Gryphon CRO Eric Esfahanian originally for Selling Power.

A lot of people are talking about Artificial Intelligence, and the digital transformation in sales, which naturally leads to questions around Is the sales function going away?

Technology is beginning to take a much different role within the sales function; not so much more of a role, but a different one. What that forces us all to do is look at the value we add to the sales process, with our customers, with everyday interactions.

The Digital Transformation in Sales

I don’t believe that salespeople are going away because of Artificial Intelligence. But I do believe that salespeople are required to adjust their approaches to accommodate transactional selling attitudes and approaches that will most likely be assumed by Artificial Intelligence and that digital transformation.

What technology is also bringing sales people and sales professionals is new insights into the way they do their jobs.  The behaviors that are getting optimal results; the quantitative and qualitative behaviors that help salespeople strengthen the relationship with their clients are the metrics or “KPIs” that increase their overall effectiveness.

The questions sales folks should ask themselves are: “How do I make myself indispensable? How do I make myself somebody who couldn’t possibly be replaced by AI or even another person?”

These days, what customers hate is the script-driven cold call that reps still – as evidenced by my voicemail box each and every day- expect to yield positive results. Instead, what customer want is a thoughtful, well-planned, constructive conversation that exhibits brevity, a little bit of knowledge, relevant peer insight along with a dose of genuine curiosity. Finding out what motivates them and what matters to them is really the only way you can align your services with their needs and wants.

Technology: It’s About Balance

Make no mistake, technology has enhanced and empowered salespeople to really understand their prospects well before they ever pick up that phone. Not leveraging that technology to optimize sales prospecting and relationship-building is perhaps the biggest mistake a new rep can make.  But relying too much on that technology is the surest route to eventually being replaced by it.

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