Artificial intelligence (AI) and technological advances are forcing sellers to re-evaluate their role in the sales process and how they can add value to the buyer. Technology helps gather data and information and craft meaningful messages, but at the end of the day, the salesperson must finalize the sale using their human attributes. Here’s what it means to rehumanize the sales process and grow sales through effectively connecting, sharing, and listening to customers.
Several years ago, I received a call asking if I’d like to appear as one of 15 sales experts in the Salesforce film documentary “The Story of Sales.” At first, I figured it was a joke. Too good to be true. Me…a sales expert in an actual film for the number one software company in the world?
Surely, they meant to call someone else like Brent Adamson, author of “The Challenger Sale,” or my mentor Jill Konrath (I later found out they had contacted her, and she was in the film, too).
What friend was messing with me in the middle of May? It wasn’t even April Fool’s Day.
Turns out…it wasn’t a joke.
An entire film crew made the trek from San Francisco to my home in Park City and began filming.
Several months later, for the film’s release, I was asked to speak at the mega sales conference of the year, Dreamforce, alongside the inventor of Einstein, the first generative AI built for CRM.
I was petrified but knew I had to accept the opportunity.
How could I speak about generative AI when I knew little if nothing about it? And with the head engineer of the product no less. Surely I would bring the IQ in the room down by 15% when I walked on that stage.
And then, it hit me. My knowledge of AI is limited, but I understand that despite the excitement over new technologies potentially replacing human labor, AI cannot perform basic functions that only humans can.
Eight years later, How to Re-Humanize the Sales Process is our most sought-after keynote. We have delivered it with rave reviews for companies like Microsoft, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and more.
We are at a turning point in sales and human history. The advent of artificial intelligence marks a profound juncture akin to the Industrial Revolution but with a digital heartbeat.
It underscores an irony of our times: as our machines become more like us, we must become more human. As author David Brooks says, “AI will force us humans to double down on those talents and skills that only humans possess.”
The most important thing about AI may be that it shows us what it can’t do – thus revealing who we are and what we have to offer.
What makes us uniquely human is our heart, our ability to connect, listen, learn, and love. To succeed in the future, sellers must do everything ChatGPT, Einstein and Alexa cannot.
Check out my latest interview on “How to Re-Humanize the Sales Process” with Danny Wasserman on the Reveal podcast:
To learn more about how to grow sales through effectively connecting, sharing, and listening to customers, check out Shari’s sales keynote, Bridging the AI Gap: How to Rehumanize the Sales Process. Sellers will learn how to create interest to compete against dramatically decreasing attention spans and sell how your customer buys.