Miller Heiman Group Publishes Interview From CEO Byron Matthews, Discussing the Role of Technology in Sales

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Sales reps are spending two-thirds of their time away from core selling activities, according to research from CSO Insights. Byron Matthews, CEO of Miller Heiman Group, explains how technology can eliminate some of the tedium.

Byron Matthews

Byron Matthews

"Technology is going to be a disruptive force in selling," Matthews says.

Miller Heiman Group, the global leader in sales and service skills and methodology, has published an interview from the company's CEO, Byron Matthews, discussing the ways in which technology is set to fundamentally change the role of sales reps over the course of the next five to ten years.

More specifically, the article, which was originally published in the print version of The International Journal of Sales Transformation, talks about how technology will be able to take over some of what Matthews refers to as the 'tedium' that surrounds selling, improving overall sales effectiveness by leaving reps to do their main job - selling.

Byron Matthews is the President and CEO of Miller Heiman Group and previously served as a chief sales officer with the company. He has an in-depth knowledge of the science behind sales and has also worked as a guest lecturer at some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard Business School and Cornell University.

Stamping Out Tedium

One of the key points highlighted by Matthews is the fact that, according to research from CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, salespeople today are only spending around one-third of their time on core selling activities, including closing deals, sales consulting and sales prospecting.

Instead, the majority of their time is being occupied by things like meetings, training exercises, administrative work, post-sales account activities and travelling. It is here that Matthews believes sales organisations will see the benefit of technology most clearly throughout the next decade.

"Technology is going to be a disruptive force in selling," Matthews says. "I think sales is going to go through the largest amount of change than any other function in a corporation over the next five to ten years. What is going to be left for a rep is the vast majority of their time is going to be [spent] on the ingenuity of their job."

Artificial Intelligence

A key technological trend Matthews highlights in his blog post is the rise of artificial intelligence and the numerous ways it will be able to assist sales organisations in eliminating some of the tedium that surrounds sales, with automation helping to save time and improve sales effectiveness simultaneously.

For instance, AI could soon play a greater role in the sales coaching process. By linking AI, CRM and blue sheets, the AI could identify specific sales behavioural patterns. When a sales rep, or sales consulting expert goes through a period of failing to achieve their goals, the AI could then pinpoint which behaviours were present and which were not.

"It starts teaching the person as they're using the methodology... as they're actually selling," says Matthews. "It finds behavioural patterns and suggest things that they should do as action items in deals."

Matthews also points out the possibilities when AI is deployed to assist with meetings, increasing transparency, delivering unbiased reports of how meetings transpired and even assisting those delivering presentations.

You can read Byron Matthews' blog post in full by clicking here. The post has been re-published with express permission from the International Journal of Sales Transformation.

About Miller Heiman Group
Miller Heiman Group is a top professional services provider, which continually transforms workforce training into a revenue-driving business initiative powered by innovation and technology. The world's leading brands place their trust in Miller Heiman Group and benefit from a comprehensive set of sales- and customer-service-based solutions that remain unmatched in the industry. With 63 offices around the world, Miller Heiman Group has the know-how to help any organisation improve in both sales and services. To learn more, visit our website. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+.

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Monika Götzmann Director Marketing EMEA
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