Due to the meltdown, companies that sell products and services will no longer be willing to pay marketers for unmeasurable activities. At the same time, companies that buy product and services won't be willing to deal with sales reps who can't add value beyond information and order taking. As a result, we are currently undergoing a "great extinction" of sales and marketing personnel. (I describe this more fully in yesterday's post "Sales & Marketing Jobs that Will Vanish.") Because this is a painful transition, some Sales Machine readers are in a state of denial.
Here are some representative comments and my response to them.
- bighit's comment: Have Harley Davidson and Apple no brand value? Surely Apple has brilliant marketing "engineers" and tacticians. They have also built loyalty because of an emotional connection with customers.
- My response: Apple's "brilliant" marketing engineers only seem brilliant when they have a brilliant product to sell. Apple has a great brand because it makes great products, which is EXACTLY why people like Apple. To make this point clear, here's a gallery of Apple flops. Apple's "brilliant" marketers were completely unable to foist those turkeys on the public. Good product=Good Brand; Bad product=Bad brand. Period.
- metabyte's comment: There are still traditional or high profile industries that require traditional sales and marketing people. I can't imagine people buying their private jet on the internet...
- My response: In fact, many companies are scrapping ownership of private jets in favor of buying rights to use a variety of jets that are owned by a group of companies. This kind of transaction is easily handled over the web. I remember when people said that nobody would buy an automobile over the web. Now it happens all the time.
- basil 7070's comment: Will small to midsize companies which comprise 80% of the economy, have the means and the need to use outsourced managers for their customer's firms? Particularly if they are so highly skilled and need to be paid well, will these companies put their sales and marketing budget towards "sales managers" or [find] less expensive ways to get their products and services into the hands of customers?
- My response: An outsourced manager need not be present at the customer site. The point is that the sales rep takes responsibility for the results of the sale, rather than just the pre-sales consulting and solution building. Small companies can do this as good, or even better, than larger ones. Less bureaucracy to gum up the works.
- josieka's comment: this time you have got it wrong ,all organizations depend so much on the sales to generate their revenue , there are many departments that dont generate any income like accounts so to my thinking they will be the first to be shown the door and then the kast people might be sales, but i agree that marketers might be the first to be shown the door this is because there importance is seen when companies are doing better but not when its on its knees
- My response: You're correct. Marketing groups will go first, and sales groups will go last. But go they will, except for the marketing quants and the sales reps who are able to won customer results.
- Ian P's comment: Although internet sales are growing rapidly in the B2B world this is not supplanting sales reps but is making them much more efficient. A rep who has been contacted through the internet knows he has a hot prospect (someone wanting to buy!) and a sale is much more likely.
- My response: Exactly. If you have quantitative marketing (i.e. web generated leads) then you have better leads, which makes sales reps more efficient, assuming you have an offering that requires sales reps to close. If you don't and it's a commodity product, then the sale takes place on the web, supplanting the sales rep.
- ematuco's comment: Proof of the pudding? The article itself. Its title (selling an intriguing idea) and its impact (do you exactly know how fast your blood pulses because of this article's implied threat)- explicitly proves that "unquantifiable" marketing is alive.
- My response: What makes you think that I'm not measuring the impact of thiese post? Believe me, I have plenty of traffic statistics. That data helps me hone my titles so that they describe the contents of the post more effectively. In the future, all marketing activity will be measured in this way.
Not to worry, though. If you'll stick with this blog -- and read it every day -- you WILL learn how to reposition and retrain yourself to win in the brave new world of post-meltdown sales and marketing.
But first you've got to get past, well..., the past. That was then, this is now. Let's get to the next stage together, OK?