Full-stack Sales Manager

Full-stack Sales Manager

In our last week's webinar, we discussed ways to streamline sales processes and cut waste in sales. While listening to the discussions of sales automation, I suddenly got a flashback and association to my old days in SW dev teams. I got the feeling that we are facing the same reality now in the sales era - the need for a more and more versatile set of skills. 

In the webinar, I launched a term and called this "Full-stack Sales Manager".

Full Stack in SW development

I still remember the days many years back when we started to talk more and more about automated regression testing, continuous integration, DevOps pipes etc. Good developers were the right amount of lazy and wanted to automate everything that is possible. Some years later good developers had to start to master the overall architecture, front/back ends, APIs, cloud infrastructures etc. - Full Stack developers were born.

The reality in sales at the moment

I feel that we are facing the same situation in sales at the moment. Good salespeople and teams need to be the right amount of lazy and want to automate all the possible elements in their working process. Today we have tons of tools that make this possible. But it is not at all easy. Salespeople might not always be very tech-savvy. And because of the payback time, we tend to continue doing things manually while being so busy all the time. 

When looking at my own days in sales and sales leadership roles today, I can make interesting observations. While running the sales processes and dialogues with the clients I am also

  • Drawing process architectures and configuring CRM
  • Writing Visual Basic macros and playing with pivot tables for generating the needed reports
  • Developing if/else logic and sequences for marketing automation
  • Creating templates and integrations for having proposal drafts automatically ready for salespeople
  • Evaluating different tools for lead generation, process automation etc.
  • Using Social Selling and channels as an integral part of sales

It is not anymore enough by just being the "Sales Eagle" that masters the client dialogue on a magical day. We are facing a need for a totally different skill set now.

Future

Do we need sales people in the future or do the machines and automation take over? What kind of role will AI play in the future? How am I going to survive and keep my role in this puzzle? We might start to wonder these questions while seeing the exponential development in tech, AI and automation.

The role of automation and e-commerce will increase, but I believe the role of sales person will stay. Also in the future it will be people that buy and people that sell. The role of the brain's limbic system and emotions is crucial in decisions and we need people to take care of that. However, the role of sales people will be very different in the future. I believe the future salespeople need to master the tech stack and let the automation do all the non creative and repetitive activities.

Full Stack Sales Manager with strong sales EQ - is the future 

Mikko Virtanen, CRO
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