I have been struggling with this question for some time. At first blush, you might answer yes. For the buyer, it is now much easier to research products and services and comparison shop before speaking to a sales rep. However, this now means that a rep can’t rely on being a “two legged talking brochure” to make the sale. I submit that has made most reps’ jobs much more difficult. In fact you might argue the rep provides no value if that is their primary selling tactic (and buyers often echo that same sentiment to me).
For the seller, there are now CRM systems that capture lots of data (often of dubious value). I believe it provides some value to the selling organization in terms of auditing the sales process and perhaps even mining some of the data (however, I wonder if the actual value of the data is suspect simply because it is secondhand data entered by the rep). Unfortunately, most sales reps will counter that it has not helped them sell as it has created a mandatory administrative workload that takes them away from selling (reps often lament this is the case).