There’s been a lot of talk ever since our 2009 InfoUSA study revealed that the inside sales industry was projected to grow at 7.5% per year over the next five years, while outside sales industry jobs is stagnating at 0.5% growth.

bNet Business’s Geoffrey James even sounded off on the topic, questioning the reasons behind the slow obsolescence of outside sales when the sales process and buying cycle have become even more “touch” intensive and complex.

In my mind, however, the trend is significant, but hardly inexplicable. The Web has made one of sales’ primary functions—distributing information to prospects—a much different activity than before. Even for complex purchases, there’s a wealth of information about available products and services, and the average prospect has significantly less of a need to rely on a sales rep to provide actionable information . . . .

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