The job of a salesperson is one of the oldest job titles in modern business. It’s also a position that’s constantly changing due to technological innovations such as the Internet and e-commerce. While most changes happen slowly, such as the move away from printed catalogs to e-commerce, it’s only in retrospect that you notice the signs that were missed along the way.
The most recent threat to a salesperson’s job is automation and the bypassing of salespeople entirely to purchase directly from a company. This trend started some time ago when companies started to put their products online and discontinued sending salespeople door to door or mailing catalogs each year. I can still remember the excitement that my brother and I had the day the Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs were delivered in the mail. We would bookmark pages, circle what we wanted with markers, and talk about it for hours. Things sure have changed, and one of the companies that’s at the leading edge of the innovations is Amazon.