A.I. Salesbots Driving Sales Extinction?

This post is a reprint of an article I recently wrote for Sales Mastery Magazine and thanks Mary Poul for allowing me to reproduce here!

Advances in social media platforms and the ubiquity of mobile devices are creating disembodied engagement like never before. You only have to observe the digitally distracted herds of people wandering down the street like Brown's cows, gazing into their devices, meandering across the paths of others, clicking away in their narcissistic pursuits to see that society has changed.

Harold Diculous, Adjunct Professor of Social Anthropology and Special Assistant to Australia’s Science Minister, recently quoted a USL report highlighting that the brainwaves of pedestrians engaging in social media platforms on their smartphones are remarkably similar to sleep-walkers with both being open to suggestive behavioral stimulation. “PDSP [Physically Disengaged by Social Platform] consumers are highly susceptible to sales messages delivered in social”, said professor Diculous, “and that’s what’s driving the acceleration of advertising in Facebook and now linkedIn... which is very concerning.” Messages from social platforms bypass all filters nature has designed into human reasoning functions, implanting directly to the belief system.

While governments are considering how to legislate against the unintended consequences of social engagement platforms, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are harnessing the hypnotic power of social for commercial advantage to rid their companies of unnecessary sales overhead. the rise of ‘Dark Social’ combined with the rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be signaling the decline of the sales profession. Dark Social is the unintended consequence of interconnected social platform metadata and APIs.

In a world where most products, services and solutions are increasingly seen as commodities, differentiation has been desperately pursued by business through the ability of sales people to create relationships of trust. But even trust has become a commodity with the recent advances in Siri, Cortana and Google Now which leverage back- end AI algorithms fed by social proximity beacons, wearable devices, the Internet of things, metadata harvesting and predictive big data analytics.

According to Professor Diculous, “By linking all social platforms together through APIs and metadata tags, dark social can power AI cyber- selling.” When asked what it will mean for the selling profession, Diculous responded, “All the elements are now in place and I predict 65% of inside sales roles with be replaced by AI Cyber Sellers (AICS) by 2018. Many sales people will have to turn to burger-flipping to make a living.”

Field sellers are next in the line-of-fire. Just last month a humanoid robot named Ham drew breathtaking reactions at the Asia World Expo in Hong Kong with its lively eyebrows, wrinkled cheeks, and eyes that could follow a person around the room. Amazingly, Ham speaks in tweets that create a hypnotic trance with anyone within a three-meter radius. the robot can be programmed to leverage Dark Social influence to program listeners to buy.

Ham is designed to be an exceptional closer in sales applications and according to a discredited unnamed source, “More than half of the Fortune 500 are set to place orders this year, meaning Hanson Robotics could outsell the iWatch.”

The second generation robot will become a complete AI salesbot, traveling to customers using a Google Car to deliver Challenger insights. the bot will effectively build rapport during presentations where the audience is handicapped by PDSP (Physically Disengaged by Social Platforms), which is spreading at epidemic proportions. Customers are wide open to the salesbot’s dulcet tones that auto-suggest volume purchase orders and high Net Promoter Scores.

The article above is satire and here is the original article on the Sales Mastery website. The thing you may not know is that Ham is real! Have a look at him interacting with visitors at the Hong Kong show in early 2015.

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Bonus content! Here is one in a series of interviews that I conducted with Professor Diculous. To see more, search his name in YouTube or click here.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.

Main image photo by Flickr: 'Aye, Ham!': Presentan un insólito humanoide que sabe dialogar