Technology is Constantly Changing the Business Environment
My technical advisor once told me a story that has implications in the sales industry. He said one of the giants in the tech industry was giving a talk on how the trends in microprocessors would result in cheap and plentiful computational power in the form of small, powerful, and ubiquitous processors. During his talk, someone from the audience challenged him with a question that was meant more of a jab. He asked, “What exactly are we going to do with all these tiny microprocessors? It’s not like you’re going to need one in every doorknob.”
5 years later, this speaker was in the same hotel, this time on vacation with his family. He got his card key at the front desk and he and his family went up to their room. As he stuck his card key into the slot to enter their room, he realized where he was. He looked up and down the hallway at all the doors and said, “I’ll be… There IS a microprocessor in every doorknob!”
That wave didn’t just put a microprocessor in every doorknob and change how we determine who has access to certain spaces. It also changed how we do business. Tom Peters, in his book Re-Imagine! wrote extensively about how robotics and automation changed the landscape of manufacturing. He then stated how the microprocessor, big data, and mathematical algorithms were in the process of doing the same thing to the white-collar office workspace, which includes salespeople.
The Impact of Technology on the Sales Environment
It wasn’t long ago when all you needed to be successful in sales was a confident stride, a strong handshake, and the gift of gab. But as time progressed, the environment changed. People and their attitudes changed. Today, the idea of the fast-talking, order-taking salesperson is a relic of the past. When people need to buy something that requires little thought or a short buying cycle, they buy it online. They engage a salesperson when they need a trusted consultant to help them understand how their next purchase will improve their lifestyles, careers, and financial future. Which means the qualities we look for in salespeople have to be updated.
What we look for in good salespeople has changed because the environment and our target market demanded it. But how we look for good salespeople has got to change as well. We can’t rely on the same methods our predecessors used involving ancient technology, outdated methods, and a gut feeling.
Using Predictive Sales Assessments to Stay Competitive in an Evolving Business Environment
In my latest article in Fast Company, I talk about the Renaissance undergoing the profession of sales and how onboarding sales talent is one of the last pieces that is emerging from the dark ages. Today, many companies have started using predictive sales assessments and data analytics as tools to grow their sales talent pool. It also allows them to strengthen their bench for career advancement and succession planning.
A well-designed, behavioral-based, predictive sales assessment can improve your ability to hire the people with the right skills set, mindset, and temperament to be a member of your sales team. That information will allow you to streamline your sales process, strengthen your sales team, and reach your revenue goals faster.
Consider this: If you know the strengths and weaknesses of your salespeople, you can get customized training that will focus on specific areas with laser-like precision and have your team hitting quota up to 20% faster. Additionally, you’ll being able to keep your salespeople through this “great resignation” and plan out the growth of your sales organization over the next 5 years.
The rapid development of technology has changed our environment, our lifestyles, and our business practices. There is no putting that genie back in the bottle. It’s up to us to use the technology at our disposal to help us move our organization and people forward. That includes using predictive sales assessments to not only help you find the right people to onboard, but to also get the right people in the right seats. Then, they can open more doors to new opportunities faster.