The future of sales is here, and it’s not about changing a sales methodology and adapting your “talk track.” It’s about fundamentally rethinking how you interact with your customers. The interaction between buyers and sellers is the most impactful sales dynamic. Today there are three ways that buyers can interact with sellers, and a fourth dynamic is well underway.
From the earliest days of commerce, selling has always been about face-to-face interaction. From the early days of meeting in the bustling downtown squares to salespeople today that jet off across the country, face-to-face is the original and oldest method of selling.
Telephone, Internet, and Virtual Communications
Face-to-face was disrupted with the invention of the telephone, the evolution of the internet, and finally through virtual communications. Today people can buy products and services on the phone without any face-to-face interaction, and over the internet without direct human contact.
The third evolution of sales is virtual selling. This involves virtual interaction, which I describe as “seemingly face-to-face while physically distanced.” From personal Facetime to business-oriented video conferencing meetings, virtual interactions are everywhere and growing very fast in adoption.
The fourth dynamic still underway and being tested with large purchases is digital buying. Digital buying includes automated buying at scale in large quantities and this will greatly disrupt the interaction between buyers and sellers. Some of this is already taking place with automatic renewals to consumers (think about Amazon automatic reorder options). On the horizon is large scale buying that leverages artificial intelligence and other methods of disrupting the interaction between people throughout the sales process.
Now that is disruption. Particularly when you consider the time, effort, and expense that companies put into their salespeople to help them establish strong relationships built on trust and competent knowledge of the industries they serve as well as the products and services they sell.
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