Updated: Jul 3, 2022
Netscape, COVID and more...
Over Christmas and New Year, I was in the mountains, in the Swiss Alps. In the Valais, respectively in the huge ski resort "Les Portes du Soleil" located vacation resort Champéry. The idyllic village with a lot of charm is located at 1050 meters above sea level at the foot of the Dents-du-Midis, a 3-kilometer-long mountain range at 3'300 meters above sea level and is one of the oldest tourist resorts in Switzerland. Already in 1857, the first hotel opened here.
But stop. I don't want to advertise Champéry here. Otherwise, you will all get a taste for it and next time the search for suitable accommodation will be even more difficult for me.
Let's make it short: The weather was not always good and instead of skiing I read a book. The bestseller was by tech guru Brian McCullough and is titled: “How the Internet Happened - From Netscape to the iPhone”. In “How the Internet Happened”, McCullough details the fascinating story of the Internet era from 1993 to 2008, when computers and technology stopped being toys and started becoming vital and indispensable.
Today, in 2022, the web browser company Netscape Communications no longer exists (it had to make way for Microsoft), but many innovations and disparate technologies from back then continued to evolve and converge with each other, and now work seamlessly together to form the underlying infrastructure needed to carry digital content and enable digital life.
The Internet has now had a significant impact on our economic growth and has permanently changed the way we people communicate and do business around the world. The Internet has not only become indispensable, but it has also become the sine qua non for existence. Both economically and privately. And all this within a single generation. Unbelievable.
So, I'm reading Brian McCullough's book, remembering Netscape, and thinking about my recent video call offering a speaking engagement. And then it happened: I realized that the Internet has also changed my everyday sales life and my job as a salesperson. In fact, it changed it permanently. Virtually overnight, I became a Digital Seller.
Of course, the COVID pandemic over the last 2 years has also played its part and confronted us with new digital experiences. Buyers today, for example, are happy about better response times and sellers about the fact that they can save travel time or, in some cases, avoid it completely. So, the benefits of this new digital sales environment are obvious, and various studies show that many salespeople will not want to return to their traditional office jobs or travel full-time again in the future.
I realized that the world of B2B buying has changed dramatically and the pace of change will accelerate in the future as well. That's because artificial intelligence (AI) is now coming into the picture. Among other things, it is being used to simulate human behavior and transfer it to computers. This is how chatbots have come about. These are special software tools that use machine learning to simulate human speech as accurately as possible. In many companies, they are already taking over the task of answering simple queries to support or customer service. By the way, I am invested in an AI startup in Vietnam called EM&AI. The company provides an enterprise platform to build your conversational AI bots with active learning capability. Impressive what they are doing.
What are you thinking?
How has the Covid 19 crisis affected your B2B organizations and sales world?
What do you think about it and what are your "lessons learned"? How do you personally see the future of B2B sales?
I look forward to hearing and reading your feedback and opinions.