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Workforce 2020

What do we expect from Workforce 2020? The only thing we can be honestly sure of is that we are not entirely sure. We don’t know who’s in their garage making the next big thing to change our lives at any minute. All we do know is there are garage occupants all over the world, vying to be the next Google or Apple and they’ve got a chance.

Obviously, AI and the internet of things will continue to advance with practically every area of our lives, from romance to exercise to if we are running out of milk, being linked to the web.

Generation Y is used to speed and efficiency, of having data at their fingers tips, a world of knowledge in their pockets, and friends and networks they have never met in person. They watched their parents work long, stressful hours and, perhaps, more than any other generation value the importance of a work-life balance. With this in mind, companies who wish to retain the best talent and shining stars will invest in technology which enhances work mobility and secure collaboration, doing away with the importance of geography or the need to travel to the office.

Offices will likely not exist as they do today – with much smaller spaces used as optional meeting places and many working from home or location independent. The cloud and hyperscalers will continue to dominate, while employees covering a much broader area of the hierarchical structure will have access to do their roles remotely.

So, we will have more employees who expect more freedom and flexibility but likely, no let-up in end users with never-ending expectations. How will that work? More technology, more automation and the opportunity for buyers to do more themselves. Some may scoff at the idea, but people doing their own banking once seemed absurd. The more systems which are put in place to allow people to run their lives from their couch, the more that they will embrace, and workers’ jobs will alter to deal more with engagement and less with admin and logistics.

Buyers now typically make it 75% down the sales funnel before they even speak to a salesperson. They arm themselves with content from the web and referrals, forums and industry press. They only speak to a business employee if they are seriously considering a purchase. At the same time, customers and prospects are sick to death of being inundated with valueless, irrelevant content.

My view is that if we merge these two stats, the ramp up we see now of businesses making an effort to gather, collate and utilise market insight and buyer intelligence will continue with a vengeance.

Businesses will continuously evaluate their market and implement plans to be seen as trusted advisors and ‘best-friend brands’.

Great CRM technology and strategy will feature at the core of all successful organisations to ensure customer engagement, service and retention and assist collaboration between sales, marketing and operations. The tech landscape will change. Where people physically work will alter, but one thing will always be the same; there is only one boss, and it is the customer.