I've told several people that I'm glad that I'm not beginning my sales career today. I probably would have stayed the course that we picked in high school and became an engineer. I'll work another year, but it'll be interesting to see how many salespeople give up and figure out another way to make a living.
Do I think that 2020 will see the end of the sales profession? Of course not, but automation didn't kill Detroit in a day, nor by itself. Outside competition and a few other things helped.
A few years ago, Cyber Monday was born and we asked ourselves how long it would take before Cyber Monday was bigger than Black Friday. Black Friday 2019 = $7B. Cyber Monday 2019 = $9B.
Disney+ signed up 10 million new subscribers to it's new streaming service IN ONE DAY! How many of those people dropped cable?
BTW, my wife got her share of the $7B and the $9B. Neither was a perfect experience. Check out lines at the stores vs websites crashing due to overload on line.
Here's what I think...
When I work with someone, we focus on 21 Sales Core Competencies. Right now, today, 2019 I think that Artificial Intelligence can do 7-10 of them better than the average salesperson. How long will it take the AI scientists to teach AI to develop a relationship, collect enough data to develop and artificial belief system, or adjust for different buy cycle styles? I don't know, but probably not next year. How long will it take ALL of the buyers to be more comfortable with and artificially intelligent machine than an artificially intelligent salesperson? I don't know.
Until then, your job is safe. You may struggle. You may get frustrated, but as long as you're better at some of the core competencies than AI, keep on plugging.
As always, if you'd like to comment, I'll publish this on LinkedIn and Twitter and if you'd like some help staying ahead of AI, start here.
BTW, if you're a VSB/SMB owner, you have to get good at AI or learn how to sell well or you should go get a job.