Welcome to your sales weekly roundup for February 3-10. This week we’re exploring how AI has already started replacing jobs (are you next?!), a new charter for sales enablement success, and tips for achieving your next sales target. Enjoy.
Andrew Yang, CEO and Founder of Venture For America, an organization with a mission to create 100,000 U.S. jobs by 2025, writes a dire, yet to some strikingly accurate post on the Great Displacement, otherwise known as robots putting us all out of work.
Yang brings up a ton of good points backed with data. Here’s what you need to know:
- The whitehouse published a report last month reinforcing the view that AI, robotics, software and automation are putting many jobs at risk:
- 83% of the jobs where people make less than $20 per hour will be subject to automation or replacement.
- Between 9% and 47% of jobs are in danger of being made irrelevant due to technological change, with the worst threats falling among the less educated.
- Between 2.2 and 3.1 million car, bus and truck driving jobs in the U.S. will be eliminated by the advent of self-driving vehicles.
- In fact, automation has already eliminated about 4 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. since 2000. Many of those people left the workforce and didn’t return.
- Forces like Uber are facilitating (and in Sales, Einstein) this movement. But it’s important to remember to evolve your role (especially for salespeople) so you remain valuable. Consultative roles are the only ones that will face a rise in the next ten years. So the real question for salespeople is—how do you become more consultative?
The folks over at Sales Hacker have compiled this list of ways to ensure your team’s success in the coming calendar year. Here’s the cliffsnotes version:
Know Your Buyer Persona. The golden rule of selling is the first rule of selling: know thy buyer. If your sales team doesn’t already have a charter for each ideal customer profile, you want to start by interviewing, researching, and surveying your target audience. It may be time consuming, but it’s worth it. Buyer personas help everyone on the team from sales and marketing to service and everyone else.
Spend Time Prospecting. In this noisy sales environment, there are tons of new and innovative ways to prospect. Top-performing reps know to set aside time each day, use social networks, share great content, ask for referrals and follow-up to keep a healthy pipe and increase win rates.
Create The Right Metrics. Management thought leader Peter Drucker said: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Having accurate and measurable data allows you to scale and repeat successful processes. Ensure you have the right CRM solution to track metrics that are right for your team. That way, you can forecast and predict with greater accuracy.
Rally Your Team. The best sales leaders know how to pump their teams up, creating a sense of camaraderie and urgency in the selling process. Asking for suggestions via roundtables, switching things up and allow autonomy help breed a culture of trust, communication and value.
Recognize Success. Remember to recognize when your team does something right. Offering incentives and expressing gratitude are both great ways to create an environment of positivity, which is much more conducive to selling.
Tamara Schenk of CSO Insights continues her streak of superior sales enablement content with this post. In the post, Schenk likens most sales enablement leaders to feeling like “a newly appointed chef in a kitchen who doesn’t really know the guests.”
This chef obviously has competing priorities. Often, Schenk says, sales enablement leaders are pressured by CEOs to drive results immediately, like next quarter. Newly appointed leaders don’t have time to dive deep into sales issues and address the strategically. In essence, resources get wasted playing the short game.
First, define what sales enablement is all about. If “The beginning is wisdom is the definition of terms,” then getting on the same page about what sales enablement is, who it serves and how it done is the first step to success. The CSO Insights definition:
“Sales Force Enablement—A strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and frontline sales managers along the entire customer’s journey, powered by technology.”
Second, analyze your context and point of departure. Relate this definition back to your particular situation by assessing the impact of your organization’s context and current maturity. This requires analyzing all existing training and content services and assessing them based on the impact, quality and relevance to your challenges. Benchmark where you are, what you’re currently providing and the changes that are required (based on your particular challenges) to move the needle.
Third, connect the dots and create your enablement charter, or your blueprint for execution. The goal here is to change or evolve your view of sales enablement based on your newfound definitions and goals. Develop where you want to go (vision), how you’re going to get there (mission) and why you exist (purpose). Derive your vision from the business and sale strategy, and then work your way down the roadmap.