Will Salespeople Miss Investing in the Next Uber?

Jun 5, 2015 · 3 min read

By Bryan Colyer

We have the opportunity to make a very good living. We should have no complaints, sales is the life we have chosen. But what do our jobs look like in 2020 or 2025? Are we really going to be automated out of a career? There are a little over 5 million inside and outside salespeople in the United States. I read an article this week that around 1 million sales jobs will be eliminated in the next five years, that’s 20% of us. Pretty big number — and five years is not a long time.

I have read several stories over the past few months how insurance agents, lawyers, transportation and logistics jobs are going to be replaced by machines. I start worrying about our field. When will we start being eliminated, will it be 5 years, will it be 10?

I’m coming to the end of my career, but I know a lot of young people who are in the field of sales and have chosen this as their profession. What’s going to happen to them?

Should we be worried, how do we prepare, how do we take advantage of this transformation? WE INVEST IN IT! The investments we put behind these industry disruptors is an opportunity to place our bets on the very technology that wants to replace us. There has been over $1.2 billion invested in sales tools over the last several years. $40 million in the last couple of months alone. The market for sales acceleration technologies and tools is going to reach $30 billion by 2017. I am thankful that there are investors who believe in entrepreneurs that are helping improve the field of sales. I appreciate and respect what they are trying to accomplish, some of them have brilliant ideas and great innovations.

How many of those entrepreneurs were from sales? How many of their investors were salespeople? Some of them will become rich and rightfully so. They created a product or service for sales or they invested and they should be rewarded. What about the salespeople who use their tools, the people that tell our companies to buy their tools? We are closing deals faster, our lives are easier but most of us aren’t investing in their companies. Are we missing the next Uber?

The good news is we can participate. Through the Jobs Act and the SEC adopting new rules recently for who is eligible to invest in companies looking to raise capital. I will be going into more detail in the near future but starting June 19th non-accredited investors can invest up to 10% of their net worth or annual income in companies looking for growth capital for instance, could be startups looking for early seed stage funding in the sales acceleration tool space. Accredited investors have always been able to participate but even this opens up new opportunities for them.

We need to become the lead investors in the field of sales. Who better to invest in the companies whose tools we use every day? What works and what doesn’t? What can be improved and what will never work or should never be invested in? Why let the VC’s and Angel investors get rich off our industry? As a profession we need to own this. I envision a Kickstarter for Sales or Product Hunt for sales. A place open to entrepreneurs to bring innovative products and services to help sales, get crowdsourced feedback from the 5 million inside and outside people who are the target market. The Shark Tank for Sales, instead of 5 people we have 5 million people voting.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Bryan Colyer has been consulting athletes, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 executives for 25 years. He is the founder of FastaSales, helping sales teams create stories that inspire their customer to buy their products and services.

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