Is digitalization threatening the sales profession

Many years ago, the research company ProSales predicted that “traditional” sales of easily replaceable products or services that represent a low risk of buying and little effort to integrate and use, will disappear because of automation. It is already happening. We now buy many things online without human intervention. As traditional sales slowly die, complex sales require even more in terms of skills, organization, leadership, tools and processes. Complex B2B sales with long sales cycles, high buying risk and effort, requires an even more organized a consultative sales operation, based on the customers’ strategic and operational goals and needs. It requires a high level of business acumen, a cross-functional sales team that has complementing skills combining both IQ and EQ. And sales tools that actually guide the sales team, offers opportunity management throughout each step of the sales cycle, and serve as platforms for sales coaching by involved and motivational leadership. This is difficult to replace, even with AI and automation. The whole company needs to be calibrated to support sales. This is done by optimizing the relationship between strategy, people processes and tools.

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