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Is Sales Dying?

Dr. Joe wonders what’s happening to sales? The number of sales people in the economy is declining, and they’ve been essentially replaced by computers and server farms. All those sales call reports have been replaced by analytics. All that T&A expense became electrons. Entrepreneurship is critical to a growing economy, but having the right context to the statistics helps put it in perspective. And then there’s trade. Can we change the subject? Some economists are finally writing with clarity about the topic.

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: February 27, 2017


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Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



By Joe Webb on Feb 27, 2017

Re: yet another trade article -- Gallup had a good one today http://www.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/204317/globalization-scapegoat-economic-problems.aspx?utm_source=genericbutton&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=sharing


By William Farquharson on Feb 27, 2017

Geesch, Joe, was "Death of a Salesman?" too easy a pun to use as a title?

Very interested to see that upcoming article on "if you own the analytics, you own the customer." Fascinating thinking.


By Robert Godwin on Feb 28, 2017

Sales are not dead. They are being repaired, much like the nation's infrastructure. Service based economies are stagnant in regard to real growth. Can you really sell 3% more tacos out of your food truck? Maybe, but it won’t move the economy much. In our consumer based economy marketing services are what traditional printers need to embrace with greater enthusiasm than has been displayed over the last decade. They need to be more innovative in how they are involved in their customers’ business. They cannot wait for orders; they need to generate need.
Perhaps ‘Sales,’ as you have defined it, needs to be rebranded as ‘Solutions’. It is a greater responsibility than just putting ink on paper. As for analytics, they are a road sign, not a vehicle. Solutions must be driven to get results, and analytics show the way. And the driver is sales…


By John Clifford on Mar 04, 2017

Sorry but the old typesetter in me is wondering.

It it sales (as in the singular, such as a sales department) or sales (as in the number of sales being made) which is/are dying? The headline is jarring as it looks like you've got a plural with is instead of are.

Also the educator in me.


By Joe Webb on Mar 04, 2017

The wording was selected deliberately. More to come!


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