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Freeman Cebu Business

Technology and the selling profession

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte - The Freeman

Let’s face it, technology has made many changes in the way we do business and in ways we never thought could happen – tasks replacement. We marvel at the wonders of technology in making things easy for us, but we have no inkling that these same technologies can cost us our jobs and our business. If I remember it correctly, NBC came up with a story that there are nine professions that technology can replace and that even includes lawyering!  

And since I mentioned few weeks ago about online portals that have already affected mega retailers, I believe that these portals can also affect the selling profession. Harvard Business Review has it, “Today, the traditional sales organization structure is undergoing a significant change. Many sales organizations are transitioning from a field sales model to an inside sales model.”

Unlike the typical field marketing done by the company’s sales representatives, the inside sales model is where companies get business directly from customers who pay online or from in-house agents who follow through the inquiries made by clients through email or from their website.

Having said that, companies can do away with sales people if they achieve or make good money online. Thus, the emergence and growth of B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) channels which enable customers (companies and end-users) make purchases flawlessly with the least human intervention. While they do offer tremendous benefit to customers in terms of cost and convenience, they also remove the “human layer” of the selling process.

If you are in sales and marketing handling customers face to face, you probably think of online channels as less threatening. And if you think you know internet that much, think again. You have not come face to face with CRM systems (Customer Relationship Management) that will change the way you think about your present and future customers. CRMs can track and accurately predict when you need the product and how you can save money at some future time or how you want to be serviced by the company. And the advantage of the system is that, it runs 24/7.

In other words, machines are trying to replace people even in the aspect of selling. So how do we position ourselves to be relevant to our customers? There are many things that cannot be replicated by a computer. And that is the human touch. But just because the human factor is impossible to replicate, salesmen should not be complacent. Many a salesman have the tendency to be so overconfident and so super-positive that their gift of gab is the only thing that matters. So it pays to be a well-rounded salesman to be able to make your customers happy.

And I believe that well-rounded salesmen is what makes them a cut above the rest because they are not ordinary salesmen. They are salesmen that technology cannot replace. They communicate not only the value of their products, they know how they are able to spark the imagination of customers when it comes to owning those products. And I have seen these type of salesmen in the real estate profession.   

Who are they, how they do it, that I will tackle in my next column. 

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I am honored to have been invited by DYRC Cebu (648 on your AM Band) to be their resident anchor on business topics. The program runs every Saturday 10am to 12pm. Here we will discuss with veteran radio hosts, Ramil Paican and Juve Villar, business trends, issues, and tips on starting and growing your business. Businessmen realtors, Ronald Caballes and Nelson Lim will also share their stories about real estate investing.

 

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