|Robots Invade Sales Enablement in 2018|
How important is it then for companies to support "conversational commerce" today and in the near future? In a recent survey of 5,000 consumers conducted by Capgemini*, 24% of surveyed consumers prefer VEDAs over shopping on a mobile apps or website today, and this number jumps to 40% when asked about their anticipated preferences three years from now. This giant leap in popularity from 0% just 4 years ago to 40% preferring VEDAs by 2020 suggests that consumers realize a high value in them.
When asked about their preferences for using VEDAs, or visiting a physical retail shop or bank branch, 20% said they prefer VEDAs today, while this number jumps to 31% by 2020. Nearly a third will prefer to interact with robots instead of humans within 3 years (35 months from now). That is a massive change in a very short period of time, and this should raise the alarm for all C-level folks, especially those involved in sales enablement. The robots are on the march.
There are many questions the C-suite should be asking themselves today.
- What sales enablement processes and tools must change to support VEDAs?
- Does the value of VEDAs stop at sales enablement, or is it equally as valuable for customer service and other areas of customer and partner interactions?
- What IT systems must change to support it?
- How do I integrate VEDAs across all my channels?
- How do I take advantage of the value found in conversational commerce solutions internally? Do my employees also prefer VEDAs instead of a plethora of mobile apps and web portals?
- How can I implement VEDA supported commerce? (Google recently announced that over 40 major retailers are partnering with them to support voice enabled shopping.)
- What data management and data privacy processes and policies must change (in addition to the impact of GDPR in May of 2018).
- How do I integrate a combination of both humans and robots into a complex customer journey to optimize our customers' experiences?
Companies can often get away with being laggards - slow to upgrade and digitally transform back-office systems, but companies cannot afford to be laggards in customer facing sales and marketing interactions. Consumers' expectations and behaviors are changing at an accelerating rate, and increasingly driven by changing digital technologies. Digital transformation within the sales enablement process cannot be ignored or delayed.
Now let's return to Capgemini's study*, more than two-thirds of VEDA users want them to be personalized, and to demonstrate an understanding of context, such as providing relevant recommendations, while understanding different languages and accents. In fact, 60% of VEDA users said they want them to anticipate their needs!!! All of this requires a great deal of personal data, but that seems OK with VEDA users.
For those of you following me, I have recently joined Regalix.com as Senior Vice President of Solutions Strategy. Regalix is focused on helping the world's largest companies bring together the best digital strategies, technologies, processes and people to deliver exceptional customer experiences, journeys and successes through the combination of best in class thinking, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, automation, process management and services.
Now instead of just pontificating and writing about digital transformation and strategies, I must now deliver. Sounds like a fun challenge! If your company is in need of help in any of these areas just raise your hand!
*Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute, Conversational Commerce Survey, October-November 2017. N=5,041 consumers in the US, UK, France and Germany.
Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Website Regalix Inc.
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.