The new salesperson is "plugged
into" an industry rather than plodding from customer to
Traditionally, business-to-business selling involves face-to-face
conversations. However, the road warrior is becoming increasingly
rare in the business world, according to a study by "http://jamesoldroyd.com/">Dr. James Oldroyd, the world's top
researcher in the mathematics of selling.
His research recently revealed that corporate hiring for
"outside" sales positions had leveled off at a measly 0.5 percent
annual growth. By contrast, corporate hiring for "inside" sales
positions was growing 15 times faster!
Even salespeople who DO meet with customers face to face are
doing so much less frequently than in the past. Oldroyd's study
revealed that more than two-fifths of all customer conversations
conducted by "outside" salespeople are done over the phone.
The shift away from face-to-face selling is driving many top
companies to hire and cultivate people who can become
subject-matter experts and communicate with customers with a
combination of email, phone, texting, social media, and Web
Oddly, the sales training world doesn't seem to have caught up
with this trend. Probably 90 percent of the sales training
courses available assume that there will be face-to-face
meetings. The other 10 percent cover cold calling.
I feel that this trend is an opportunity for local businesses who
do deal locally and can sometimes have the face-to-face
advantage that distance does not allow. Efficiency does not
always mean better business. Yet we all have to change our
business in this digital world.