The Impact of Digital Transformation on the Sales World
Digital transformation is commonly known as the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society.
Digital transformation is referred to as the third stage of embracing digital technologies, with the first being digital competence followed by digital usage.
This transformation stage can also be linked to the concept of “going paperless”; and this concept impacts individual businesses and different parts of society, including the government, art, medicine, mass communications and science. The progression into digital transformation means that digital usages allow new forms of digital innovations and creativity to be utilised within all areas of any given domain, instead of just strengthening and supporting the use of traditional methods.
Digital transformation affects every business and every person within that business, and some simply view it as a way to transform a traditional business into a digital one. Whilst it can be seen as a method to convert a business from paper to digital, it can also be seen as a way to revolutionise every aspect of the business from products to processes, media to human interaction, and even company structures and organisation.
B2B, B2C and B2B2C sales executives have seen a rapid change in the channels they use. Both people and business alike don’t want to receive a catalogue of products; or be a part of a mass mailing campaign... and nobody these days likes receiving any form of a cold call! Nowadays potential clients and customers expect a more personalised relationship with their contacts and want desired information provided on time, on the right medium and their order processes to be completed in the easiest way possible.
Even the way sales executives dress has changed dramatically. The suit and tie look is so last season… now executives are dressing in accordance with their prospects and customers in an effort to engage and build a rapport with their target audience. For example, a digital company employee wouldn’t expect to see one of their suppliers arrive in a three-piece suit and then speak to them just like a sales executive would!
Because most sales executives sell different types of digital orientated products, they need to be trained to use digital vocabulary within all forms of verbal and written communication. Concepts such as application markets, mobile technology, web technology and collaborative economy need to be understood and used correctly when speaking to digital professionals.
They also need to be up to date with the current trends within the digital age, as these new inventions make everything work faster, so sales executives can’t let themselves fall out of the loop. Potential clients and customers expect their sales executives to be tech gurus and should be able to predict to them an accurate picture of the future products set to take the world by storm. Because of this, businesses are under pressure to ensure their sales executives are part of the R&D vision, so they can always stay one step ahead.
The concept of personalisation has made its way into almost every aspect of a business. Even before they meet a potential client or customer, most sales executives will already know a lot about the person they are going to meet. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, blogs, forums and articles online allow sales executives to research everything about their targeted client or company.
Even preparing for a meeting has become incredibly personalised. Whilst you may not have actually met the person face-to-face, you will most likely know about their work history, hobbies, personal life and even what holidays they have been on in the past few years! Meetings are now much more efficient, as you already know what product you are pitching and why it’s useful. The only thing you can never prepare for is knowing your prospect’s budget. And this bit of information is the part you need find out ASAP!
The skills needed to be successful in sales in the 21st century are empathy and fact-finding. Sales job criteria have done a complete 360⁰ and sales executives need to develop these skills quickly or they may find themselves out of a job!
Now we have provided you with an overview of the evolution of the sales world, we will discuss what makes a sales executive successful… Let’s begin!
Business is now starting to value the importance of data and scientists and chief data officers, and we are beginning to see more and more of these positions within successful enterprises. These employees are seen as an essential in businesses today because they “make data speak intelligently”. With the integration of open data, big data and NoSQL databases into many businesses, data is now so meticulously organised that data scientists can predict what will happen. They can figure out what their companies need, how they need it and when they need it.
If you allow data scientists to join forces with the power of a quality sales executive, the result; a selling machine that is always right! Sales executives now harness a superpower, as they can now go to sell a product to a certain company when they need it most. They now also know which channel is best to use to sell the product to their chosen company, meaning they will sell their product to the right person every single time.
Artificial intelligence has become more and more popular within all segments society, and now businesses have the trio of smart data, selling power and intelligence that can help businesses go beyond the limitations of standardised data analysis. This trio will help any sales executive create the perfect deal based on their potential client’s needs.
Both the sales executive and the data scientist will know what product their customers will order and what channel they will order it on before their customers know themselves. One company already utilising this plan of action is Amazon. They have announced that they will begin sending people products before they have been ordered, saying they prefer it when their customers send unwanted packages back for free if they got their order wrong... but this rarely happens!
When looking at the impact of digital transformation on jobs, skills and methods used to conduct business, it is imperative that every part of a company adapts in order to succeed. If sales executives want to be successful - if they want to be able to sell the right product at the right time to the right person and on the right channel - then they need to know how to decode data and data technology.
When it comes to the prospects of future employment, people are always worried that technology, robots and artificial intelligence will render the human race obsolete.
Why invest in a human, when you can purchase a robot that can do everything a human can? However, with the acceptance of digital transformation comes the emergence of new jobs. The sales world will have to create jobs which have a more interesting outcome, whilst robots will take the positions which contain more mundane and simplistic tasks.
Progression in sales will always be a part of business; it has been going on for many years and and no one has ever been able to stop it. We need to allow innovations and new methods of conducting business to take over to ensure that all aspects of any company perform at the highest level possible. We cannot and should not ever fight against change, as we are the ones that will lose.
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