Sales Hiring

These 5 Sales Jobs Might Go Away in 2024

As we inch closer to 2024, it's crucial to understand which sales roles could be on the brink of extinction.

December 26, 2023

These 5 Sales Jobs Might Go Away in 2024

The winds of change are howling across the sales landscape, and some roles might not weather the storm. As we inch closer to 2024, it's crucial to understand that these five sales jobs might just become relics of the past:

#1 Sales Technology Manager

While the Sales Technology Manager role is pivotal in bridging the gap between sales strategy and tech implementation, its future might not be as secure.

The rise of comprehensive, all-in-one sales platforms, from CRM to sales intelligence to marketing automation, could reduce the need for separate tools and dedicated technology management.

Headwinds: Tool overload. The chart below is another from HubSpot's 2024 Sales Trend Report.

Why it could survive: Some organizations have invested millions in their tech stack. Having a team member dedicated to vendor management, ensuring usage, and negotiating complex deals in the sales tech ecosystem could make sense for larger companies.  

#2 Outbound Sales Development Rep (SDR)

The cold-calling, email-blasting days of the traditional Outbound SDR might be numbered. As prospects become harder to reach and SDR quota attainment diminishes, the unit economics of chasing outbound deals don't work in an environment where burning cash is the last thing Boards and CEOs want to do.

To survive, SDRs need to become more strategic, focusing on personalized prospecting and building targeted nurture campaigns to assist account executives in moving deals.

Hear more from ZoomInfo's CEO in this one-minute clip.  

Headwinds: Fewer meetings are being set, deal cycles are taking longer, and too much email-first outreach from SDRs is not delivering a sustainable return on investment.  

Why it could have staying power: SDRs relying less on email, innovating on the personalized outreach front, setting more meetings, and qualifying more leads will stick around. The ROI is more likely to work out at the enterprise deal level.

#3 SDR Manager

As automation streamlines SDR tasks, the role of the SDR Manager might evolve. Managing performance metrics and spreadsheets might not be enough.

Instead, SDR Managers must coach their teams on personalization, build effective nurture sequences that don't annoy, and use marketing automation tools to their full potential.

Headwinds: SDR teams are setting fewer qualified meetings and helping reps close fewer deals.

Why it could have staying power: Sales development leaders should consider repurposing SDRs to help account executives multithread inside accounts even as deals progress to later stages.

#4 Outbound Account Executive (AE)

The list of challenges with outbound selling has never been longer. Here are just a few we have to face:

  1. Fewer reps want to do it (or know how to).
  2. Connecting with prospects takes more attempts.
  3. Buyers are savvier than ever and know much more before even talking to a rep.
  4. Longer deal cycles are challenging the unit economics of going "outbound" (Read: less patience from Boards, CEOs, Founders, and heads of sales).

To stay relevant, Outbound AEs need to focus on the enterprise segment and change their pitch to help buyers make a purchasing decision, more so than driving home product features and wobbly ROI stats.

Headwinds: See list above.

Why it could have staying power: The best sellers know the status quo is often the most significant threat and are fearless in discussing other market competitors. Those closing six and seven-figure deals will also stick around.

#5 First-time Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) or VP of Sales

The average tenure of a sales leader is already down to 18 months. In a world obsessed with experience, the unproven first-time CRO or VP might face an uphill battle.

Boards and CEOs seek seasoned leaders to navigate economic uncertainty and deliver immediate results.

First-timers must develop talent, showcase forecast accuracy, hit quota, find strong internal advocates, and adapt to Board and CEO strategy changes.

Headwinds: Hitting the number. Quota attainment is not getting easier anytime soon.

Why it could have staying power: Elevating a proven performer to hire internally might be safer than hiring from the outside. It'll be rare, but possible, for a sales director or VP to get that lofty promo in 2024.

The Future of Sales

This story isn't a doomsday prophecy. The sales landscape is changing, but it's not disappearing. These five jobs might evolve, but the core skills of understanding customer needs, building relationships, and closing deals will remain essential.

The future of sales belongs to those who can adapt, embrace change, and continuously hone their skills. Next week, we'll highlight "5 Sales Roles Rising in 2024."

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