not necessarily win. But the rep who fails to use them will be pushing a boulder uphill compared to their more time-efficient competitor, who will be having more conversations with the right people at the right time with the right information.
The robots are already here, and they already dominate. The good news is they would rather work for you than replace you. Time to make some digital friends, wouldn’t you say?
Link to Part 1 of this blog.