Sales automation is a hot topic right now. While it can be effective in catching your prospect’s attention initially, businesses should not fully rely on sales automation as a means to close deals. A catchy slogan or a well-thought out email can certainly garner some initial interest, but nine times out of ten your prospect will read it and move on.
*please note* — this was originally written for my company website, which can be found here.
People buy from people they know, like and trust.
In business to business sales, time and money are among the important things to the business owner. In order to effectively showcase your product or service, you not only need to create an interest, but more importantly a level of trust that can only be achieved through time, communication and rapport. If a salesperson is able to create a level of trust with the business owner or decision maker, they are very likely to be able to present the product or service they’re trying to sell, but also close the deal.
One argument as to why businesses should consider sales automation is because it saves time and money. After all, it works in other departments. Why not sales? While that may seem true, in the long run this argument falls flat. Just because you can send one generic email to hundreds of business owners, that could potentially garner interest for the product or service you’re trying to sell, it will not be effective enough to close most deals, especially in B2B sales. So, while in theory it saves time and money, if you look at the numbers on how much business can be closed through automation versus relationship building in B2B sales, it does not make sense. It doesn’t close deals.
Businesses are unique, sales automation isn’t.
Not every person and business you pitch your product/service to is going to be the same. While sales automation may be able to save time and money upfront, it is not going to be effective with every person or business that is being targeted. Just because business A is using the product in one way, does not mean business B is going to be exactly the same. The best salespeople understand that it is more important to listen to their clients and fully understand what it is they are either struggling with or looking for specifically. By speaking with their client personally and asking the correct questions, the salesperson can fully understand what the client’s need is and how their product or service can meet that specific need. Sales automation completely skips this step, and therefore cannot be trusted to be an effective closing tool.
B2B sales will always require strong relationships and human interaction.
The best salespeople understand that jumping into the “sale” right away is unlikely to close the deal. It takes time, patience and relationship building in order for the prospect to not only like, but trust the salesperson. Once trust has been established, the client is more likely to hear what it is the salesperson has to say, and ultimately make the decision to move forward with that product or service.
While closing deals initially is important, it is just as important to maintain that relationship in order to continue that partnership and business relationship moving forward. This is why sales should be the last thing that businesses consider automating. Relationships matter, no matter how much technology tries to tell us otherwise.
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