Sixty percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent of activities that could be automated through current technologies, according to McKinsey’s 2017 report on the impact of automation on the workforce. While the report found that only 5 percent of jobs could be completely replaced by automation, it expresses concerns that low-skilled workers may experience wage pressure due to decreased demand for their services.
Highly-skilled workers, though – including sales representatives – are likely to benefit. According to the report, workers and their employers can reap many benefits, “including higher levels of output, better quality and fewer errors, and capabilities that surpass human ability.”
This is especially true in the industrial sales world, where long sales cycles and complex project and contact hierarchies make it difficult for reps to properly prioritize and manage their accounts. Automation technology like that provided by CRM platforms can help reps better prioritize their time, while also spending less time on things like report generation and quote follow-up. Without the help of automation, workers may take shortcuts or avoid some of these tasks altogether.
Automation will be a help, not a hurt, to existing sales roles, and CRM will play an important role in this productivity evolution. For more on the value of CRM in automating sales functions, read The Value of CRM, Part 1: Automation.