"Salespeople should just focus on closing sales, and let the marketers do the rest through automation."
Is process MORE important than people? Could any monkey bring business opportunities to closure at your company?
Recently I attended a great small event for marketers put on by my friend and colleague, TJ McCue of Tech Biz Talk about an eBook on Marketing Automation that is being created. Sponsored in part by Lenovo and Infusionsoft, TJ is working to gather input on what you think about marketing automation. You can help too, and possibly win a laptop with your submission. See at the end of the post what they are looking for.
I was amazed at a comment that was made by a presenter (won't name) about how companies should have salespeople just be working to focus on closing sales, and the automated software should do all the rest. WOW. Did that really get said? He said more - how salespeople are not focused on anything but making money. Of course I raised my hand and said to the presenter, "You are obviously not a salesperson."
It's my strong belief, and I'd love others' opinions on this - that every sales opportunity, unless you are selling a commodity online needs a human involved at most steps of the process. What I heard yesterday was how the goal of marketing automation is to take your initial sign of interest online and set up email auto-responders and intentional automated "interrupts" to take you, the unsuspecting potential buyer down an automated path where ultimately you'll be tagged one way or another and followed up upon.
It just feels so "icky" to me. Is this what selling a product or service has come to? There is certainly a place - a big place, in our consulting work - to help people with process, systems, and automation - but if you have a good product or service, you don't need to trick people and you should give them every opportunity to engage in a 2 way conversation before (and after) becoming a customer.
OK, so back to the contest and e-book you can contribute to on marketing automation. They are looking for:
- where in the marketing / sales process do you think the sales pipeline gets bogged down?
- what success stories do you have with putting an automated system in place and what tips can you offer?
In TJ's words, "We are looking for great ideas, great success stories, and tips on how to best leverage new marketing automation tools."
You can win a Lenovo Touchscreen computer with your tip. Good luck!