Future of Work: What B2B functions are on the rise?

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Last week we focused on B2B job fields that are in decline, or may be in decline over the next decade. That post detailed how many believe B2B salespeople jobs will contract significantly, and also pointed towards two current job growth fields that could see decline over the next decade as a result of automation – app development and social media. 


This week we switch up to B2B fields that many feel will experience growth over the next decade.

Symbolizing the optimism in the industry, there is far more content available on job growth in B2B than there is on job decline. Much of it reflects the same issues with decline content though, focusing more on large trends and less on job specific information. That trend information can help make these job predictions easier though, as many of them are overwhelming trends.

One overwhelming trend in the industry is the move to e-commerce. Whatever numbers you want to rely on the growth is massive; B2B e-commerce dwarfs B2C e-commerce, B2B industry as a whole is reporting increased revenue with e-commerce and also plans on increasing their e-commerce. Right now is a great time to be involved in the B2B e-commerce purchasing and development job fields and that trend should stay consistent for the next decade. The development of Level 3 e-commerce will drive even more growth, and as more B2B join in, this job field will advance rapidly. The good news is growth upon growth, the bad news is that anyone in this field will be constantly re-learning it to just stay up to date.

Another recognizable trend is the juggernaut shift to data. Touching almost every B2B job field, the reliance, importance and size of data is growing by the second – literally! The race to house, analyze and interpret this data in meaningful ways is endless and there is no way this trend slows, or that it doesn’t similarly relate to job growth. What does this look like? “Content libraries” (not everything can go on the Cloud!) for the B2B IT sector, data app development, and increased high end data analysts using more predictive analysis and trying to sort for that needle in the haystack. Combine all of those efforts and B2B marketers and salespeople now have the footing they need to remain competitive.

This trend is also touched by State investment and counter terrorism measures with companies like Independent Software Solutions, who have experienced serious job growth, using what they have developed in those relationships in diverse fields like College student retention. How creative can your company be? How useful are your applications and to how many fields? How successful are you at monetizing your data? Competition will be fierce in the data analysis B2B world, but those who stay ahead of the pack will experience massive growth rates.

Marry these two B2B growth industries and you get another one – Software as a Service (Saas). A response to both e-commerce and to the data explosion, SaaS is experiencing massive growth rates, with lots of B2B success stories – BuzzSumo and Slack being just two. The BuzzSumo story illustrates that these trends can still be leveraged on a small scale with great returns. What started as a tiny self bankrolled project is now up to $2.5 million revenue in its first year. That number won’t blow many away, but their story gives insight into how people should feel empowered to recognize and run with these trends. Or as co-founder Steve Rayson puts it, “There has never been a better time to start a SaaS business as you can use great tools for next to nothing.”


The B2B market can be tough to nail down because of the rapid pace of business. It can also feel daunting when large scale trends push against industries that represent jobs held by living and breathing people. Alarmist predictions about the contraction of the B2B salesperson market and concerns about automation ravaging many B2B job sectors can introduce a level of unease even for those who feel like they are currently sure footed. The counter to that is that many B2B fields are experiencing growth that will not slow, and that can be harnessed by many who already have experience in B2B. Opportunity is still knocking.

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Dylan Powell

Dylan Powell

Dylan Powell is a writer from St. Catharines, On (Canada) with a background in new media and social media development. He has been published in various advocacy outlets and journals, in the Hamilton Spectator and Two Row Times, and been covered by CBC Radio, CTV, and the Toronto Star on various advocacy issues. He spends his free time lending his skills to his wife's roller derby league as PR Chair.