The world of sales has been changing rapidly over the last decade or so. The tried-and-true sales techniques of yesteryear no longer work, and even those that work today are evolving. Technological advances have been largely responsible for this, along with shifting consumer attitudes. In many cases, technology is what’s shifting those buyer attitudes and expectations.
What sales techniques do you use?
If you named broadcast selling techniques like cold calling, you’re likely aware that you need to change the methods you’re using. The old techniques have been steadily declining in effectiveness for years now. Even those using inbound selling techniques, like social selling or collaborative selling techniques are faced with a stark reality.
Sales is changing, and businesses must adapt to survive. What will the future of selling look like? Here are some of the things you can expect to see in the near future.
The Robots Are Coming
Perhaps the most prominent change will be the sheer reliance on automation and artificial intelligence. Many in sales are already nervous about this looming shift.
The fact of the matter is the change is already underway. As technology has improved, it’s become easier than ever to automate certain sales tactics. You can schedule a program to send out emails and messages automatically on a regular basis.
Other forms of automation include the rise of chatbots, which allow your leads and customers to interact with your brand at any time. While human interaction is often still necessary at some point during a transaction, AI is rapidly improving. It’s not difficult to envision a world where customers interact with fully automated salespeople.
It’s not all bad news when it comes to automation. While many are worried about the loss of jobs, the robot revolution will pave the way for more people to occupy more technical and higher-paying jobs.
What’s Old Is New Again
Another interesting trend to keep an eye on is the tendency for what’s old and outdated to be revised for a new generation. You’ve no doubt heard cold calling is dead. Today’s buyer doesn’t respond to this sales tactic, and its effectiveness has been steadily dropping.
You shouldn’t count cold calling out just yet. While it will never be performed the way it was in the past, some sales professionals have been breathing new life into this technique. Perhaps more surprisingly, this revamped “warm” version of the classic cold call has been met with some success.
You can see this with other sales techniques as well. Rather than put the sales email or newsletter to bed, these techniques have been steadily evolving as consumer preferences and attitudes shift.
In the future of selling, what’s old can be new again.
The Need for a Human Touch
While the world of sales is changing drastically, there are some things that will no doubt remain the same. One of those appears to be the need for a human touch during the sales process.
AI and automation may seem to be taking over, but consumers still want to interact with human beings. An increasing focus on human-to-human relations will keep the need for human salespeople alive well into the future.
The Bottom Line
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nonetheless, in the ever-changing world of technology and sales, you’ll need to stay on your toes. This is truer now than ever before.
The bottom line here is that businesses are going to have to be prepared to change and adapt as sales continues to evolve. Those that don’t will be left behind.