I need your help. I’ve got this nagging feeling. I can’t completely get my arms around it. What it’s telling me is sales is changing. It’s telling me the days of Glenn Gary/Glenn Ross are over. The hierarchical, high pressure, churn em and burn em, contest driven, sales at all cost, steak knives for second place, a Cadillac for first place, cold calling, list buying, sales culture is dying.
A number of things are causing this pestering sense of change. More and more companies, especially startups are building B2B businesses without sales teams and are having suceess. I’m seeing established companies cut sales teams without decline in revenue. I’m seeing more increasingly complex products and services in which the traditional sales person is ill equipped to sell. I’m seeing more and more tools available to companies to engage with potential customers without the need for sales teams. There are an increasing number of ways for companies to move their products virally across the Internet without the influence of a sales team. Companies like Yammer and SocialCast have penetrated 100’s of companies, from Fortune 500 to small mom and Pop’s without sales.
Sales is changing, I know it. I see the signs all around me. I just can’t get my finger on it. What I do know is traditional sales, that legacy system of hierarchical, high pressure, transactional sales is running it’s course. Customers and clients have choices in how they want to buy and engage and they are embracing them.
What do you think? Are you seeing it too? Are we at the beginning of a fundamental change in sales? Or am I just whacked?