Emerging technologies such as robotics, the Internet of Things and service atomization seem likely to revolutionize banking sales and the salesforce yet again.

In earlier posts in this series, I looked at how the banking salesforce needs to evolve to keep pace with digital innovation. I’ll conclude by looking ahead to the next wave of technologies that will bring even more disruption to the banking salesforce.

The platform has already started to burn, but the flames are bound to grow higher and hotter within the next two to three years. There are three trends that banks should take note of as they transform their salesforces and sales operations:

Using robots to co-sell

Intelligent automation (IA) allows companies to achieve much more productive relationships between people and machines. Robots interact with bank customers and draw on the bank’s database and the web to analyze information about products, services, customers and competitors. This enables them to provide personalized customer interactions and advice.

In the process, it allows employees to shift their focus toward more social and judgment-driven tasks. The real value is not the efficiency of IA, but the fact that it enables people to do things differently and to do different things. Incorporating automation and artificial intelligence technology into the sales process will have a profound effect on how their salesforces work.

Instant selling with the Internet of Things

Pioneers are introducing the IoT in their retail business. Its impact is starting to be felt in automatic payments, instant loans and insurance services. It is taking banks closer and closer to the customer, and enabling them to profile their needs without human intervention. By 2020, it is forecast that the IoT will comprise 13.5 billion connected objects. The impact will be universal; for banking, not least of all, it could be tremendous.

Integrated selling with atomized services

Although many banks are developing their first apps, the market for these programs seems to be already maturing. The digital world is already looking for the app’s successor, and a favored candidate is the atomization and integration of services. Atomization refers to the breaking down of services into multiple “micro-events”.

Atomized brands take a less rigid approach to their products and services, allowing them to be super-distributed across various platforms and third-party services, while still retaining their brand identity. Services are becoming more intelligent and integrated as they are atomized. Apps atomization and integration has the potential to transform the selling of banking products in a multitude of ways that are difficult to predict with confidence today.

Letting go of the status quo

While the future of banking sales, and the roles and attributes of the banking salesforce of tomorrow may be uncertain, it will be very different from today. Clinging to traditional models is likely to be the least successful strategy for banks. Smart use of digital technology to empower the banking salesforce will be traditional banks’ most effective bulwark against the encroachment of the new breed of online competitors.

Here’s some more insight to consider: The banking salesforce: Now what?

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