Future of Sales: The Impact of AI and How Top Salespeople Will Thrive
If you pay attention to technology, you will have heard about AI and potential is has to disrupt the workforce. Many jobs will be automated and replaced by computers, and there are reports that millions will be out of work. While this glimpse into the future may be scary, sales people can rest easy. The best sales people will always be in demand, and here’s why.
AI Doesn’t Care About Customer Problems
As intelligent as AI becomes, it can never replace the personal touch that comes with truly caring about your customers and their problems. The time that the sales rep in the store searched the entire back room to find the last one of that product you had to have; the account manager that worked tirelessly with their product team to fix that bug you encountered in their software; or the sales rep that really understood your company needs and helped create a custom solution – these are all examples of great sales people who went above and beyond because they cared about a customer problem. AI will never be able to replicate the human decision-making that is centered around empathy and care.
The Best Sales People Understand and Leverage the Emotional Aspect of Selling
Making a decision to buy a product or solution is a highly emotional process. Even on sophisticated teams that carefully list criteria and evaluate options, decision making can often be swayed by customer service or relationship building. Great sales people understand this, and they are able to leverage it to close their sales. They are great at reading their clients’ cues, and provide the right type of assistance for each unique situation. AI cannot build a relationship outside of the transactional aspects of the sale, and therefore it can never replace great sales people.
AI Doesn’t Have a Personality
While we may see robots with the full range of human personality traits in movies, the reality is very different. AI does not have a personality; it doesn’t understand a joke, and it doesn’t have interests – in effect, AI is boring. And, as any good sales rep or marketer knows, boring is bad for sales. Humans love the creative, passionate, and flawed nature of other humans because it keeps things exciting. They are much more likely to buy from a person that they can relate to than a machine that spits out information.
While AI will eventually become a common part of sales, it is much more likely to replace the mundane and manual aspects of selling, such as searching through data in a CRM or sifting through lists of prospects. With the labour-intensive, manual work that takes up so much time gone, great sales people can look forward to the day that AI lets them focus on selling.