Chet Holmes wrote a book called the “Ultimate Sales Machine” a decade or so ago. I never read the book but I love the title. The sub-title of the book refers to “relentless focus on 12 key strategies” which on the surface seems a bit oxymoronic to me but that is not the reason for referencing the title of the book.
The reason for the reference is that “machines” will literally replace 1 million sales jobs by the year 2020. Let that sink in a moment. By 2020 there will be 1 million less sales jobs than there are in 2017.
This projection is not my hypothesis, it was pulled directly from 2015 research by respected industry powerhouse Forrester Research. If you are in sales you might have felt a slight chill creep up your spine as you read that projection.
It should come as no surprise that the culprit behind this loss of jobs is the true sales machine… the internet. The survey cited that 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct over half their research online before ever contacting a salesperson.
What the research refers to as “order takers”, “Explainers”, and “Navigators” are taking the brunt of the blow with “Order takers” being the hardest hit with a 37% decline in jobs by 2020.
Here is the good news. “Consultative” sellers will see a 10% INCREASE in sales jobs by the year 2020. Not sure if you are a “Consultative Seller”? Here are the 6 traits identified by Forresters as what defines consultative selling.
1) Embraces technology
2) Shares new ideas
3) Exhibits business acumen
4) Communicates effectively
5) Seeks collaboration
6) Leverages data
There you have it kids. If you don’t want to be the dinosaurs of the sales world it is high time to make sure you are selling in a way that the modern buyer see as adding value to the process.
Otherwise, prepare to be devoured by the Ultimate Sales Machine.