The Future of Sales

The world around us changing at an alarming pace—a pace that is hard to wrap one’s mind around. It is suggested that one week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than the average person had access to in their entire lifetime in the 18th century.

That is staggering.

Furthermore the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010…didn’t even exist in 2004. Amazing.

But, where does that leave sales and the sales community? What does the future hold for those who make their living in this great profession?

Well, obviously we’ve already seen tremendous changes within certain industries due to the internet and its growth and we will continue to see more. Consumers and our customers are becoming smarter and savvier. And honestly, that’s a good thing because it will weed out those in the sales profession who took advantage of unsuspecting clients and customers leaving all of us to defend our profession.

Each of us will be forced to become more technologically sound—able to provide customers and prospects with more information, faster allowing them to make better decisions. Our companies are going to be forced to become more adaptable as the markets change even more rapidly—we must respond to those changes in record time.

Decisions that used to take weeks or months now must be made immediately.

Your job has changed during the time it has taken you to read this blog. The question is: will you change with it?

That is where the sales profession is going: one of change and adaption. Those who embrace that will succeed at levels never before imagined. Those that don’t? Sadly, they’ll be left in the dust very, very soon.

The days of learning your craft and then applying that knowledge for years are over. What you learned before is no longer relevant or accurate. We are in a time of constant learning and improvement. You must keep up and keep moving.

What have you learned today? If the answer is “nothing”, then you’ve fallen behind your competition—and every day you hold that position you’ll fall further and further behind.

Market leaders cannot become stagnant and stop innovating…EVER. Just ask the people that make BlackBerry.

So, what does it all mean?

The future will always have a need for good, educated, knowledgeable, honest salespeople. But, the manner in which we conduct business is ever-changing and those who adapt to those changes—or even seek them out will ultimately be the winners.

Here’s a mind-boggling stat: the amount of new technical information is doubling in less than two years. So, for a student starting a four-year technical degree: half of what they learn in their Freshman year will be outdated by their Junior year.