Last year I published a post about the future of sales, The Salesperson of Tomorrow. In the post we chastised the lazy fast talking used car salesman like personality and outlined the characteristics of the salesperson of the future. Sales is changing, the sales job of today may be gone tomorrow, and tomorrow is very close.

The Sales Job of the Future

The future salesperson will be a consultant willing to educate and collaborate with their customers. They’ll be advocates and business developers as well as sales scientists for their clients. In other words—they’ll be partners.

I didn’t go far enough in the article last year. I said, “…the salesperson who depends on a “smile and shoeshine” will find it progressively more difficult to connect with buyers.” That includes order takers and hucksters. Where I didn’t go far enough is how fast it’s changing.

 One Million Sales Jobs could disappear by 2020    

“Of the 4.5 million B2B salespeople in existence today, “We believe one million jobs will be net displaced by 2020,” From Andy Hoar’s presentation at the 2015 Forrester Sales Enablement Forum.” — Hubsot: Sales Jobs Vanishing

“Much of what Forrester and everyone else is claiming will happen is already happening. Order takers on the way out? Check. Consultants on the way up? Check. Social selling becoming mainstream? Check.” — Sales by 2020: What will the World Look Like?

A Disappearing Act

Here’s the thing, hucksters and order taking positions are vanishing, because people don’t need order takers when they can get online and do it themselves. As a result, people don’t want hucksters; they want consultants. Furthermore, sales consultants numbers won’t drop; they’ll rise. While order takers and hucksters ride off into the sunset, consultants will flourish. They’re the new sheriff in town.

What has this got to do with your Business?

Everything, because it’s time to take a hard look at your sales process. Is it outdated and manned by redundant order takers? Is old school psychological manipulation your sales strategy? How many consultants are on your team? Does your sales staff collaborate with clients in the client’s best interest? If not, it may be time to take a hard look at your sales process. But don’t worry, heck you have 3 ½ years to figure it out. 15 quarters should be plenty of time, right? Is your sales team ready for 2020?