Artificial intelligence and new learning methods are transforming how companies train sales staff and maximise results, according to Richard Hilton, managing director EMEA at Miller Heiman
How important is technological innovation to your company?
It’s vital because the next generation of learners use technology in school and they are accustomed to using it on a daily basis.
How is artificial intelligence changing sales?
Theoretically, what AI will do for learning and development companies is allow us to have “augmented intelligence” instead of artificial intelligence. What this means for sales professionals is all tedious tasks they do, such as entering information into a customer system, arranging meetings and so on, is essentially going to be replaced by technology. This will allow sellers to spend more time on tasks that are closer to the customer
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) insurance first came to prominence in the private equity industry in the 1990s as dealmakers looked for ways to manage deal risk and improve execution. In the last five years, there has been a significant uptick as corporates, private equity and other financial investors increasingly adopt M&A insurance to secure investments and enhance returns.
Understanding how insurance can mitigate M&A risk effectively is paramount for both sides in a transaction. Savvy dealmakers are looking to professional services companies such as Aon to help clients manage risk.
A banking revolution is coming in January. “Open banking” will allow customers to share their financial data between banks, allowing the creation of new types of smart banking services. Big banks initially thought they would lose customers to start-ups better able to adapt to the new age - but increasingly they see it as a unique digital opportunity.
HSBC is positioning itself at the forefront of the change. In October, it announced a move into open banking with HSBC Beta, a trial that will allow 10,000 UK customers to see accounts from different banks on a single screen, before a broader rollout.
During the first nine months of this year, when Brexit negotiations began, there was a comfortable 7 per cent growth in foreign companies buying in the UK. Purchases hit a total value of $84.5 billion, according to figures from Thomson Reuters, one of the highest year-to-date totals in a decade.
Such growth was unexpected and the dire business commentary is being replaced by cautious optimism. To some extent, uncertainty is becoming the norm.
Transradial catheterisation to access and treat blocked arteries, via the radial artery in the wrist, offers significant benefits over traditional methods.
By accessing a patient’s coronary system this way, there is reduced pain level, much lower risk, and typically much less bleeding and related mortality. The forearm artery does not transport a particularly large volume of blood and it is located conveniently near to the surface.
The advantages of this method over transfemoral approaches via the groin have become clearer to clinicians and patients.
The dire handling of materials, chemicals, water, emissions and waste poses a serious problem for the fashion industry. Each year the sector uses enough water to fill nearly 32 million Olympic swimming pools and emits carbon dioxide levels equivalent to 230 million cars, according to the Pulse of Fashion report. Meanwhile, consumers annually dump 92 million tonnes of clothing that could have been recycled.
“Projections show that in the worst case, the fashion industry will face distinct restrictions on one or more of its key input factors, leaving it unable to grow at the projected rate, and in the long run unable to continue its current operating model,” warns Eva Kruse, chief executive of non-profit Global Fashion Agenda.
This year is a critical time for sales managers and their teams, and several key factors are combining to make it so. New use of data, personalisation and scientific skillsets are playing an increasingly important role; in a few years’ time selling may even be more about science than art.
In the near future, there will be significant change, starting with sales reps being automatically monitored and having their activities analysed.
Sales targets are an essential component of any business strategy. When leaders set unrealistic goals, however, they open their business to massive risk.
The dangers of overly aggressive sales leadership and the resulting hungriness of staff to satisfy management are highly evident. A fifth of employees and a third of senior executives now claim they can justify offering cash payments in return for business, according to the latest Europe, Middle East, India and Africa fraud report from professional services firm EY. A fifth of managers would be willing to book revenues early to meet targets.
Businesses have long generated data with nearly every operation, but until recently employee behaviour was not automatically tracked.
The opportunity to improve productivity has changed practice. Using monitoring technology, companies are discovering which parts of the office work well, what times staff are active and where people congregate.
Emerging liability risks are a constant threat to all industries selling products or services and to the insurers protecting them.
Big businesses and industries worldwide dread another “asbestos situation”. The dreadful lung problems caused by asbestos resulted in massive commercial damages in the form of lawsuits totaling more than $200 billion. From a business perspective, risk in new operations and products is enormous, and big companies are constantly watching for the next asbestos scandal among their risks.
A selection of my writing.