The unforgettable catchphrase of Dad’s Army ‘dour Scot’ Private Frazer is to be celebrated along with seven other characters of the comedy classic. The Royal Mail has produced eight new stamps as a celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary. Here’s a link should you wish to purchase…

If you believe most of the articles posted about the future of sales people over the past few years, Private Frazer’s catchphrase must be on the lips of sales professionals across the world.

It is obvious that advances in technology will impact on certain job roles and we have already seen huge numbers of retail sales jobs disappear. But what about those selling complex products and solutions in the B2B environment? Surely these roles will still be needed and cannot easily be replaced or replicated by artificial intelligence (robots)?

I have just read and shared an article published on the Entrepreneur Europe website. The title of the article was “Research Says This Type of Video Closes More B2B Sales” and you can view it by clicking the title. The article claims that business videos containing case studies will close more deals than physical salespeople!

It also states that B2B buyers are as influenced by video content as consumers. I could have told you that for free, on the basis that ALL business buyers are also themselves, consumers. Just like ALL salespeople are also consumers. I teach sales people to… “Sell unto others as you would have sold unto you!” If you wouldn’t like a ‘sales tactic’ done to you, then don’t do it to others!

So, if business buyers are watching videos to make their purchasing decisions the sales profession really is DOOMED, right? Perhaps that is a good thing, no one likes a flash, pushy egotistical, Audi driving (badly), overpaid and annoying salesperson anyway!

Guess what though? The author of the article is Founder & CEO of a company that produces corporate videos! No WONDER they are highlighting research that supports what they do! But wait, there is a certain incongruous irony……….

Based on their own article and looking at their website they must surely be actively recruiting more video creators to cope with the surge in demand they will surely be getting? NO, not a mention of those, they are however recruiting for a Director of Sales – The person they need is described by the firm as “A sales professional rockstar! We’re looking for an experienced professional who specializes in Digital Media Sales to join our New York Team.” They are also looking for Sales Agents across the GLOBE!

Let’s just think about that again. They claim that video is going to kill ‘Sales Stars’ and to do that they are looking to recruit a team of Sales Stars?

I like to think of myself as a forward thinker, perhaps not a ‘full on’ futurist but I do predict trends when it comes to the sales profession. The ‘Del Boy’ salesperson has already gone, the self-obsessed, money obsessed salesperson will soon be extinct too! The low level ‘product expert’ salesperson is also on the endangered list.

Who will survive? Well for starters, they probably won’t be called sales people. What they do will also be a million miles from what sales people typically do today. They will be high level ‘business enablers’ – people with business acumen, on par or greater than the clients they work with. They will have complete and utter delegated authority for all decisions within the business, they work for. They will help their clients succeed based on an intimate working knowledge of their entire business, not just the bit where the goods or services they supply fit in. Why will the client allow such access? In the future businesses will realise that what works best (when working with key suppliers) is a relationship of collaboration not combativeness, open not secretive, trusting not suspicious and above all both parties will be working towards ‘common goals’.

What do you think?

Stuart Allen

01905 384314 or email stuart@thesalesperformance.co.uk

Providing social media and sales training in Worcester, Worcestershire and across the UK.