Sales automation is often touted as a route to greater sales efficiency. Companies like Salesforce and hundreds of smaller point solutions promise to save your salespeople time, if you only spend more money and increase the complexity of your sales stack with their automation tools.
I’ve been pushing back, because too often we try to use automation to solve human problems. A large portion of what passes for sales and marketing automation is essentially just regulation-compliant spam.
This is bad for salespeople, because it pisses prospects off and can ruin otherwise promising opportunities. It’s bad for everyone, because it floods our inboxes with irrelevant communications.
Yet, if you’ve been watching our product blog, you might have noticed that we here at Membrain have recently released automation to our existing customers. So you might be justified in wondering–what gives?
My overall stance on automation hasn’t changed. Too often, we’re rushing after automation and avoiding the more important work of assessing our strategy, process, management, coaching and other human elements of how we sell.
Automation is a great complement to a complex B2B sales system when it supports the humans who are selling.
In particular, there are four sales process areas I believe you should never fully automate:
Further, any part of your sales process that is not aligned with your sales strategy, or that involves human emotions or complexity, should not be automated. Automation will only amplify the problems in your system, and aggravate the human emotions that impact decision-making.
While sales automation can certainly create toxic loops of valueless interactions and land your company in the permanent spam file, sometimes sales automation can actually improve your salespeople’s ability to connect with the customer.
Sales automation can be an excellent component of your sales system when:
Sales automation is a great complement to a complex B2B sales system when it supports the humans who are selling, rather than attempting to replace them. It’s also most useful when it’s part of a well-designed and strategic sales system, and not just tacked onto an already poorly functioning system.
In other words, it can be an asset and an amplifier of your success, but it won’t fix all your sales problems by itself.
We gave a lot of thought to the development of Membrain’s new automation tools. We wanted them to be an asset, not a liability. We wanted them to help your sales team sell, not just add bells and whistles so we could say we have automation tools.
And we wanted them to meet the criteria above, so that they support your salespeople instead of trying to replace them.
Some of the features of our new automation tools, which are included in our active pipeline module, are:
You can find more information about our new automation tools on our product blog. The automation features are currently in early access and will be officially released later this year. We're very excited to be able to offer this, as it means our product now offers more valuable automation tools than you will find for the price anywhere else, all within the context of our human-centered, process-focused workflows.
George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.
Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn