One of the most interesting aspects of working in sales is consistently straddling the line between art and science. As sales has evolved, the “science” part has come to mean more specifically leveraging technology to enhance the process. Sales automation software has had a dramatic impact on the way sales are performed: a recent Velocify study found that salespeople using an automated solution increased their talk time by 88 percent and had 15 percent higher contact and conversion rates than their peers. Sales automation has indisputably made salespeople more efficient, but some people worry that outsourcing too much to a machine can make sellers impersonal and therefore less convincing for potential buyers.
The danger of a blind reliance on sales automation is obvious. If salespeople lean heavily on generic email blasts, for example, they risk frustrating and alienating buyers. They also might become complacent and lose important skills like critical analysis of prospects’ pain points. This complacency can leave salespeople in the dust as buyers evolve through the purchase journey.
The true power of sales technology lies in harnessing the benefits of automation (science) without losing the advantages of human connection (art). By implementing these solutions strategically, salespeople can not only retain their ability to form relationships with prospects, but also enhance it.
Using Sales Automation Software to Connect More
Timing is an extremely important component of sales success. Sales automation software helps salespeople keep up with buyers as they transition through the different stages of their journey. Software helps increase the chances of making an initial connection and ensures you maintain the relationship with consistent touch points.
- Local Presence
The first step is the simplest: striking a familiar chord by calling from a local number. It sounds small, but Velocify customer Zuman was able to increase their connection rate by 55 percent
simply by switching to a local dialer. That capability is only available through automation, with the software generating a number as the call goes out. It’s a simple way that sales automation creates intimacy from the outset of a relationship with a potential customer.
Sales automation can also help with improved workflow, which in turn leads to faster connection. All too often, salespeople miss opportunities by failing to follow up with leads quickly enough or by prioritizing the wrong ones. When software automatically sorts and ranks outstanding opportunities, the chances of actually making a connection are much higher.
- Trigger Emails
Automation can even trigger automatic follow-ups and emails to ensure that salespeople stay top-of-mind with new buyers. More touch points means more opportunity for connection and can subsequently support a stronger relationship.
Make the Most of the Connection
After the initial connection is established, the sales process becomes a matter of shifting an acquaintance into a real relationship. Sales automation software can increase the quality of engagement with better buyer insights. Technology helps develop contextual conversations at three levels to build meaningful relationships.
As sales reps reach out to prospects, technology can provide a bird’s-eye view of the company profile. Tools like Owler can provide sales reps with insight into company news including funding or if a new CEO was hired—information like this signal change that can trigger buying.
Once your reps have connected with someone from a target company, it’s time to drill down into how that persona buys. If a connection is made with a manager and a director level or above is needed for purchasing decisions, software like ZoomInfo can be used to get you the right contact information. Additionally, tools like Octiv improve this process by arming your sales reps with the right content to use for each persona at each stage of the buying process.
For a more personal touch, technology can pull personality information to make each connection even more individualized. Tools like Crystal Knows mine public data to create actionable personal profiles.
For example, it might highlight that a prospect appreciates brevity. Reps can leverage the consumer psychology of this particular preference to move a deal forward by keeping their email communication concise.
Without sales automation, salespeople either spend hours digging and doing research or start out cold–neither of which are a good foundation for generating many successful relationships. Ultimately, building relationships is where the human aspect of sales matters. If sales automation software can help enhance those connections, then you could argue that technology is actually helping to bring a more human touch to sales.
About the author: Matt Reid is the vice president of marketing at Velocify. With more than 15 years of marketing, strategy, and management experience at Fortune 500 and early-stage technology companies alike, he oversees marketing, sales development, and growth strategies for Velocify’s complete solution portfolio. Prior to Velocify, Reid served as chief marketing officer for Procore Technologies, led global marketing for the advertising technology company OpenX, and built sales and marketing from the ground up for Eucalyptus Systems, an open-source cloud platform acquired by HP. Earlier in his career, Reid led product marketing for all SaaS technologies at Citrix, directing the initial market launches of GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. Reid earned his Master of Business Administration degree in marketing at California State University, Sacramento, and dual bachelor’s degrees at the University of California, Santa Barbara.