Пятница, 15 мая 2015 05:07

Why Big Data And Technology Mark The End Of Sales

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Just finished reading Gartner predicting that by 2020, 85% of interactions between businesses will be executed without human intervention. It is likely that of the 25 million sales people in Europe, there will be only about 4 million left. "Jeez, is this really the future for sales people?" Sales people are no longer the conduit of basic product and pricing data and companies and sales people who don't get this are becoming obsolete. But will technology mark the end of Sales? No, it will mark the end of Sales as we know it and the role of a sales professional is being redefined. Learn more about the Technology and the future of Sales.

 

My personal view
Personally, I have my doubts about the rate predicted by Gartner. A decrease of 15% per year is very fast indeed. It is a huge challenge to get these people retrained. And into what function? On the other hand, I do see a major shift from sales to marketing. But of course, not every sales professional can be retrained to a marketing specialist.

The signs of a massive fall in sales people have become apparent in recent years:

  •     Fewer sales people needed in retail, insurance and banking, because of online purchasing and other business activities
  •     Big Data provides Customer Insights which are much better than can be executed by people
  •     Advancing Technology improves efficiency and effectiveness of the commercial process

The only exception I see relates to sales professionals for capital-intensive projects such as outsourcing, engineering projects and the like.

Let’s see how we got this far.

What’s your current Situation?
Across Europe and the rest of the world, every type of company and industry is being affected by changes in the marketplace. We all know the economy, technology and market pressures have forever changed how customers operate and how they make buying decisions. Your sales team is dealing with competitive pressures and may be struggling to adapt to the needs of customers who are seeking better pricing, support, product availability, etc. There is strong pressure to grow and develop customers before the competition does. This changes the business landscape and requires the sales force to adapt and find new ways to perform.

Why has this change evolved so quickly?

Simple answer – Technology. Today, technology has transformed how customers communicate, how products are ordered, how information is tracked and, more importantly, how the sales team must support and service customers. As technology has evolved it has transformed every aspect of how people engage, work and sell.

Here is what Big Data and Technology are already offering.

How do you engage with your Customers?
Recent studies on corporate blogs companies to examine effective communication traits provide recommendations for managing corporate social media. Of the companies that were either running or planning to run social media initiatives, only 12% thought they were doing it effectively. So how can you make sure your social campaigns are effective? Below, I share a few techniques for you if you are looking to engage with your customers.

  •     Maximize your Exposure – Buzz Marketing is a technique that is focused on maximizing the word-of-mouth potential of your campaign or product. By getting consumers talking about your products and services, you can grow awareness through the growth of online traffic and increase sales and profits. Online Buzz Marketing is typically driven by "influencers" or early adopters of a product, that are eager to share their thoughts on the product and proactively start conversations about it. These people have established online presences and large followings on social media platforms
  •     Be relevant – Social media users are looking for expertise, competency and insights that aren’t available in traditional media settings. Corporate social media is only successful if the right spokesperson is chosen
  •     Storytelling – In the social media space, where everything is about connecting with peers, narratives represent the most common way of addressing an audience. Results show that storytelling heavily influences traffic numbers
  •     Be conversational – When activity on a corporate social media presence is conversational in nature, it draws more visitors. People participate in online conversations because they value interpersonal connections

Do you use Big Data Insights to improve your Customer Engagement?Abundant Technology means individual consumers are more confident, outspoken, and expect more than ever before from their relationships with you. The data gathered from customer interactions is of course valuable because it provides insight into preferences, purchasing motivators, likes and dislikes.

If you have well-managed data strategies, you are best placed to use this information to your advantage. Especially once it’s integrated with other, offline marketing information to create complete 360 degree pictures of consumers as individuals, rather than as broad demographics.

This enhances engagement in two ways:

    Aligning Customers with your Offerings - It allows you to react quickly to your customers; better aligning them by building trust, and connecting with them at the exact right moment via the right marketing touch point
    Your Customer feels in Control - It gives your consumer a sense of control. Control in this context means the marketing your consumers receive is streamlined to 'their' terms- it’s timely, relevant and arrives via their indicated channel of preference. Get that contact wrong by delivering the wrong messages at the wrong time, and you will risk alienating customers. But get it right, streamlined interactions will improve consumer experiences and revenue

So, Big Data is the key to optimizing Customer Engagement. With the right insight data and effective analysis, you can truly understand what marketing actions consumers will respond to best.

What do you think will be the Scenario for Sales People in Years to come?
Feel free to share your ideas in the comments and share this post with sales friends in your network.

The author
I'm a seasoned Business Consultant specialized in Business Development and Business Innovation. My company is Bizzmaxx.

 

Business Consultant combining Innovation with Analytics to create a Competitive Edge |

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