To anticipate one thing: Sales will continue to be an essential part of corporate tasks and corporate culture. The task of making goods and services accessible to customers and end consumers is too important.
And this process is too strongly characterized by interpersonal contact for this task to be completely taken over by artificial algorithms or robots in the near future. But sales - and thus the people employed in this area - must also play by the rules of digitization. In concrete terms, this means that activities with a high degree of standardization will increasingly be handed over to algorithms and more creative tasks will become the focus of activity. This connection is clearly illustrated by the development of the online advertising industry.
Paradigm shift for online advertisers: from media planner to industry expert
In the past, banner ads, for example, were usually placed manually: The advertising company turned to a media agency, which manually booked the best advertising environments for the customer. Thanks to years of experience, the agencies were able to match the right advertisers with the right advertising environments. If an ad for adhesive cream had been placed on a soap like "Berlin Tag und Nacht" on RTL II, the agency would have done a poor job.
With the advent of automated buying systems, the job of media planners is now changing. Smart algorithms help target advertising customers on the Internet. Depending on the customer's previous consumption pattern, new product suggestions are placed individually on users' visible pages. This is tantamount to a paradigm shift for the entire online advertising industry: the purchase of advertising environments has become the purchase of specific target profiles. This means that it is now possible to show a young father the suitable diapers for his offspring and a passionate female car driver the latest models of the luxury class - and all this on the same banner space, and without a human planner having to intervene in the process.
This is also changing the role of media planners: resourceful representatives who find the best deal for the customer based on their knowledge of the market are increasingly becoming market experts who are able to explain the advertising market to advertising customers and select the right placement strategy based on a shared understanding of the market.
Sales employees are expected to have a high level of industry expertise
This paradigm shift can be transferred to the classic sales of almost every company: The pure distribution and presentation of product information is losing importance. Numerous B2B platforms such as Wucato or Mercateo simplify the procurement process and relieve employees of administrative tasks such as entering and maintaining information material.
Intelligent algorithms also help sales staff to better understand the consumption patterns of consumers and end customers and use them to create an even more individualized offer. One example? The Amazon suggestion algorithm, which offers customers relevant products based on their previous purchases and the consumer behavior of all Amazon customers.
This development is also influencing the tasks that sales employees face today.
Der „klassische“ Vertriebsprozess bedarf einer neuen Ausrichtung