The world of sales is blowing up. It's a $500 billion industry that employs over 15 million people in the United States alone. Salesforce, a company that focuses predominantly on sales technology, may soon be doing $10 billion in annual recurring revenue (ARR). For reference, that comes close to what the National Football League made in revenue in 2015.
Sales itself is undergoing a transformation. One could call it the sales acceleration or sales automation era. There is more financial investment in sales, and more talented people are choosing careers in sales than ever before. The Ivy Leaguers who once would have jumped straight into finance jobs at Goldman Sachs are getting into the sales game instead. Big venture capital firms are funding sales automation and acceleration start-ups. There are more cash-rich companies that have capital to spend on natural acquisitions than ever before. It's a good time to be in sales.
Business executives are realizing that a good sales team will make or break their business. In a Stanford computer science lecture on distribution, Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley's most outspoken angel investors, said:
The first thing to do is to dispel the belief that the best product always wins. There is a rich history of instances where the best product did not, in fact, win. Nikola Tesla invented the alternating current electrical supply system. It was, for a variety of reasons, technologically better than the direct ...