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The black swan in sales management

The black swan in sales management

The only constant is change but it’s always a surprise so, when you least expect it, some Black Swan event takes place and alters your life. Often sweeping changes creep up on you little by little and before you know it, your daily lives function completely differently. Hindsight is perfect of course and you look back at all that change as being perfectly logical. When you’re in the midst of change though, it doesn’t seem quite so logical or perfect because it’s positively unsettling.

It is difficult to imagine that less than forty years ago, the first home computer made its appearance: an 8–bit computer, barely capable of saving a recipe that needed to be meticulously typed in. In such a comparatively short time, we have leaped into a world that is absolutely surrounded by software because that smartphone in your pocket has more computing power than NASA had when it first started sending humans into space.

Interestingly, some sectors develop faster than others and adopt new technologies as game-changers – for example, gaming itself pioneered the drive towards greater performance and more crisp visuals. The military also poured billions into funding research on all forms of software planning for use in tracking scenarios to automation. People soon realised that computers are more efficient than humans at certain tasks such as admin, data capturing, and remembering minute details. The opposite applies for other functions at which humans naturally excel, such as socialising, making spontaneous connections and picking up on non-verbal cues.

This attitude seems to have also influenced business processes because computers were seen as the perfect way to simplify how business is administered – by helping to keep track of stock, keep accounts in order, and admin up to date. However, the functions for which computers were used completely avoided the more dynamic part of businesses: sales. That is, until now.

The field of sales management has undergone a remarkable change in recent years. Sales forces are at last being empowered in the same way that their colleagues have been. They have been given customised applications that have revolutionised the way the whole business then operates. After all, without sales, a business cannot operate at all.

Sales management applications have eliminated the need for reams of paperwork and the weekly “admin day.” Data can be captured in the field, orders can be placed while at the customer and simple online forms with sketches, photos and drop-down menus have removed the need for a pen and clipboard.

Sales management is going through a Black Swan event and it’s very positive indeed. If you run a business, if you’re in sales, perhaps you could ensure you don’t miss out on the benefits of this change. It’s a game-changer for everyone.

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