ISM4point0 affiliate SMA is the Belgian sales management association. They offer their members a series of forward-looking networking events with keynote speakers, such as Jan Lagast (Forte).
Today, he gave a speech on how and why Industry 4.0 is going to disrupt the job of a sales manager in B2B companies. “The sales manager in a B2B company used to focus on guiding a team of direct reports towards results, and on reporting back evident results to upper management.” In the future, B2B sales managers will be confronted with sales people in departments like R&D. They will have to integrate sales with marketing – even stronger, they will have to take the lead in B2B branding, network activation, platform integration, and various other fields way beyond their comfort zone. They will have to differentiate between commodity pushers and networkers. They will have to mix on-off orders and recurring revenue from subscriptions. “Their job will change drastically”, knows Jan Lagast, who was much appreciated by the 50 attendants of the latest SMA meeting in January 2018.