The internet and technology are changing the role and relevance of salespeople in this digital age. Many consumers no longer have to depend on salespeople to get product information thanks to various content and information on the internet. With the development of different automation processes and sales technology for businesses and companies, one may be questioning the relevance of salespeople in this present age. The automation of sales is one of the major concerns for salespeople and the possibility of changing the relationship between customer and salesperson.
The foundation on which business-to-business selling was built depends totally on face-to-face meetings between salespeople and customers. But that is changing with digitalization taking over every aspect of businesses. The pandemic also encourages digital interaction and optimization with many companies having virtual meetings and reaching their customers through various digital platforms.
With Technology, are Salespeople Still Needed?
Salespeople are the reason behind the growth and sales of many businesses. With their ability to understand and relate with customers’ problems and present business products with benefits. Years back before technology fully became part of us it was difficult for customers (both prospective and existing) to be in touch or liaise with companies they are dealing with. Whenever people want or need something they don’t have easy access to information regarding the products and services. There was no social media platform, online forum, or website where customers can publicly voice their dissatisfaction about a company product or service. Salespeople during those years are well informed about the products and services a company provides, says Alex Lisov. Also, they are more knowledgeable than the customers which gives them more advantage in regards to negotiations.
The information that is readily available online makes it easy for customers to be well informed thereby eliminating the need to talk with salespeople. Even with the development and implementation of sales technology salespeople will remain relevant. Though there was a prediction that many salespeople will lose their jobs in 2022 to self-service e-commerce, not all of them will be affected. The truth is that even if salespeople are to become redundant with the usage of sales technology it will be those salespeople that lack experience and skills.
Some industries that provide e-commerce websites, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and software vendors will not need the service of salespeople. The reason is that almost all the relationships their customers have with them can be possible without the help of any salespeople or the need to talk with someone. Other industries will still need salespeople irrespective of how advanced the technology may presently be. Even high valued products will start to embrace the new development the digital is creating in businesses. You can’t expect technology to be better than humans when it comes to developing relationships right? Therefore salespeople that can adapt, learn and become better at their job will be at a greater advantage.
They Can Still Help With The Procurement Of New Customers
According to Alexander Lisov salespeople are still very dependable with the procurement of new customers. A few years back when Google Cloud Services was planning to increase their enterprise they took the initiative of hiring more salespeople and executives. The initiative helped them to reach more customers and was able to increase their revenue growth than their competitors that year. They could have decided to use technology to increase sales but that will not have been enough without the support and input of the salesperson. The ability that salespeople have to bridge mutual knowledge gaps with new customers cannot be compared to digital or technology connections. In complicated situations, salespeople can help learn the needs of customers and even discover their hidden needs. Digitalization or not salespeople are still very much effective at bringing in new customers and driving sales.
Building Trusted Relationship With Customers
It is very much easy to sell anything online once you have built trust with your customers. Skilled salespeople are emotionally intelligent and very good at developing relationships with new and old customers. Your customers need to trust you before they can decide to spend their hard earn money on your products or services. Selling is not easy and can be challenging but being able to convince your prospects of the value of your products and services is the key. Technology can only try but can never build trusted relationships with customers like salespeople through empathy and other skills, says Alexander Lisov. Salespeople will be of great value to companies that sell complex services or products with long decision processes.
With the advancement in technology and many companies embracing virtual selling of products and services there is still a place for salespeople to strive. Believe it or not, virtual selling can never apply to every situation which means there will be a need for salespeople in this technology-driven world. The concern now for organizations shouldn’t be about salespeople being replaced with technology but rather how to create trust and customer value with both salespeople and technology. For clarification, salespeople are still relevant in this present technology-driven world