Are First-Line Sales Managers In Danger Of Extinction?

The sales landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade as modern and empowered buyers, new technologies and competitive pressures forge new realities. This confluence of factors has imperiled various sales roles, creating adapt-to-survive imperatives.

For example, nearly three years ago, Forrester Research predicted (registration required) the impending death of the B2B salesman — a role-turned-relic, they noted, thanks to buyers’ increasing reliance on self-service e-commerce. Since then, there’s been lots of hand-wringing, strategizing, further prognosticating and debate — along with an emphasis on how sellers should evolve.

Whether the dire predictions come true remains to be seen — though there’s sure to be more frenzied analysis in the interim. What hasn’t gotten attention, though, is another role in danger of extinction: The first-line sales manager (FSM), which is on the road to becoming a casualty of artificial intelligence (AI) unless serious adaptations are made.

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