If you open LinkedIn or check out any technology or business publication these days, you’ll probably come across multiple articles predicting the rise of artificial intelligence and the imminent demise of salespeople that it will bring. This can be really unsettling to read, because it would mean literally millions of people out of work, with no viable alternatives.
But if you put the breathless predictions aside and really take a step back and look at the big picture, you’ll realize that artificial intelligence for sales (like Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM) much more likely to help you do your job. And you’ll see that there are lots of other things that are likely to happen before robots replace the millions of salespeople guzzling coffee and complaining about the comp plan across the world.
So if you’re concerned about the rise of technology and its potential impact on your job, you’re probably worrying about the wrong things. These five things are much more likely to eliminate your sales job before AI ever does:
1. Industry disruptions
Industries are constantly changing as new players, alternative options, and consumer needs and tastes change. It’s much more likely that bigger trends in your industry will cause a contraction before AI takes your job. Make sure that you’re working for a forward-thinking company that adapts (or is ahead of) industry changes, or stay mindful of these changes yourself and look for emerging alternatives.
Manufacturing isn’t the only segment of the economy that is affected by offshoring. With many emerging economies fluent in English and connectivity as advanced as ever, some companies are choosing to outsource their sales operations overseas. Similar to what has happened with call centers over the last several decades. While not as big of a concern for certain industries, it’s still possible (especially in bigger companies) that the bean-counters could try this as a money-saving move.
3. Bad management
They say people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. Sales is a high turnover profession anyway, and when you factor in poor management and interpersonal workplace issues, you’re much more likely to leave or be forced out because of bad management than you are of being replaced by artificial intelligence. This isn’t something you can usually control, but bad management is anathema to a successful sales force. (Just be sure to ask yourself these questions before you leave your sales job.)
4. Poor performance
The great thing about sales is also the tough thing about sales; you can’t hide your performance. If you don’t hit your numbers consistently then you’re not long for your sales job. If you keep your pipeline full, solve your prospect’s problems and follow up, you’ll probably be fine. But make sure you worry more about consistently performing than about whether or not some technology from the future is coming to make you obsolete.
5. An inability to learn and adapt
Great salespeople are able to adapt to market conditions, to their surroundings, and to any obstacles that stand in their way. They focus more on finding solutions than they do on complaining about problems. But some salespeople are either too set in their ways or too uncomfortable with learning and trying new things to progress forward. What worked a few years ago might not work anymore, so don’t get too set in your ways. The fundamentals of sales will always remain the same, but it’s up to you to tailor your approach to your current environment.
It’s much more likely that one of the above reasons will eliminate your job long before AI becomes a mainstay in everyday sales and selling. For now and for the near future, sales AI-tech like Spiro is much more likely to help you sell more than replace you, sort of like LinkedIn helped the recruiting business instead of destroying it. But always make sure to think ahead to set yourself up for success, and that way you won’t get left behind.
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