I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First. ...Full Bio
I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First.
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Artificial Intelligence And The Threat To Salespeople
Every day, people ask me what I think about the influx of what we'll call "robots" for the sake of this article. Robots are taking over workforces everywhere. If you go to a bank, there are rarely any tellers in the building. Most transactions are done through an ATM. If you go to drive-thrus in the area where you live, you don't interact with a real person. You just punch what you want into a computer that then orders your food. You don't go to places to rent movies anymore. You push a button on a computer, and it's delivered right to your TV.
Many jobs have been replaced already by artificial intelligence. We've seen the fast food worker and a lot of low-paying entry-level jobs replaced by artificial intelligence and robots. But what nobody's talking about is the revolution happening right now. Artificial intelligence and robots are replacing a lot of mid-level producers, too. They're working their way rapidly through the low-level jobs and increasingly making a presence in the mid-level positions.
If you work in sales, now is the time to step your game up in a major way. Companies are investing in technology to replace salespeople. The truth is, your company thinks you're overpaid. If you're a salesperson, you're probably making six, seven or eight figures a year, and your company believes it's too much money.
Now, listen, I'm not here to give you good news. I'm here to give you the truth. Here's what I see in the wave of the future. Those who know how to program the technology, operate the robots and work with artificial intelligence - the computer programs, algorithms, etc. - will be the salespeople remaining in their jobs. No longer will you be able to say, "People expect service. They want me to answer when the phone rings." Admin jobs will be automated. You know what answers the phone at 3 a.m.? A robot. You know who doesn't answer the phone at 3 a.m.? A human.
We can expect a slew of robots to replace a lot of mid-level income earners. Many salespeople making six and seven figures a year will be removed, no matter their skills and sales. Artificial intelligence is far stronger than our natural-born intelligence.
Take this as a fair warning. Those of you working in the sales industry need to start learning artificial intelligence. You need to polish up on the computer programs. You've got to step outside your comfort zone, because in the next 5 to 10 years, people choosing strictly to rely on their sales skills and who do not focus on automation, artificial intelligence and computerized memory will be left behind.
A long time ago, automobile factory workers said, "There's no way a robot can do my job. I have to put every single bolt in this transmission, I have to make sure the tires are on and the wheels are checked. So, the human element will never go away." We saw a revolution in the late 80s and early 90s that put thousands upon thousands of auto-workers out of business. The ones who stayed behind learned to work the robots. The rest of the mid-level and low-level producers went in a mass exodus.
Now, here's the good news. Anytime one opportunity closes, another one opens. When factories closed, the gas boom picked up. Droves of people left and became landmen. At the same time, the mortgage industry picked up, so more people got into that field.
The opportunity for the future of sales is learning automation, the tech side and artificial intelligence so that you can work among the robots. But as one sector of the industry grinds to a halt, another door will always open up. So, keep your eyes open for opportunity; keep your eyes out for the next earthshaking innovation. As a salesperson, I hate to say it, but if you don't focus on learning the new technology and embracing it, you will be replaced by it.