Developing Human Capital Delivers A Competitive Edge To Your Team

BY C. Lee Smith
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One of the most valuable assets of any company is its human capital. This is defined as “the skills, knowledge and qualifications of a… workforce.” In a rapidly transitioning economy, you should be consistently developing human capital. 

Developing Human Capital Delivers A Competitive Edge To Your Team

The booming AI field will transform work in a number of professions. Specifically, large language models will automate much of the work performed by highly trained professionals. This automation will impact future demand for accountants and radiologists, for example.

However, workers with hands-​on positions such as professional carpenters do not yet need to worry about disintermediation of their work.

The Jobs of Tomorrow report, produced by the World Economic Forum, measured the looming impact of AI on work. The study reviewed work by professionals across a wide range of careers and highlighted the importance of developing human capital. In general, analysts considered whether jobs required “intensive use of language,” “non-​routine tasks,” and “human-​to-​human interaction.”

AI and the Sales Profession

AI is already impacting jobs in the sales profession. Tasks that involve intensive use of language and routine sequences continue to be automated.

In the past, your reps may have spent significant time on sales research. Not long ago, they may have been reading traditional newspapers and reports to learn the details of prospects’ operations. Now, that information can be pushed to them through apps such as SalesCred.

Your reps also know that, especially in the B2B sector, buyers prefer fewer face-​to-​face interactions with sellers.

As their work tasks change, your reps may fear for their livelihoods. They will expect the company to be developing human capital to prepare them for the future.

The WEC report indicates that automation will replace roughly 33% of the typical sales professional’s work. And another 30%-40% of the work effort will be augmented by AI.

A customer service rep in the professional services industry will see 35% of their work taken over by automation. Another 40% of the work in those positions will be augmented.

Clients are already encountering these changes. With automation, organizations quickly route incoming requests to specific content designed to help customers. Only the most unusual or unique situations require interaction with a human.

And in those situations, the customer service agent relies on data to solve problems. This example of augmentation reveals how organizations will use fewer employees in traditional roles.

How to Train Sales Professionals for the New Normal

To retain your valuable employees, you should focus on developing human capital. For best results, link your professional development investments to the strengths outlined in your employees’ psychometric assessments. If one of your employees shows promise as a negotiator, offer them training to improve this sales skill.

Similarly, understanding a prospect’s problem and developing a creative solution using your company’s tools won’t easily be replaced by AI. Employees who naturally possess creativity will do well in the AI-​powered sales world.

Max Greenwald, CEO at Warmly, reports his take on the situation. The candidate who lands a tech sales job will be known as "a ChatGPT warrior and a revenue operations wizard.”

In other words, the top sales star of the future will aptly use technology to maximize their efficiency. They’ll send out perfectly phrased email messages, thanks to AI. They’ll use their CRM tools to track activity.

At the same time, they’ll possess the kind of soft skills that never go out of style. Being empathetic and an effective decision-​maker will help them close more deals.

Going forward, your reps will no longer spend as much time on the phone or visiting prospect sites. To close deals, they’ll need to optimize the time they have with prospects by demonstrating impeccable soft skills.

Developing human capital on your sales team means personalizing training for each employee. The effort will yield outstanding ROI and lead to higher revenue.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.