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Technology has helped us advance in many ways and it is making our lives easier and more productive by the hour. However, business is conducted between people. This means that tech-savviness alone will never be enough for digital sales and marketing leaders to succeed; it requires soft skills, such as empathy, compassion, and trust-building to be successful.

Allison: This question is more on the topic of the types of skills that are needed when adopting digital transformation. Behaviour change is very important to the overall broader topic of digital transformation. From what I’ve experienced myself, there’s kind of a hard side and a soft side to this transformation, so do you think there’s enough focus on this more personal software element of the digital transformation?

Lennart: no, not at all. All you read about is on the hard side, you know, the technology that is ever-evolving but soft skills are just so important. Soft skills are really crucial and it’s now finally, I think, getting the attention it deserves. Think about personalization. In marketing terms, digital personalization at scale, the scale will be brought and delivered by the technology but you still need to be personal. How can you be personal? Every month, every year come with a trust barometer, so there also again the software side of the personal skills are becoming really important. If you apply soft focus, soft skills on sales, for instance, you see also big transformation there. Because you’re actually doing business with people. Yes, that technology in between to find those people, to start engaging with them but, at some point, you know sales are really simple and they will probably always be the same. I know I need trust from you. If I trust you, then it’s much more likely to happen that we will do business

Allison: definitely!

Lennart:  technology is the enabler but the soft skills are crucial to make it work for you.


To read more about how central soft skills are for conducting business successfully, check out the following part of the interview: The importance of having soft skills in digital selling transformation