Over the past few weeks I have been sharing my thoughts on the significant changes taking place within the “sales space” – specifically, the way that we sellers sell. These thoughts have been based not only on my own assumptions, which have been formulated over the past couple of years, but also on conversations and discussions with other commentators, thought leaders, and sales experts.
Recently, I have outlined my vision of what the sales landscape will look like in three to five years, and it seems most of my closest colleagues and friends agree with me. In summary, I am forecasting that …
In B2B, 20% of “outside” sales jobs will have disappeared by the end of 2012. 10% of these have converted to inside sales positions and the other 10% will have been lost for good.
Within three years – certainly five at the outside – 80% of current external sales jobs will no longer exist. They will have either morphed into internal sales roles, or become extinct.
The most significant casualties will be the “order takers and the marketers” whose role will be taken by the new breed of inside salesperson.
This isn’t radical thinking, it is common sense.
We should also anticipate that of the remaining 20% of external sales professionals, a further 15% of those will also be replaced by 2020.
So you see the canvas is going to look very different, very soon, which is also a significant factor for any company looking to buy sales training this year, next year or the year after.
Why would you want to invest in developing your external sales team if they will not, in all probability, be in existence in three years’ time? But you would want to invest heavily in the recruitment and training of your internal sales teams, and this is precisely what forward thinking organizations are doing right now.
All of this will also hugely impact the way training providers think – well at any rate, it should. Those companies who remain wedded to on-site, classroom training are going to also become extinct.
These are exciting times to be working in the sales space. Yes, there are going to be a huge amount of casualties, but what we will be left with is going to be far superior to what we have now. I predicted this in a recording five years ago, and now it is beginning to happen.