As H.G. Wells once said “we all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are our memories … and those that that carry us forward our dreams.” In addition to a passion about sales training, we too have a great interest in history and futurism.
Recently, we published a blog – Sales Training: know the past – win the future. In that blog we took a short journey into sales training’s past and based on that journey made some predictions about its future. In that case, we focused on the short-term future – five years … so speculations about technologies such as “holodeck training” were omitted.
Recently we stumbled across a great article in the December issue of Inc. by John Brandon. The article was about the top technology predictions for 2025 – clearly a great source for a follow up to our previous blog. So, here are the three predictions we thought would have the most impact on sales and sales training.
- Holistic Digital Assistants. Like an advanced version of Siri on the iPhone 4S, this assistant will know your calendar, read your email, and store all of your product information and all relevant customer documents. The assistant will know which customer meeting you are attending and why and provide the documents you need for that occasion. The assistant will be voice controlled and be available any time … anyplace.
- Real-Time Translation. Assume you are a Global Account Manager for a major US-based logistics company. Picture a meeting with a partner in Mexico, a customer in Croatia, and a manufacturer in China. But, the meeting is being held over a high-definition videoconference device that incorporates real time translation. When you speak your comments in your voice are immediately translated into all languages of those attending the meeting.
- Digital Scrolls. Imagine an iPad that you can roll up and roll out. This flexible digital display will roll out like a sheet of plastic. You will be able to use a small section for sales call planning, or roll it out much further for a collaborative discussion session in the customer’s office – calling up and augmenting documents, diagrams, and pre-planned ideas on-demand.
Whether these predictions will come true can only be a matter of speculation. But if you believe technological innovation will proceed at an equal or greater rate in the next ten years as the previous ten, then if not these, then there will be others with an equal dazzle quotient. After all, how many of us projected ten years ago that you could hold a device in the palm of your hand and … hold a conversation with it?
The overarching question for those in sales leadership positions is:
What is being doing to project the future technology sources for differentiation and what needs to be done differently to plan for and leverage those capabilities?
As a closing note we were skimming a blog that incorporated information from the World Future Society report about jobs in 2030. Alone with Digital Archaeologists and Drone Dispatchers, they listed Holodeck Trainer. So, sales trainers be aware and plan for the future which in this case might involve learning more about the Xyrillans who were the race that first introduced humans to holodecks in the fictional universe of Star Trek.
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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC