Survival of the Fittest: Can Social Business Skills Save Your Sales Career?
“Yes, hundreds of B2B sales jobs will get eliminated as e-commerce plays a larger role in straightforward buying steps and for well-understood products. But as complexity and uncertainty decline in some situations, new complexity and uncertainty get introduced elsewhere. Especially for business-critical buying decisions, this elevates the importance of salespeople. Companies such as Facebook, industries such as cloud services, and the many hundreds of B2B SAAS (software as a service) startups are furiously adding salespeople.”
Except & Image Source: hbr.org
Experts have been sounding the alarm for years: the role of sales rep is dying!
Not so fast says a recent article on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) website. According to “Despite Dire Predictions, Salespeople Aren’t Going Away,” rumors of the death of the sales rep role have been greatly exaggerated.
Technological innovations, societal changes, the political climate, environmental concerns, and other forces have most certainly had an impact on some industries, which in turn, have caused some products to become obsolete or moved the sales role from human interaction to e-commerce transaction. With that said, it hasn’t necessarily decreased the total number of sales jobs in the U.S. HBR provides several great examples illustrating how sales jobs have decreased in some verticals while exploding in others thanks to the complexities facing buyers when major innovations and widespread forces disrupt the current “way we do things.”
As the authors clearly explain, history is on the side of the sales profession as a whole. That doesn’t mean, however, that every sales representative will easily find a new job should his or her current sales position become eliminated. The question sales professionals need to ask themselves is this: what do I need to do to future-proof my sales career?
One big piece to the future-proofing puzzle is honing your social business skills.
Not only can social business skills help you build relationships with prospects you want to sell to today, that same expertise helps you build the network that can help you find your job of tomorrow.
- Sales reps who use social media outsell their peers (Forbes).
- More corporations are embracing social business now as a way for employees, vendors, customers, prospects, and the community to share information and build relationships.
- Hiring managers are beginning to look at social media aptitude. For sales professionals, it will be bigger than just knowing how to use social media: the size and quality of your social networks may make or break your chances at your dream job.
- A properly tended social network not only looks good to hiring managers, it can be the source of leads for your next job.
Read “Despite Dire Predictions, Salespeople Aren’t Going Away” at: hbr.org