Will AI Steal Your Sales Job? We Asked HubSpot Experts [+ Research]

Do you keep in mind that Will Smith film from 2004 known as I, Robotic? Should you’ve by no means seen it, here is a really high-level synopsis of the movie. It takes place within the yr 2035, and humanoid robots mainly do all the roles people do not need to do.

Ultimately, they turn out to be self-aware and revolt in opposition to all humanity. And Will Smith, who performs a police detective, stops them. At the very least I feel he does. Admittedly, I do not keep in mind the film that properly — apart from one scene.

Free Report: The State of Artificial Intelligence in 2023

On this scene, Will Smith is speaking to one of many robots alone and asks it, “Can a robotic write a symphony? Can a robotic flip a canvas into a wonderful masterpiece?”

To which the robotic replies, “Are you able to?”

It is a fairly stable comeback for a robotic — however Will Smith ought to have responded with, “Oh yeah? Effectively, can a robotic promote gross sales software program to a enterprise of any dimension?”

Right here, I spoke with prime gross sales specialists to debate whether or not or not robots might actually substitute gross sales reps. Let’s dive in.

Why Some Reps Are Nervous

In response to HubSpot’s State of AI report, salespeople are evenly break up in relation to AI and job safety. 42% are involved about AI changing their job within the subsequent few years, whereas 42% are usually not.

AI replace jobs

This is not too shocking — in any case, AI is turning into extra refined, and a few occupations can be extra weak than others to the rising tide of automation.

Even now, we’re seeing robots changing sure sorts of staff. Usually talking, these positions are extra data-oriented and quantitative in nature.

As Vajra King, Senior Account Government at HubSpot, places it, “Most individuals suppose AI will substitute society from the underside up — from the blue-collar to the white-collar. In actuality, AI has already changed many white-collar jobs within the authorized, underwriting, and medical diagnoses areas. But it surely hasn’t been in a position to deal with the day-to-day duties a plumber or electrician performs.”

He provides, “Nonetheless, there is no denying that there is a quantitative nature to gross sales — negotiation, vendor administration, and price range constraints all require individuals to know the numbers and make selections primarily based upon them.”

Too A lot Automation?

AI’s capacity to automate sure components of gross sales jobs has some gross sales reps involved.

As Nicole Bhatia, Account Supervisor, instructed me, “Do I, as a salesman, fear {that a} robotic may steal my job? Sure. I do fear about that. I work for an organization that sells AI that may substitute a gross sales rep. I see firsthand the enterprise demand to automate the lead qualification and lead nurturing processes — to maneuver away from conventional gross sales techniques.”

That being stated, there’s rather more to gross sales than quantitative tasks. There’s additionally the human aspect of promoting. The connection-building. AI’s lack of ability to deal with that aspect of the method retains many reps from dropping sleep over the prospect of robots stealing their jobs.

Why AI Will not Take Gross sales Jobs

1. AI does not have emotion.

Gross sales is an inherently emotional discipline. Prospects aren’t swayed solely by figures offered to them. There is a vital human component to conveying the worth of a proposition.

Bhatia echoes this level, telling me, “After six years promoting, I do know that making a buying choice is an emotional course of — the bigger the acquisition, the extra emotionally taxing the buying choice.”

She provides, “Even in the event you’ve spent months researching choices to tell your shopping for choice, pulling the set off on a purchase order that may change your organization’s monetary future is horrifying.”

2. AI cannot construct their prospects’ confidence within the buying course of.

When patrons really feel assured about their capacity to navigate a shopping for choice, they’re 2.6x extra prone to broaden an present relationship than those that lack confidence, based on Gartner.

However solely a human salesperson can faucet into their prospects’ feelings and calm their doubts or fears. Machines cannot provide that sort of reassurance.

As Bhatia places it, “My job as a gross sales rep is to validate my prospects’ fears and issues and problem them the place their considering is unfounded — to shoulder a part of the accountability of serving to a enterprise make the fitting buying choice.”

“I make my prospect really feel protected sufficient to finish a transaction in a well timed method when their pure urge is perhaps to kick the can down the street as a result of worry of constructing a unsuitable choice,” she continues.

3. AI cannot successfully convey worth.

Gross sales is, largely, the artwork of conveying worth — one thing AI hasn’t fairly pinned down but.

As Vajra places it, “Price issues, however worth issues extra. There is no scarcity of research suggesting that folks behave by shopping for what they need earlier than shopping for what they want.”

He provides, “In gross sales, profitable reps play on worth as a result of value is fastened, whereas worth is perceived. By the artwork of communication, negotiation, compassion, and understanding, worth could be demonstrated in a manner that our greatest algorithms are a long time away from fixing for.”

4. AI lacks empathy.

On the finish of the day, our reps’ ideas on why AI will not take gross sales jobs boiled all the way down to its lack of distinctly human traits — specifically, empathy.

As Inbound Development Specialist Kieran Quinn frames it, “Whereas a pc may need extra technical data than I ever might, empathy is essential in any gross sales course of. And so far as I do know, you may’t program empathy.”

Carl Ferreira, Senior Account Government, provides, “Bots won’t ever take the place of a superb salesperson. Belief is constructed by significant conversations and emotional connections which are required in any sale — all of which bots can not facilitate. Bots facilitate transactions.”

He continues, “The complexity of any gross sales does not come from a product. Complexity in any sale stems from the truth that people are complicated and people connections and relationships require navigation, empathy, creativity, and curiosity.”

Again to You

Finally, gross sales requires a contact of humanity that AI cannot provide. Individuals should be set comfortable earlier than making main buying selections. As of proper now, robots lack the traits essential to make that occur. In the meanwhile, gross sales reps should not fear about AI taking gross sales jobs.

The world portrayed in I, Robotic is much off. Till the day that film turns into actuality, I would not fear about dropping your gross sales job to AI. And even when a robotic rebellion takes place and all of humankind has to battle for survival, I am fairly certain individuals will nonetheless be higher at gross sales than robots.

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