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Will salespeople be replaced by technology?

What are some examples of technology eliminating salespeople from the buying process and do you think that salespeople will be replaced by technology? - by Community Mailbox
What are some examples of technology eliminating salespeople from the buying process and do you think that salespeople will be replaced by technology?
Some sales trainers have recently offered a new and improved form of “shock” method for getting attention for their future book and seminar sales. They are warning us that we had better be prepared to buy their sales material or find ourselves unemployed: it seems the Internet will be replacing the sales professional and it is already happening. At least according to them.

Ironically, they are not aware that the pendulum has already been swinging the other way. Lawrence Schmidt asked in his book, The End of Ethics in a Technological Society (2007), with the possibility of the numerous Internet identities we can create for ourselves,” Can human beings degrade themselves through their collective self-creation?” John Palfrey who wrote, Born Digital, (2008) states, “The ability to make quality judgments about information on the Internet is not an innate skill.” This has also lead to profound ethical problems, as too much information is already being peddled as another form of propaganda, basically being dispensed like reading “Fortune Cookies.”

These “doomsday Sayers” are obviously also unaware that people have been predicting the demise of the sales representative since the early 20th Century. In 1916 the New York Times asked, “ Are salesman necessary?” After all, advertisement was far more efficient and “railroads had turned the farms into cities,” where new spreads at a rapid rate. It was E. B. Weiss who wrote, The Vanishing Salesman (1962) that caught everyone’s attention. Weiss explained that through pre-qualifying, pre-selling, branding and by focusing corporate funding on extensive marketing, the salesman would be essentially eliminated. The “face-to-face” technique was becoming obsolete from the expense standpoint and efficiency. This is exactly what these new gurus are recommending as a cure for this terminal career option. Well, what happened?

To assume that the sales profession is fading due to the ease of using the Internet as a source of “information” comes from simply misunderstanding the various facets of commerce and how they function. Specifically, the Internet offers marketing methods to be utilized by the sales staff; sales and marketing are not the same. The Internet is just another marketing tool or method and cannot replace the sales professional because that is not what the Internet is designed to do. It is the sales professional that can offer “knowledge” which is not the same as Internet, often faulty, “information.”

From the telegraph to the cell phone, the methods of communication have changed but what does that have to do with what we say to the person we’re calling? Advertising and marketing has moved from the local newspaper and the Sears catalogue of long ago, to the Internet but advertising cannot answer non-traditional consumer questions. Marketing is a one-way-delivery system only offering information within predetermined programming. The sales agent also brings back the product or service impact on the consumer to the corporate office for review and operations revision. - by John Voris
Go guy a guitar online... If your a musician, you will not buy a guitar online, you want to test it, feel it. And you will have a saledman around.

If there was no salesman no one would have a job.

But we never know the future. - by FrankB
Go guy a guitar online... If your a musician, you will not buy a guitar online, you want to test it, feel it. And you will have a saledman around.

If there was no salesman no one would have a job.

But we never know the future.
Your guitar example is superb. But I have a question,

"If people did buy guitars online, what does that say about them?"

"What does that say about their expectations of the guitar and themselves?"

"What does that say about their idea of quality?"

People would not have any appreciation for their individuality. Manufacturers would learn to cater to the comm