As the 3rd Quarter of 2013 comes to a close I’ve been thinking a lot about the coming months as well as the changes that have taken place in my life in the past year alone.
Besides the obvious (new job, new blog, moving, baby on the way,etc), I began thinking about how much technology has changed the way I do business.
When I accepted my current role it was with the understanding that I would be a remote employee, not having to show up to an office everyday, not expected to “check in”. I was on my own and was responsible for using the technology available to me to be successful.
iPhone…laptop…WebEx…wireless hotspots…all tools that were not around 10+ years ago (maybe the laptop was).
Although I imagine that sales reps were very successful as remote employees before this tech was around, it’s hard for me to understand how because I’ve never experienced anything different. And it makes me wonder what tech will be around when my children are my age.
So today I’d like to throw some random thoughts out that I’ve had about the future of technology in sales.
This is really just my wild imagination at work coupled with current tech that is out there or in the pipeline.
The basis for this posts comes from my desire for a pair of Google Glasses. And although my ideas may not apply to all facets of sales, they still would be very useful when used well.
Wearable technology is going to be the next major move (I believe) when it comes to sales. Heck, it’s probably the major move for technology in general.
I know my family has already jumped o the bandwagon. I have a Nike Fuelband (affiliate link) and my wife has a FitBit Pedometer (affiliate link). These specifically are for sports activity but there is tech in the pipeline for normal day activity (Google Glasses, Apple iWatch, etc) as well as for the healthcare industry (flexible heart monitor, printable sensors, etc).
So why not take these a step further for the sales industry?
The first bridge in my mind would be the Google Glasses. Imagine if Victoria Secret’s added this to their repertoire. It’s not a big jump from all of their employees currently having the radio headsets.
What if the floor sales representatives had glasses that had facial recognition softare? Every time a returning customer walked in the display immediately showed their statistics?
- Last time they bought in-store
- Last time they bought online
- Last items they bought
- Their sizes
- Their color preferences
- Available balance on their store credit card
And taking it a step further, what if an algorithm was created that matched previous purchases with current new items or specials? This doesn’t sound like a hard thing to do. I’m pretty sure their email marketing campaigns already do this.
I get an email from Victoria Secrets twice a week (my wife is a big fan and used to work there…no complaints here) and I’m pretty sure they are often customized to my previous shopping habits.
A step above Google Glasses would be smart contacts that display the same information but without the indiscreet head display.
You might be thinking this kind of tech is an invasion of privacy but I don’t think so. This information is already avaialble to retail establishments like Victoria Secrets. It’s already information they have collected through their rewards program and credit card services.
The only difference is that they can access the information in a different way than the check out desk.
So I am proud (and nerdy) to admit that I got the new iPhone 5S the day it was released. My iPhone 4 was ready to die and I was long overdue for an upgrade.
Anyways imagine if there was an app (and PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong and there is already such a thing) that used your geo-location to tag prospects and add them to your CRM.
Foot prospecting is a great way to find new clients and I often log companies I see while driving to client meetings. I know I can go on Google Maps and find a lot of information on most companies. So why not have an app that has a “Add to CRM” option and all the information is automatically entered into your CRM.
- Phone number
- Email addresses scrapped from their website
- Similar companies in the area
The Way Out There Stuff
Ok now it’s time to think about the stuff that is way out there. As far as I know the stuff that isn’t in the pipeline, that isn’t being studied…that belongs in a Star Trek movie.
Imagine a connection to the glasses or contacts that was a neural interface. Maybe a small sticky dot that goes behind the ear. Or judging by the above tech that is already out there, a tattoo.
This interface would allow you to talk and hear whomever you’re connected with through the optical device. In my mind this is not as far fetched as it may seem. After all “hearing” is simply sound waves that enter the ear and are translated into electrical signals that our brain interprets into what we “hear”.
If that sticky dot or tattoo could emit electrical signals then why couldn’t you talk to someone through it?
Instead of sound-bites and text-bites…you’d have mind-bites…think twitter with your thoughts.
You heard it here first folks.
What do you think? Possibilities or am I just crazy for thinking these outlandish ideas? Let me know where you think the tech of sales will go.
~ Johnny Bravo
Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net