The Salesperson of the Future

What do you think a salesperson of the future will be like ?

Enter your comments below.

I recently read a post by Geoffrey James of "Sales Machine" fame.

He posed that question, to a bunch of CEO's who came up with the following comments.

Salesperson of the Future Will Be

The salesperson of the future will be…

  • …introverted rather than extroverted. 
    Traditionally, most of the people drawn to a sales career have been of the “interesting extrovert” variety but, today, the “interested introverts” often do better because they tend to be curious about the customer and more willing to let the customer dominate the conversation, as opposed to the extrovert who is constantly trying to prove how interesting he or she is.  
    Source: sales guru Tom Hopkins.
  • …a collaborator rather than a communicator.
    With the Internet, the customer and the sales rep typically knows a great deal about each other’s firms.  As a result, the selling process becomes a matter of filling out the details and coming to a deeper understanding. Rather than providing information, the seller participates in a mutual educational process between the supplier and the consumer of a product or service. 
    Source: Bob Carr, CEO of Heartland Payment Systems.

  • …a negotiator rather than a convincer.
    Traditionally, selling was seen as a way to change the preferences of a potential buyer so that he or she is more likely to buy.  Over the past 20 years, however, this has undergone a big shift, so that sales is now seen as a negotiation skill that helps people reach agreement. 
    Source: Max H. Bazerman, Professor, Harvard Business School.
  • …an expert rather than a generalist. 
    Because sales jobs are becoming more specialized and professional, it is easier to teach the sales process than it is to teach business knowledge.  For example, companies that provide process control systems to refineries now look to hire individuals who have been refinery managers, while companies selling ER management software look to hire ER nurses.  
    Source: Jeff Thull, CEO of Prime Resource Group
  • …a professional rather than a tyro. 
    Business schools are taking sales more seriously.  Universities are definitely adding sales into the curriculum, even though in the past it was not considered theoretical enough.  Sales as a profession has gained status as people, both in business and in academia, realize that sales engagements are much more complex than in the past.
    Source: Linda Richardson, author of Perfect Selling (McGraw Hill, 2008)What will a sales person of the future be like ?As the song says "The Times They are a Changing". 
    Is the world of B2B sales really changing ?
    If it is, what traits will a sales person of the future need ?
    What will a future salesperson need to do differently ?

What will a sales person of the future be like ?

As the song says "The Times They are a Changing".
Is the world of B2B sales really changing ?
If it is, what traits will a sales person of the future need ?
What will a future salesperson need to do differently ?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Kevin I Not rated yet
I think computers are going to play a big part in the future. I am 28 and we just got a new computer system at work. Even with the advancement of these …

CEO Not rated yet
I think that I have operated from this position for many years. I have never believed in product driven sales, I have always believed in customer driven …

The process is the same but the market has changed. Not rated yet
Great read! After thirty years in sales management I enjoyed the changes, from paper style old school to technology all the way. We really stand more of …

EMOTIONALLY and Intellectually BALANCE The sales person will need to be emotionally and Intellectually balance in this time and age.The buyer is …

What's a tyro? Not rated yet
I am guessing it is short for something? Comment Hi, a tyro is a newcomer to an occupation that works hard but with little skill. For example, …

Salespeople Change their Angle Not rated yet
Styles constantly change because people realize that they have to change their angle of attack and realize people arent as stupid as they may want to think …

Completely Different Sales Not rated yet
Paul- Great comment. I completely agree. I keep thinking about how different parenting is today vs. 40 years ago. I am raising 2 "generation z" …

Future Sales will be Totally Different Not rated yet
I've got a different spin, in that I don't think a sales person of the future will look the same at all. The basic sales foundation of transferring …

Salespeople will be more Self Aware Not rated yet
The salesperson of the future is going to be more self aware, more conscious and be able to dance, swing and flow in a more natural and authentic communication …

Customer Focus plus a Fire in the Belly Not rated yet
Alex: Definitely agree! Now my two cents: Adaptability, Customer Focused thinking, and keeping updated in self improvement & market skills are all …

Salespeople need to Change with their Customers Not rated yet
Brilliant question. I feel that salespeople need to change because customer change. The things that motivate customers to buy change so the way a salesperson …

Sales Doesn't Change Not rated yet
Great question! I think the make-up of tomorrow's great salesperson is identical to the make-up of yesterday's great salesperson - but there are different/more …

Salespeople need to be like a Management Consultant Not rated yet
Hi A very interesting question at this time of year! Simplistically, the sales professional of the future needs to become almost a management consultant …

Fundamentals Don't Change Not rated yet
The fundamentals will always be the same. So the salesperson who sold well 100 years ago and who sells well today and who sells in a 100 years will …

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