Everything You Need to Know About the Future Of Sales Right Now
By Content Bloom
When CB’s New Business and Alliances Director, Umar Akhtar, described his love for sales and explained that, for him, it’s about both the human element as well as the sale itself, we knew he was onto something. Also, how do you argue with someone who’s spent nearly a decade in commercial operations with global digital agencies and tech start-ups and unofficially began his career at seven years old?
“Working at my dad’s market stall really gave me a taste for business and sales at an early age. Sales is in my blood.”
When asked if he got a thrill from making a sale and enjoyed influencing people from such a young age, he said, “Sales is about learning what the client’s objectives are (not just their needs) and helping them get the most value out of their investment. It’s not just about selling or influencing necessarily, it’s also about connecting to people and demonstrating value.”
This make perfect sense. When you visit a store, online or in-person, it’s often because you’re interested in a service or product. The salesperson is there to facilitate and guide you toward the right purchase.
An issue a lot of digital businesses still struggle with is how to navigate people through that customer journey and properly provide a relevant experience. They often lack the right digital platforms to connect their teams and consumers leave the online transaction process feeling overwhelmed or disappointed.
Currently, we’re seeing a rapid change in the ways online stores and purchase options are evolving the way we interact on a global scale, especially in the current climate due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Curious to find out his thoughts on the direction sales will take, we asked Umar to share his predictions.
The Future of Sales, A 2020+ Forecast
While he values the human element of sales, Umar also thinks it’s about crafting a more seamless process and learning which tech platforms and digital business processes can empower your company to move forward. In other words, investing in the right tools, platforms, and a team of experts (if you haven’t already) should be a top priority.
“We’re moving toward a world where artificial intelligence, machine learning, voice, and contactless technology will tap into most areas of our life. It will be present at work, in marketing, manufacturing, sales, business processes, and home. AI and ML will become smarter, faster, more fluid, and human-like thanks to the inevitable rise of quantum computing.”
“Humans will work very much alongside AI. It’s already here, we’re starting to see that already.”
Take the Nest learning thermostat, for example, which can now be voice-controlled by Alexa using behavioral algorithms to predictively learn from your heating and cooling needs. Also, Netflix uses highly accurate predictive technology based on customers’ reactions to films; analyzing billions of records to suggest shows you might like based on your previous reactions and choices.
A personalized sales experience is critical and successful companies understand that. AI will automate customer engagement and the customer experience processes, ensuring the transaction experience is just as good as the product being sold.
Umar’s passion for sales and entrepreneurship is driven by a desire to make a difference and influence improvement. He likes the challenge of scaling companies to the next phase of growth, building global partner ecosystems, and creating positive impacts on companies by adding value.
“Being in a position where you get to take a company on a transformative journey — hearing the challenges enterprises are facing, their key objectives, and the goals of their business — lines you up to have a real positive impact in delivering successful solutions.”
Having spent twelve years working within the digital industry, his ability to remain solution-driven, forward-thinking, and accept ever-changing requirements has made him a powerful sales force.
When asked for his best piece of advice for anyone in pursuit of a career in sales, he said only two things were necessary, “Treat objections as requests for further information and focus on the best-of need solution for the client and the sale will take care of itself.”
Who can argue with that?
What’s your take on the future of sales within a digital world?
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