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Read any business or technology news and you’ll probably think that sooner or later you’ll be left behind. Innovation seems to be disrupting everything around us. Things we once thought to be impossible are being commercialized at the speed of light. It’s not hard to imagine a future where the product or service we sell becomes obsolete.
But getting left behind isn’t inevitable. There’s no doubt that there will be a place for salespeople in the economy of tomorrow. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, there are many things you can start doing now to set yourself up for tomorrow. Here are five ways you can avoid getting left behind.
1. Get used to change
One of the most important things you can do is get used to things changing quickly. This means that you spend a lot of time outside of your comfort zone, learning new things and constantly adapting to a changing landscape. If you embrace change as part of your new normal and look at it as part of your evolution instead of something that threatens you, you’ll put yourself in the position to adapt and succeed.
2. Develop skills a robot can’t learn
The best way to protect yourself from being automated is to get better at doing things that robots will never be able to do well. This includes building human skills like developing relationships, coming up with creative new ideas, and working in collaboration with others. Perhaps the most important skill is the ability to prospect and bring in your own business. Advertising can bring in leads and automated websites can convert them, but you’d be hard pressed to find an employer who would turn down a hunter who knows how to go out and find business.
3. Stay in the loop
It’s tempting to put your head down, focus on the task at hand, and ignore what’s happening around you. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for getting caught off guard. Make it a point to look for trends in the overall economy and in your industry. This will allow you to see what’s coming down the line and either help your company adapt, or allow you to move onto the next big thing. Opportunities will abound. The only question is whether you’ll seek them out or wait for them to come to you.
4. Use new sales technology
While many salespeople fear being replaced by technology, there’s also a theory that most new sales technology will instead work to enhance salespeople. Technology can make them more efficient, and automate tasks that they don’t need to focus on. This will free up more time to work on things that move the needle, as Spiro’s Proactive Relationship Management Platform does. The salespeople who take the time to learn new technologies will not only differentiate themselves from their competition and become more attractive hires, but they’ll also be more productive and effective sellers.
5. Don’t be afraid
It may be intimidating and uncomfortable to think about what tomorrow may hold, especially with all the doom and gloom scenarios that are being floated about the future of sales. But fear not – salespeople will still be around, especially those who aren’t afraid to take on new challenges and have the foresight to see where things are going. The salespeople who take what they do seriously are likely to be the ones that thrive as our modern economy continues to change.