In their recent book Bold, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler overview five technologies driving change and providing the basis for entrepreneurial opportunity. Four of the five are driving change for B2B sales, including rep practices, sales management, and even the sales-marketing interface.
Here are the four that matter for today’s B2B sales:
- Networks and sensors –
- Infinite computing –
- Artificial intelligence –
- Robotics –
Today, sales enablement is utilizing the technology in each of these areas, even if it’s in early development. Networks and sensors, for example, are limited to data input in a CRM or tracking behavior on an iPad. Infinite computing and artificial intelligence are combining to improve ad targeting and appointment setting over the internet. Robotics are represented in the ubiquitous robocall.
Each of these capabilities is currently underutilized, and companies can find ways to use them to increase sales team effectiveness dramatically. Indeed, they are the leading technologies.
The reason companies need to get going with this, however, is that the future will be very, very different. Imagine this:
Reps wear miniaturized sensors during sales meetings that record conversations, movements, and the reactions of the customers. The data flows into a supercomputer that processes it and interprets it using artificial intelligence, which has already learned from watching hundreds of other reps what the best practices are and how to handle specific situations. That knowledge is fed to robots which provide a sales manager’s feedback to the rep, and which also perform simulations and sales training to the rep to hone their skills.
Far-fetched? Maybe, but we may need to get used to it. This is likely where sales enablement is headed.