Personal selling has an important place in the marketing mix. While costly, salespeople can look a customer right in the eye and adapt their message and advice depending on how customers respond to questions. Personal selling is usually a key element in the B2B promotion blend.
The high cost of personal selling and customers’ growing comfort with the Internet are changing the nature of personal selling. The number of outside salespeople continues to grow, but much more slowly. On the other hand, the number of people engaging in inside sales (on the phone or interacting online) is growing rapidly. Inside sales is no longer a lower status (as compared to outside sales) position in many organizations. You can learn more about this trend in this recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Sales Moves Beyond Face-to-Face Deals, Onto the Web” (January 10, 2013).
Business students reading this post should recognize this potential career opportunity. Are you social? Comfortable on the phone? Comfortable with social media? There may be interesting opportunities in inside sales.