In my previous post “Automation of Sales Processes” I described how sales processes are currently being implemented and the technologies that allow the optimization of those making use, for example, of the “big data”, closing the gap in the seller-buyer relationship based on intelligent terms. If we talk about the sales process in the future we have to think that all these processes will already be implemented and any technology referred to presently will already be in used. This makes us think what will be the technologies in the future that could lead to a continuation in the progression of optimization of sales processes: emotional intelligence and robotic uniqueness in service towards the human being (different to the concept of “Technological Singularity”).
When I talk about emotional intelligence, the previous phases in robotic intelligence will already be implemented: artificial intelligence will be part of our lives and machines or robots will be able to interpret data that may originally seem disconnected, making sense for their application. What, then, is emotional intelligence? It will be the robotic intelligence applied establishing their decisions not solely on statistical data. They will know how to resolve paradigms taking into consideration sensations and repercussions that their decisions can cause in the human being. Robots will be able to establish a cause – effect based on non-statistical elements, based even on emotions such as joy, sadness or something generic in the social context or in human society as general welfare. They will also have the ability to take certain decisions that, although not the ones that generate “applause” among those “suffering” the final actions, robots will also take decisions for the “good” they will report. If we have a robot at home that applies its resources such as the knowledge it may have about our health / physical conditions and crosses that data with general statistical data and particular medical and physical biometrics, a point could be reach by which the robot will be defending ourselves against what could not be beneficial to our health, even from ourselves: we would be talking about robotic singularity as it behaves with us in a different way than would behave with other human beings in similar circumstances. The same initial rules would not apply to everyone as they are specific and particular to each one of us.
We could set the example in which all our appliances are already interconnected and, indeed, human beings do not have to make routine decisions as these are already taken by our cyber friends. Our refrigerator may have the intelligence to ask for all the food we have told to ask regularly if the levels, for example, of milk fall below a certain number of “bricks”. However, we can have this fridge connected to a top-level computer or robot to which we have introduced our latest clinical analyses. The robot could make the decision that the food we have decided to keep in stock is not healthy enough for us thus it will change or even cancel previously set orders. Also, we can plan and request to buy some airline tickets on our behalf. Going a step further, our “shopping manager” robot (who will have become our “personal shopper”) will not only look at the cheapest tickets but will also look statistically at which airlines are the safest, assessing the risk of taking a more expensive flight in exchange for offering us a more enjoyable holiday. Of course, our “personal shopper” will have calculated what we can afford based on the personal financial knowledge it has, not infringing unnecessary damage to our bank accounts.
It must be said that these behaviours reach a level that we can´t understand for now or manage as individual buyers. The machines that will make these purchases for us will use every mean at their disposal at the time of taking decisions: from comparative prices between sellers, possible offers, reputation of various establishments when selling the same product and their ranking in the opinions of others buyers. They can also do a comprehensive study on pages such as Facebook and twitter, research social trends or news that could alter our plans and for which we have not thought of at the beginning, such as verification of weather that could cause delays in our flights or socio- politic events if we intend to go on vacation to territories that are not stable or recommendable at that time… everything will count when looking after “our human beings”.
But this would not only apply from the side of the buyer as the same intelligence will apply to the side of the seller. That same emotional intelligence could be used in a company whose objective is to sell a product that, while not harmful, let’s say it is not healthy. A robot-seller will apply its “intelligence” in a supermarket in an interactive way, providing food and household products as described before. In this case robotization and sales processes would be altered to reach end users faster. Companies are not designed to be a charity and are organizations that respond to investors expecting a profit as a result of their investment. Needless to say, the seller-robots will have been selected for this purpose and, once this lesson is learnt (programmed) they will send the products that interest the company or send additional promotional products with the hope that, in a near future, these products will go from being a nice free marketing offer to an item that will become permanent in future purchases, as part of what would be the “recurrent shopping list”.
As you can see the future of sales and its processes will have a lot of “robotic humanization”, the circle in which the machines are used as a means to carry out the processes and have the final “decision” will be closed, being even deterrents, either in the purchase or sale. The human element will change: in the part of the purchase the humans will almost be forced to convince the robots to let them introduce some kind of “benevolent elements” that will let us “ruin” our health, such as an extra beer or a not so healthy steak. On the other hand, from the seller’s side, the manager of the shopping centre or business will have to give the corresponding talks to the sales team to both, humans and robots, as both will be of equal importance. The only difference will be the way of interacting with the sellers as language used may be either spoken or delivered through instructions interposed in a computer for its execution.
What is clear is that both, purchases and sales, and their processes will have a common element to the present: to bring the products and services in the most effective way to buyers who will demand speed and quality throughout the entire sales process.
You can read the original post in Spanish at El futuro de los procesos de ventas