There was a time when the salesman was one of the most lauded members of the community. The smooth talking man or woman (usually man due to the state of the world at large during the time), that was able to talk anybody into buying anything. Using that charisma and connection with others to sell products that they may or may not have even needed. There was a true art to this.
Today, the state of sales is much different than before, and it sort of reminds of the legendary Broadway play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. In the play, the salesman, Willy Loman dreams of grand goals through sales, which he can never really live up to. It is not only an insight into humanity, but also an analog for salesmen today.
Death of the salesman
Today, the salesman is a faceless entity, covered by the hustle and bustle of web advertising. There is no more door to door sales, and while it still takes charisma to sell products, it is not manifested in the same manner. It is now more important to be clever online, to build a presence on a large network on which everyone must compete.
What this means for companies is to change the dynamic by which they advertise. To understand that the salesman is all but dead, and that out of the ashes has risen a new, more modern type of salesman that must look to the web for the golden ring that Willy could never obtain.