The world of selling has changed with the incredible pace of innovation in online sales applications; however, the world around us has changed while we had our eyes focused on driving up operational efficiencies to counteract the impact of the recession.
I recently sat next to a surgeon on a plane ride to Boston. I was working on my iPad while he worked on his. During a break, I asked what brought him to Boston. He explained that he planned to attend a technology conference. He wanted to operate on patients with greater precision, greater speed, less pain, less blood loss, fewer infections, and faster recuperation time. When I asked him how technology changed his profession, he explained that he learned the traditional way of performing surgery with his hands and instruments. When he was introduced to robotic surgery, he was skeptical and resisted the training process. He described the struggle as an internal fight during which he had to learn to give up control to gain greater efficiency. He not only had to give up direct, manual control of the scalpel, he had to learn how to grip and manipulate a robotic arm that was inserted into the patient’s body. He felt that each movement was counterintuitive. What made the technology more compelling to him was the greater visibility inside the patient, which he could watch on the monitor. He stuck with the program and became a leader in the field of minimally invasive surgery.
Surgery 2.0: Minimally Invasive, Ultimate Flexibility, and Higher Precision
In the two-minute video below, surgeons demonstrate how they can pull the skin off a grape without losing a drop of juice.
Surgery 3.0: Telesurgery – the “Lindbergh Operation”
As we peek into the future, we notice the dawn of a new era: the amazing world of 3.0, in which the Internet leapfrogs space and time. In the example below, a surgeon sits in a NYC hospital; the patient lies in a hospital located in Strasbourg, France. Click on the video and watch the New York City-based surgeon perform gallbladder surgery on the patient who lives 6,000 miles east of New York in a time zone that’s six hours ahead.
Surgery 3.0 breaks down the limitations of space, eliminates travel, and delivers healing over the Internet. Similar breakthroughs appear in other fields. Here are a few more examples:
Video 3.0: Making Reality Disappear – in Real Time
Doctor Wolfgang Broll at the University of Ilmenau in Germany has created the world’s first “diminished reality” video system, which makes objects disappear from live video streams in real time. He offered a practical example: “Let’s say you want to replace a piece of furniture in your apartment. With the new technology, you can delete the existing furniture and see how the room looks rearranged. A city planner could eliminate an existing building and immediately replace it with a new one and study the impact on the skyline.”
Watch the 2 ½-minute video below to see how diminished reality works in real time.
Video 3.0 illustrates the notion that reality is what we make of it. For years we’ve augmented reality, enhanced images, and made them sharper and über-realistic. Now we’re waking up to the idea of subtracting images so we can better focus on what we really want to perceive.
Bionics 3.0: The Exoskeleton – Boosting Human Power and Endurance
UC Berkeley collaborated with Lockheed Martin on an exoskeleton – a mobile framework that augments the human capacity to carry heavy loads (up to 200 pounds) in a backpack attached to the exoskeleton – independent of the user’s power. Imagine running at 7 MPH with 200 pounds on your back. Impossible? Watch the 4-minute video below.
Not to be outdone, Raytheon created its own version of an exoskeleton, adding a huge amount of power to human arms.
Exoskeleton technology reveals the human capacity to accelerate evolution by combining art, design, science, and engineering into augmented human potential.
What Will Sales 3.0 Look Like?
In the Sales 1.0 era, salespeople owned the information that customers wanted. Presentations were product-centric, and salespeople persuaded clients by adding up the dollar value of each benefit associated with the product.
In the Sales 2.0 space, salespeople create a climate of trust and engage customers in solution-centric conversations.
Sales 3.0 will be shaped by three forces. First, mobile technology will deliver more relevant information to the salesperson in real time. As the windows of opportunity open and close faster, salespeople will have to recognize real opportunities faster and engage prospects with that relevant information.
Second, the boundaries between buying and selling will become blurred through social media. Satisfied buyers will become the marketing extension of the seller. Buyers will collaborate with sellers around ideas that the sellers will implement and sell to the buyer. Sales 3.0 will become an ecosystem where buyers and sellers sync their innovative capacities to actualize their “co-destinies.”
Third, sales technology will migrate from being sales-centric to being customer-centric. Imagine the impact on your sales if prospects were able to enter their data into your CRM tool and automatically create an opportunity whenever they have a need. Instead of advertisers attracting buyers, buyers would be instantly connecting to the best vendors, bypassing a Google search and connecting directly with the best and most competent salespeople. That would be the end of Google, and the company that created the technology would rule the world.
If you are interested in creating a better future for your sales and marketing organization, check out this amazing conference: Sales & Marketing 2.0. The theme: collaboration. The location: San Francisco, at the Four Seasons. Dates: November 8-9, 2010.