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Technology the Sales Enabler
Blog / Sales Management / Jun 29, 2020 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 641 

Technology the Sales Enabler

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In my last article, we talked about the fact that technology, practically since the beginning of time, has been replacing repetitive tasks. While everyone wants some repetitive activity replaced in their lives—actually as much as possible—we’ll stick to our subject of sales and CRM. CRM technology, with increasing intelligence, continues to replace repetitive tasks.

Technology Replacing Humans?

But does that mean the technology is replacing the human being, as some fearfully assume? That, I believe, is where people are making the wrong assumption. It’s exactly the opposite—the human being is becoming more important, not less.

Fearful predictions are almost always wrong. When motion pictures were first becoming popular, it was said they would replace the radio, but today we have more radio stations than ever. Then when television started proliferating, the doomsayers said that people would stop going to cinemas and the movies would die. Today cinemas are thriving (despite the pause caused by covid19).

The “predictions” are wrong once again, for the more advanced technology is becoming, the less it’s replacing human beings. In fact, it is uplifting human beings. We certainly believe that trend at Pipeliner and have followed it with the development of our Voyager AI feature, which continually explores data within Pipeliner CRM and informs salespeople and sales management of key actions that should be taken. The same is true of our new Automatizer feature, for the automation of routine and repetitive tasks.

The Human Difference

The one crucial quality that separates humans from technology is the ability to have empathy, to have understanding, to listen, to filter information from a different chosen angle than that of fixed algorithms. We’re a very long way from computer intelligence that could come anywhere near competing with humans.

One reason I’m a big believer in the Austrian School of Economics is its fundamental principle that the human being is unpredictable. A human’s opinion or viewpoint can change from one moment to the next. This is why the future of the world is not predictable, because we don’t really know how human beings will behave. A computer cannot be programmed to behave this way–if it were, it would create chaos!

A computer has no emotions, no understanding. The fact that a human has an almost mystical combination of a mind and a heart (not the physical heart, but the emotional heart) makes it a million times more capable than the computer. Because of a human’s emotional depth, human experiences affect each of us differently. They affect the way we look at the world.

Learning to Use Technology

As technology becomes more powerful, we need to learn to utilize it as an enabler, to allow us to make better and smarter decisions. Analytic tools lead us to deeper and more rapid understandings of factors such as leading and lagging indicators. For this reason, business intelligence (BI) tools are booming like crazy, and we have created the BI feeder for Pipeliner CRM.

These tools provide us with plentiful information, but then we have to utilize that information to help make a decision. I have yet to see technology that would decide anything; the human must do this. Wrong decisions can certainly be made based on information, as we’ve seen in the last few months, causing us tremendous problems. In the future, it’s important that people can, especially in sales, understand and interpret data.

Creating Processes

Beyond analytic thinking, the next stage is learning to create business and workflow processes that can be automated. From our last article, we know that everything repetitive will be replaced, but someone has to create these processes. This won’t happen overnight, as human beings must think over how these processes work.

Once they are created, such processes must be constantly optimized. They must be regularly fine-tuned, incrementally made better. We’re in a dynamic environment, and changes are happening all the time; those changes must always be taken into account.

Dealing With Complexity

We are certainly in an age of complexity, and for that reason, we must return, as I often do, to the subject of cybernetics—the science of simplicity. Complexity will increase exponentially as we move into the future, so we do need to simplify it as much as possible.

At the same time, we’re not trying to simplify things so that they are all equal—that’s impossible because they’re not. For example, as a customer, you want to be treated as an individual, as yourself, not like anyone else. That’s a bit of a problem in dealing with complexity because everyone is different, and so that makes each process a bit different. There are some similar patterns, but even within the people will always have their differences.

This time in history requires, on the part of people, intelligence combined with social intelligence. Smoothly combining these with the intelligence provided by technology is our exact challenge today.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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