In parts one and two of our series, we explored how artificial intelligence is changing how the game is played in sales by reducing the tedium for salespeople and optimizing how they sell. As AI redefines the role of selling, it will inevitability have an impact on who is successful selling as well.
AI’s Impact on “Who” will be Successful Selling
Ask sales managers what the attributes are of an effective sales person, and most often they can start to list off traits they have seen leading to the path of success in the past. But let’s think about those competencies considering AI in sales. In the past, we may have valued how persuasive a sales person was, but going forward we may more highly value their open-mindedness. Being independent could easily give way to being collaborative. Self-esteem could give way to social astuteness.
As the picture starts to get clearer in terms of what will be needed to successfully sell in the future, we are going to ask ourselves, “What percentage of our existing sales force has/can develop what it takes to be effective in the AI world of selling and how can we ensure the new hires we bring on match up to that evolving competency model?”
Reassessing Talent Success
Successful organizations already measure talent and skills through situational ability. What does this mean? Organizations uncover what makes someone a top performer, and then figure out how to hire more people like them. In the new AI world, preparing for the future will require organizations to invest the time and effort to adjust competency models to look forward, not backward. They will need to be proactive in reassessing their existing sales force to do a risk assessment on what voluntary and involuntary turnover will be as their sales organizations evolve to leverage AI to augment the role of sales professionals.
For sales organizations that have not yet adopted sales talent assessments as part of their hiring process, they need to start doing so now. Bringing science to the art of assessing sales talent will be of paramount importance to minimize the impact of unexpectedly high turnover within the existing sales organization and optimize the onboarding and success of new sales talent.
AI may well play a key role in the talent identification process. To date, assessments have been useful once you identified a potential sales candidate and had them opt-in to take part in a self-testing exercise. But AI can help you do proactive assessments of sales talent before they even think about applying for a sales position.
AI technology exists today that can analyze a person’s social network profile, posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. From this analysis, AI can give you insights into a sales professional’s personality and values, so you can identify potential candidates who closely fit your model and proactively reach out to recruit them, helping you ensure you have the best talent to be successful working within your sales organization.
Learn how to prepare for the future of sales. Check out our web resources and exclusive content or attend one of our upcoming events, or listen to the webinar, What Does the Future of Sales Look Like?