Every day, it feels like more of our world moves online. In a very weird 2020, it seems this is more pronounced than ever, and people are questioning whether we’ll ever go back to the old ‘norm’.

For salespeople, it has been a strange change to our lives. Pitching via video has become the norm, as have video interviews in recruitment, as we move to less face-to-face and more face-to-screen.

I’ve heard it before and, given the changes this year, it’s raised its head again; people questioning the future of the sales profession in an online everything world.

Will we need a sales role into the future? Or are we destined to be replaced by a virtual AI, data-driven computer sales ‘person’? My answer is…sales people are needed more than ever!

People like dealing with people

How often do we hear people bemoaning the loss of being able to speak to a ‘real’ person? In customer service, it happens all the time and has been a source of pain for the profession in the past. In my opinion, it’s no different for salespeople.

I’m a passionate believer in the rule that ‘people buy from people they like’. The ability for a great salesperson to build a strong relationship with their client, built on mutual respect and trust, is still one of the core tenets of business. Sure the role has changed, but the fundamentals remain the same.

Will the human race ever deal people out of the equation? I don’t think so. Sure, some roles will change but, ultimately, working with another human being is so much more satisfying than interacting with AI. I believe we will always have sales roles as a part of the process, we’ll just be armed with more data about our clients than ever before.

It’s just a change to the role

The best sales people are already utilising technology to better complete their role. We all use social media now as a standard business practice, and that’s just one example. Granted, there are plenty of salespeople that could up their social media game and not just use it as a ‘fire at will’ blast that annoys your clients more than it helps them, but that will continue to evolve and change for the better in my view.

Savvy sales professionals see data and technology as their friends in the sales battle. The more armed you are with data, the better. Our role has already adapted through the Internet age, as clients needed less product information from us – Google makes that easy to find. Instead, salespeople became more of a guide through the process of optimising the sale, helping clients make the right choices around their options on a product or service.

A great sales person is a game changer

Ultimately, businesses and clients alike value a great salesperson. It’s why my role in finding the best talent is so rewarding; we can literally change a company’s performance by helping them build a modern, high performing team.

So, are salespeople on the way out? Hell no! It’s never been a better time to be in sales and I think the profession is set for a strong 2021 as businesses rebound and we start to focus back on the future.

What are your thoughts? I’m keen to hear what you think. Email me at sarah@projectprofessionalservices.com.au.