Report: Digital Properties to Reduce Number of B2B Sales Positions in Next Five Years

b2b sales positions decrease 22% by 2020Out of today’s approximate 4.5 million B2B sales positions, Andy Hoar believes that 1 million (just over 22 percent) will be displaced five years from now in part from a trend in buyers working with digital products, like websites, algorithms, and other products instead of contacting a B2B salesperson directly. This statement comes from new research by Forrester and covered by HubSpot.

Even though studies have found that nearly all B2B consumers want to talk to a salesperson (91 percent), the need for 24/7 live salespeople just isn’t as prevalent anymore.

In Hoar’s presentation at the Forrester’s Forum for Sales Enablement Professionals, where he announced these findings, he identified four key areas where B2B sales is changing and will be most likely to be displaced by technology or other job roles that contain several different responsibilities.

  1. Order Takers: Salespeople who work with uncomplicated buyers and products.
  2. Navigators: Salespeople who work closely with buyers on uncomplicated products.
  3. Explainers: Salespeople who work with uncomplicated buyers on complex products.
  4. Consultants: Salespeople who work with complex buyers and products.

Hoar stated that “Order Takers” have the most risk to their jobs, because they don’t deal with complex buyers or products in any way, making it easier for machines and technology to replace them by doing automated work, without much of the “traditional” sales process needed.

Finally, Forrester Research estimates that the B2B salespeople who will be successful in the next five years (and beyond) are those who work with their marketing and sales departments. Hoar recommends that organizations create a better targeting strategy that will better cater to customer’s needs when it comes to the purchasing process.

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