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Will Sales Jobs Be Obsolete in the Future?

April 22, 2016
By Michelle Amodio - Telemarketing Software Contributor


The convergence of marketing and sales, combined with the wealth of data that modern technology has made available to prospects, has led to questioning the future of sales reps. With the emergence of new technology, social interaction, and self-service models, the functionality of sales will change to reflect the evolving role of the salesperson. Are sales jobs on shaky ground? Will they be obsolete in the coming years?


According to the sales pros at VanillaSoft, we have history on the side of sales reps, but there are red flags: “increasing self-service and e-commerce, commoditization, technological disruption, and societal or political changes that impact your business or industry.”

It wasn’t all that long ago that inside sales reps were an integral piece of the corporate puzzle. For companies that were fortunate enough to have incoming phone calls, the sales rep would sit with a headset ready to answer and convince any interested buyer. With enough money spent on marketing, many businesses could generate calls through the Yellow Pages, billboards, TV, and radio. The goal was to show just enough to make potential customers remember you or be interested enough to call you.

A quick Web search on the future of the sales person yields a mixed bag of results. Forrester (News - Alert) Research predicts that one million B2B salespeople will soon be made obsolete due to advances in e-commerce technology.

This is not meant to be all doom and gloom for sales professionals. What it means is that the world doesn’t need sales the way we think the world needs it. It’s a matter of evolution, in a way. The world is changing and transforming digitally. The customer doesn’t need you to tell them what they need anymore. They’re coming to you armed with information as to what their problems are and their conceptual idea of what they need.

So, how can the sales pro stay relevant in today’s sales job climate? You can be “future-proof,” according to VanillaSoft with a few handy tips. Don’t confine yourself to one role; manage clients, lead on projects, and offer support. These transferable skills go far beyond selling and will serve you well as the landscape changes. Stay up to date on the latest and keep yourself educated. Because sales is knowledge-dependent, keeping up to date on current trends can only help, not harm your future. Stay up to date on the latest tech, be a stout networker, but keep your classic sales skills. These, among a few other tidbits, can help the sales pro evolve and stay with the times.

Any sales professional who doesn’t make an adjustment will be completely redundant, but it’s avoidable and no, the sales pro won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. 




Edited by Rory J. Thompson



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