Performance Management

How Robots Won’t Take Your Job, but Help You Boost Sales Performance


You may have seen a shocking headline over the past few years stating that your job may be given to a robot. Before you panic, take some time to understand how technological advances will push you to work differently, without making the human focus you apply to your work obsolete. According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), less than 5% of jobs can be fully automated using “currently demonstrated technology” and that one-third of jobs created over the past 25 years in the United States are jobs that did not and barely existed before, making it unlikely that technology can soon takeover those roles. As automation takes on particular areas, the jobs we currently hold will evolve and provide more opportunity for growth. In other words, robots vis-a-vis technology will keep us from stagnating in our work. We can see this take shape through developments in sales gamification, corporate communication, and evaluation technologies.  

Robots Will Improve Sales, Not Steal Them

Any salesperson will agree that automated technology makes aspects of closing a deal much easier. The streamlining of onboarding and ordering for clients allows a salesperson to focus on more important things like:  

  • Selling new products in a meaningful way
  • Creating an individualized approach for customer happiness
  • Evaluating the efficacy of sales techniques

When we eliminate time wasted in long progress report meetings, and instead opt for real-time sales reporting and ranking, both sales teams and managers can refocus their energy. Whereas in the past, salespeople would have greater lengths of (potentially misused) time to put together their progress. Compiling daily reports on employee stats to show sales performance can get tedious. In these instances, measuring success through technology tells us how to best use and grow our greatest assets—our people—rather than eliminating them.  

Technology Motivates in New Ways

Perhaps you’re a manager whose sales team is feeling less than sparkly lately. Maybe it’s winter doldrums or general lack of inspiration. Your old methods of employee recognition, such as Employee of the Month programs, are stagnant. This is where robots-as-coaches come in to get your team energized and boost sales performance. Leaderboards placed strategically around the sales floor and updated in real time on phones and big TVs engage employees. A little friendly competition through stack ranked leaderboards or a head-to-head challenge can spark loads of motivation and fun. Coming in second (or last) on the sales leaderboard is not a title a salesperson wants to carry around each day. Sales rankings serve as a low-input motivation tool to get your team excited about their work again.  


Let’s Communicate Digitally & Connect IRL

Advances in communication technology have made using the phone or email a time consuming annoyance. Oftentimes, sales performance deteriorates due to lack of engagement and motivation. With increased communication through tools like Slack, we can communicate faster without the fluff of emails. Slack’s instant messaging and file sharing platform lets teams brainstorm and make decisions faster and easier. It’s also a fast tool to send out industry updates that keep your entire team, especially remote workers, on top of important trends and changes. The ease with which digital communication allows us to share ideas creates more space to develop more meaningful connections offline with clients and colleagues. There’s no longer a need to spend tedious hours on conference calls when the same work can be done online, without distractions and detractions. Calls and face-to-face meetings will no longer focus on tedious details and information, but instead the feelings and opinions technology cannot elicit from standardized forms. We’ll become better at noticing the psychology of someone’s actions and needs when we no longer need to spend time on formalities first. Certainly, technology and robots can impact jobs in an unseemly way. But, when used correctly, it can also motivate and educate humans in a way that makes them indispensable to a company and its goals.