There is currently a fascinating book on the bestseller list entitled MegaThtreats: 10 Dangerous Trends that Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them by Nouriel Roubini. This book lays out 10 trends that seriously threaten our survival. This book got me thinking: are there mega-threats for our industry coming our way? Thus begins a new series of articles on mega-threats to our particular area of endeavor.
Mega-Threats in General
The media is chock full of the current general mega-threats to our world. Threats such as deglobalization, an economic trend that could stimulate reduced cooperation among countries and increased risk of international conflict. Or aging—life expectancy is lengthening, and healthcare costs will soar as hospitals have to support people living 100 years or longer.
The global climate crisis is another threat, as is war on an international scale. Yet another is the threatened collapse of the dollar and the world economy relying on another currency, such as the ruble. Yet another is the rising suicide rate of children between 10 and 12.
But Not to Me!
No one can help realizing these are all terrible threats. Many, however, also say, “But thankfully, there are no threats to my industry!”
The claim is actually a ridiculous one. These people believe they can build a lovely, isolated little island where they can coat themselves with sunscreen, eat bananas and coconuts, and dance to beautiful music far into the night. They need not care about the rest of the world because their industry is doing just fine.
As English poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island.” Everyone will be affected one way or the other.
Changes are literally bombarding the world, and businesses are affected like everything else. An obvious example is that, 125 years ago, many people dealt in horses. Those people had to eventually move into selling motor vehicles or risk being left behind. Every business faces such transitions, and no one can predict what will come tomorrow.
Our Industry Specifically
Our particular industry, which could be seen as marketing and sales, will be the focus of this series of articles.
Overall, I must exclude marketingMarketingMarketing is the field, set of actions, or practice of making a product or service desirable to a target consumer segment, with the ultimate aim of effecting a purchase. as I am no expert in that area. The only change I can predict for marketing is the degree to which AI will have an impact, especially in creating contentContentContent refers to a material or document released in various forms (such as text, image, audio, and video) and created to inform, engage or influence specific audiences.. A person can speak directly to an AI app, it will then write for you, and you can correct and optimize what is written. At Pipeliner, we’re currently using AI for both written content creation and video, including “spokespeople” and music for videos.
But aside from those factors, I cannot speak to marketing. I will, therefore, be addressing the potential mega-threats to sales.
An example of a potential sales threat is that of retiring baby boomers and the next generation replacing them in sales. The problem is that many young people don’t like and even despise sales. Or they feel that sales isn’t “intellectual enough” or “cool enough.”
The new generation are not really fighters—they consider themselves “entitled.” Salespeople must fight for deals and need to learn how to do that.
As we move forward in this series, we’ll examine these and other sales mega-threats. Stay with me!