Revolution Beckons Sales - Riding High On Game-Changing Technologies

Prashant Rohatgi, Global Head - Technology, Denave With over 20 years of experience in architecting Enterprise Solutions, Prashant has the mandate to digitally transform Products & Services at Denave. His focus is to progressively build technology enabled processes, support revenue and business growth drivers and enrich service/product offerings. Under his guidance, the team is focused on creating centralized database offering on cloud, identifying white space with statistical intelligence, building propensity platforms, enhancing Sales Motion Products & Services and automating internal functions.

Technology is an all encompassing entity now. No business wants to take the risk of getting stagnated and hence many have either adopted technology across segments and business units or some are already midway through it. Simultaneously, this paradigm shift is also influencing business leaders to align the skills and efforts of the workforce with this promising revolution. It can be safely said that technology in today’s era is substituting majority of the blue collar and while collar jobs with increasing capabilities of robotics and artificial intelligence. This rate of transformation is significantly proportional to the speed at which new and innovative ideas are being generated. One cannot be far from truth if claims that technological innovations has catapulted a virtuous cycle of transformation across business landscape.

Specific to the sales arena, the level of technological integration varies amongst businesses as per their anticipated goals. Be it in the realm of artificial intelligence, cloud, virtual reality, mobility etc., different organizations thrive in different ways to remain competitive and operational amongst their counterparts. However, there is no denial that every shift beyond the regular brings some new challenges on board that further introduces a new flair into the ecosystem. Let’s deep dive to understand how business world is amalgamating newage technologies within their processes and reconstructing the sales landscape in its entirety.

Artificial Intelligence Picking up the Steam
•Iterative functions giving way to Machine Learning led algorithms
Rapid replacement of jobs is already under way that comprises more repetitive/mundane practices and less human expertise making space for newer jobs that leverages human mind. Most of the iterative sales processes in customer care and tech support are using chatbots and machine intelligence, rather than humans for filtering and registration processes. Human effort shall move
up in the ladder doing more tactical or strategic tasks precipitating the constant need of upgrading the skills. Moreover, the spade work for building machine learning rules is being set up by every app/solution/platform builder. Clearly, by the time this year ends there will be more leverage on AI/ML in sales platforms than ever.

•Growing need for intelligent platforms
Sales enablement platforms such as CRM, Sales Force Automation tools etc. are moving towards AI for augmenting these platforms with analytics and intelligence. This is significantly increasing the productivity and reducing the need for manual training. For instance, an Intelligent CRM platform reduces the need for an offline on-the-job training for a sales person or an intelligent SFA platform increases the productivity by preempting next steps in a sales motion.

•IoT boosting the consumer experience
Internet of Things effectively enables the marketers to locate reach and engage prospective clients and customers on sound market strategies. Coupled with AI, the technology is already being used to improve online tech support experience. Going forward, by analyzing and preempting consumer behavior it shall further enhance the customer experience in tech/ retail support functions.

While Augmented Reality is not technically a 'new' technology however it is increasingly being explored in the sales function in newer ways

Real Time Information Access via Cloud
Success of cloud computing is starting to be apparent in sales arena. It shall be gradually leveraged to improve sales output by providing relevant actionable information in the realtime to the ground sales force. Precisely it shall accelerate the information access curtailing the reaction time. Cab aggregators, hotel and property owners are the early adopters and trail blazing the adoption rate.

‘Digital’ Overruling the Sales Tech World
Digital platforms are bridging the gap between marketing and sales activities. While social media is reducing the time invested in engaging and profiling target customers thus improving campaign effectiveness, other digital platforms are leveraging AI enabled analytics to identify high propensity prospects. This is increasing the sales productivity exponentially.

Conversational UI Norm for the Netizens
It is expected that a conversational edge enables solving on-board questions and queries and also assist to deliver automatic solutions related to the pursuit of customers. Equipped with detailed language processing abilities bots are likely to perform as extended functions of the messenger solving customer queries besides assisting them as a friendly shopping companion.

Augmented Reality Redesigning Visual Impact
While Augmented Reality is not technically a ‘new’ technology, however it is increasingly being explored in the sales function in newer ways. For instance, training processes in industries as Aviation(or other industries manufacturing heavy duty devices) have started leveraging augmented reality to replace physical presence in a single location of both attendees as well as the instructor by using devices like MS HoloLens etc.

Future Unfolds
With all these tech trends sales world is visibly ushering into an era of remarkable transformation. Clearly, while all these technological advances are accelerating the sales evolution, it’s critical for the organizations to adapt to this trend wave as soon as possible, owing to the changing industry dynamics. After all, change is the only constant and the one who adapts thrives, while for the rest, survival becomes a chief concern. It is perhaps the time to fasten our seat belts as the rate of the disruption is going to be beyond our expectations and will act as a game changer for many.