Think of all those dystopian sci-fi movies where the plot revolves around robots and their sense of ethics. Usually the outcome is not that positive for humans. But if we forget the fears of killer robots for a while, we realize that mechanical and virtual robots have already taken over our lives and improved our processes tremendously – especially when they have substituted human judgement with computations. For instance, how safe would you feel driving a car without all those three letter acronyms (ABS, ESP, ASR – you name it)?
Amid all improvements there is one “pivotal” human process that has not been robotized at all: B2B sales.
Think about it – sales reps face daily struggle in getting the prospects on the line. Customers are taken to fancy dinners once a year in a hope for add-on sales. People in telesales go through the same pitch a hundred times a day. What if we could increase the efficiency and effectiveness in sales with a bit of robotization?
This does not mean that sales people need to be replaced by cybernetic organisms that relentlessly chase prospects (sort of Terminators looking for Sarah Connors). Rather, the sales robotization should be about leveraging customer data, making sales more efficient and creating more insight for sales than ever before. So instead metal monsters we are looking for sales robots that are efficient, scalable and can help sales people to be always closing. But how long do we have to wait before the sales robots take over?
The big revelation: they have been among us for some time already. They are (falsely) called marketing automation systems. In fact, they should be called the CRM systems of the 21st century – with robot skills included! They can infuse robotization to every phase of the customer process – from marketing to sales and service. Not convinced yet? Here are three common sales painpoints that the robot can help to solve:
Proactive sales – how to figure out the customer needs early on?
All sales managers agonize over spotting customer needs early enough. For the sales robot, this is a basic chore. The early part of customer journey has moved online, which is a good thing – the robot can track and score customer behavior. When the time is right, the robot sends the hot lead to sales.
Value propositions – how to know what makes the customers tick?
Companies spend endless hours in refining the value propositions – in vacuum. Features and benefits are neatly listed, but customer feedback is not used to iterate and improve the propositions. For the sales robot, this is just a normal testing task. Whether it’s an e-mail or product website, the robot can run A/B tests and automatically choose which product features and benefits yield the best customer response.
Account management – how to handle the tail effectively?
Almost all customer bases obey the Pareto rule – 20% of the customers bring in 80% of the revenue. Sales resources are distributed in the same manner, meaning that there’s a long tail of customers without devoted account managers. Again, work for the robot. The sales robot can execute almost all the account management tasks – welcoming programs, up-selling campaigns and contract renewals, just to name few.
If you want to know more, take a look at the Sales Robot’s briefcase here!