There was an episode of MadMen where the agency gets a massive new computer and everyone begins to worry about the future of their job. Don Draper, the consummate salesperson, looks on as his own career slips away. I thought about that when I read a recent Forrester report by Andy Hoar predicting that 1 million US salespeople will lose their jobs to eCommerce by the year 2020. “Order takers are in the cross hairs, because if [a buyer] knows what they want and they’re ready to buy it, just give it to them,” he said. “Enable them to buy it — don’t create friction.” These salespeople stand to be displaced by self-service portals. Hoar went on to say that “So as technology gets better at explaining things, we don’t need humans to explain any more.”
What do you think? Is sales a dying field–or is this just one more premature forecast of its demise?
Gee, I thought order-takers were always in the cross hairs?
And that “we don’t need humans” thing—I don’t buy it.
Go ahead and leave a comment. Tell ’em!
I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.