Conversation with Andy Jacob, thought leader and expert authority on sales cycle.

Andy Jacob has been called one of the leading authorities on the customer sales cycle, and is a leader in the field. Today, we want to learn more about the future of the sales cycle, and ask Andy what predictions he has for the future of e-commerce. Back in 2008, Andy was the first business expert to predict one trillion dollars in e-commerce, which got a lot of people’s attention. Jacob’s prediction has come true, and we want to know if Jacob has any other predictions as a leader in this field.

CEO, The Jacob Group

Andy Jacob, CEO, The Jacob Group

Andy, when you originally predicted e-commerce would surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark by 2015, you had a lot of skeptics. What made you so sure that was going to happen?

I was in the online lead generation space and built one of the largest online lead exchanges. I saw the tremendous number of online lead transactions that were taking place in 2009 and 2010, and just happened to see where e-commerce was going a little earlier than most. We now have our first trillion dollar business, with a few more to follow very rapidly. All I did was extrapolate out my data, and multiply it by a technology to market speed factor. The numbers added up pretty quick. It really was a no brainer prediction. It was just that I was the first one to say it out loud that garnered all the attention.

Andy, do you have any bold predictions that you would like to make right now for our readers?

Well, I’m very certain that the cell phone as we know it will be obsolete in the next 30 years. That’s really not a bold prediction, as anyone watching closely might be saying the same thing. Elon Musk is already developing a brain link, and others are accelerating AI. However, I’m looking at the future through the perspective of a sales funnel. When I was a kid growing up, I watched Lost In Space. I loved that show, and it got me thinking about a lot of unusual ideas at a very early age. One interesting idea I have is that we will no longer be ordering products with a cell phone within the next 20 years. I believe that technology and AI will intersect in such a way that technology will be able to accurately predict almost everything you need and when, and deliver it at the precise time that you need it, without you ever actually ordering it. Right now on Amazon, you need to order your product by pressing a few buttons. Amazon also has auto replenishment programs that will send out items automatically as you use them up. In the future, AI will accurately know precisely when you need many things and when, deliver the product to the precise location where you are, at exactly the right time, and seamlessly charge you the lowest rate. For example, let’s say you want to BBQ steak for friends at your home.Technology and AI will ultimately become so advanced that it will be accurately predict that event and deliver the correct number of steaks for the party at the precise time and location that you need them, without you really thinking about it, or actually pressing buttons to order it. I have coined the phrase “Predictive Replenishment”, for this technology, which I believe will be pervasive within the next 30 years.

How will AI effect the sales cycle in the future?

AI will change the entire sales landscape as we know it. In many cases, AI and predictive analysis will be able to do a much better job of selling than a human. Technology will know how to sell, deliver, make customers happy, and get referal business. Look at the walk-in and walk-out stores that Amazon is putting up. They are calling them Go Stores.
Why do you think they are putting up the stores? They are putting up the stores to learn more about providing products and services to customers without the need for human interaction. Amazon will
lead the way on this as they know that if they don’t do it, someone else will, and that will put them out of business.

Andy, thank you so much for your time today. We will watch for what you have coined “predictive replenishment” in the future.
Our readers that have any questions can contact Andy Jacob at the following: