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A History of Sales Technology [Infographic]

by Verónica Jarski  |  
February 23, 2013

The sales world seems to be in a state of constant change, thanks to the emergence of new technologies.

To explore the most pivotal inventions that have revolutionized sales, Lattice Engines created the following infographic. It starts with Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press (cuneiform and papyrus didn't make the cut) and brings us up to today.

Among the highlights:

1870s: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. This invention greatly diminishes the world of door-to-door sales.

1980s: Laptop computers begin to transform the day-to-day tasks of salespeople.

1990s: Email's popularity now helps salespeople reach buyers in new, interesting ways.

1990s: Virtual meetings let salespeople connect with clients without their having to physically leave their offices.

2002: The emergence of smartphones, such as BlackBerrys and Palm Pilots, help sales reps access data and close deals while on the road.

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski

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  • by Frank Mon Feb 25, 2013 via web

    Your timeline is missing a vital piece of history ACT. Salesmen were using it before laptops were really portable in the mid 80's.

  • by Amanda Maksymiw Mon Feb 25, 2013 via web

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for pointing this out. Unfortunately we did only focus on a few technologies in this infographic. We will keep your suggestion in mind for version 2.0.

    Amanda Maksymiw

  • by Nicole Klein Tue Feb 26, 2013 via web

    Hmmmm....this is the first time I felt that a Marketingprofs Infographic was more of a marketing promotion than a useful resource. I guess I now understand a bit about who Lattice is, and that Big Data is your thing. And as a marketer I think you employed the infographic tool and the marketingprofs audience strategically, but it did feel too promotional for the forum.

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