The pandemic hasn't just changed the way we work and the way we buy, it has changed our attitudes to things.

Before the pandemic, I would be happy to jump on a plane, fly to Europe to give a one hour presentation, to maybe win a piece of business.  Now I can sit at home and do 8 of those presentations during the day, over Teams and Zoom. 

The speed of business has accelerated and our expectations as to the output of business has increased.  It also has changed our skill set.  I used to be an expert in airport lounges, now I'm an expert in using Teams and Zoom. 

In this McKinsey article they say  "Accelerating trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation mean that more people will need to change jobs and learn new skills. Are leaders ready to guide the shift?"

"A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) indicates that up to 25 percent more workers than previously estimated may need to switch occupations."

Think about the skills that we didn't have 5 or ten years ago

5 years ago, jobs such as data scientist, drone flyer, Deliveroo driver, Uber driver, AirBnB host were just ideas or at least it was pretty cutting edge, not so much today. 

Change is the only constant today. 

How does McKinsey think the job market will transition? 

"The disruptions are coming from three broad sets of trends. First, COVID-19 accelerated a shift to remote work and virtual meetings. Even after the pandemic, most companies are planning to continue some form of work from home."  with "20 percent of business travel may be permanently replaced by virtual meetings".

"The second big group of trends relates to e-commerce and other digital transactions. All these activities surged in 2020, and many new users have found electronic channels both convenient and efficient and plan to continue using them."

This does mean your buyers shifted to digital and social during the pandemic and they are not going back.

How will the large-scale embrace of digitization during this crisis affect the workplace in the future?

"When we surveyed 800 business executives around the world last summer, two-thirds said they plan .... digitization of employee interactions, including remote work, but also a big uptick in the digitization of consumer channels and supply chains."

So what about jobs?

"As for declines, the biggest categories in terms of the sheer number of jobs are customer service and sales."

"People in those declining occupational categories—it’s more than 100 million in the eight countries we studied—will need to be retrained into some of the growing occupations. The challenge is not only the large numbers but the jumps they will need to make are much higher than in the past."

"Many large employers are creating those upward career paths—for example, taking the best low-wage employees and putting them through management or digital training."

How will sales be impacted and what does sales look like in 2025?

If you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and that is a big thing.

This article states...

"Merrill on Monday rolled out a revamped adviser-training program that prohibits participants from cold calling and directs would-be brokers to use internal referrals or LinkedIn messages to land clients instead. The decision comes after the program’s 3,000 trainees were told to stop outbound recruiting efforts to find new customers last year after problematic phone calls."


"The revamped program is intended to bring the firm’s prospecting techniques into the digital era and boost completion rates."

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

This isn't me saying that social selling has a better response rate, which our research shows, this is Merrill Lynch saying it.  Merrill Lynch the multinational sales organization. 

Mic drop! 

Looking at this other McKinsey article, those companies that sell digitally are out performers, see article here.  You can see how the market has flipped.  While cold calling skills where the skill of the past, cold calling as a skill has joined skills such as how to use a fax machine, how to use a Sony Walkman or reading a paper map

This McKinsey article states

To summarise the table and write it in plain English

Outperforming companies are digital selling.

Time to join the dots...

The workplace skills are changing, what was an excellent skills set 5 years ago, might not get you to 2025.

With Bank of America Merrill Lynch and McKinsey both saying that digital selling is the way to go, how long will you go keep ignoring this?

To have cold calling as a skill on your CV is like saying you are a great letter writer, it's nice, but it won't get you your next job.

So what as a salesperson do you need to do?

  You need to raise this at your next sales meeting or one-to-one with your sales leadership, it's time they gave you the right skills or you, your company and your earning potential is going to fall behind.

So what as a sales leader what do you need to do? 

You need to raise training your team on social selling a priority.  Now social selling isn't Linkedin training, it isn't about getting somebody in with "hints and tips" this is about getting experts in that can teach your team a methodology.  Think about the leadership you will be showing and the legacy you will leave behind. 

Don't worry if you don't understand this, the team from DLA Ignite can explain everything, guide you and educate you, both at a team level and one-to-one. 

Cold calling is like writing a check (cheque) it's no longer a skill you need, let's get reskilled sooner than later. 

If this article has been useful and you think it would be helpful to your network or individuals then please share it.  Please also tag in the individuals.  

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