According to a study by Bank of America, robots are likely to be performing 45% of manufacturing tasks by 2025. Meanwhile, Oxford University predicts that nearly half of all U.S. jobs will be at high risk of being lost to computers. Not to mention that according to Time, Lyft and General Motors plan to offer driverless car services in approximately one year.
These dire predictions can be troubling for the American worker, but perhaps less so for sales professionals who have become accustomed to hearing warnings about their job security for over a century. In 1916, The New York Times published an article that posed the question, “Are salesmen needless?” — the article included a marketing expert’s explanation for why societal changes would render the door-to-door salesman obsolete: “Advertising is producing better results than the old method of personal solicitation.”
Fears also rose over technology stealing sales jobs following the advent of both the phone and internet. Then, last year, Forrester Research predicted that 1 million B2B salespeople will become obsolete by 2020, lost to e-commerce. Yet, as the CEO of Peak Sales Recruiting, I have seen firsthand that a growing number of world-class companies are seeking to hire top-performing B2B salespeople, especially in the last five years.
Moreover, the U.S. Department of Labor projects employment of sales managers will increase by 8% through 2022, and a 2016 CareerBuilder study predicts sales hiring will increase by 27% this year. How many decades of dire predictions will it take before we accept that salespeople are almost certain to be critical drivers of business?
Here are five reasons you will not be replacing your sales reps with robots anytime soon: