The truth is, there are only two things in life:
reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count
There is no getting away from it - the achievement of a goal creates the value. Those that "achieve" are more valuable than people that simply "do". So its a tough argument to say that recruiters are wrong to advise clients and to devise processes that filter out doers in favour of achievers. And with the increasing use of CV filter 'bots' or Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to automatically score an otherwise unread CV, the need to comply has become compelling.
However, these bots don't operate in the three areas of:
- Empathy, and
There is nothing to save an applicant from the automation bots, so those failing to play by the recruitment rules will simply not succeed.
Working in areas that matter
Winning achievement happens when influence and effort is targeted on specific and valuable tasks. Winners are the people that can actually deliver.
As specialists in automation, we find ourselves only working in areas that matter. Typically we become involved because the cost of a business process is high. But beyond this automation gets its winning results when both the cost of the process and the value of the achievement are high.
So think about tasks that really matter to your organisation. What is generally considered high up on the value matrix? Then follow the money - what is being spent on what?
I'll take an educated guess that delivering sales is up there with the leaders on both counts! Yet strangely the activity of selling has been little touched by automation. Sure there are productivity and management tools like salesforce.com, but little in the way of actual automation of sales.
Perhaps for the reason that bots are not effective when it comes to judgement, empathy and creativity. But there are many tasks that should indeed need to be done for successful sales not involving these things. So what tasks, targetted where, can achieve a winning result?
Achieve a winning result
First: what is possible? Practically speaking, the opportunity for sales automation lies in e-commerce: face to face bots aren't even in the prototype stage yet!
Second: what is the opportunity? Potential customers are already heavily marketed. Safe to say aware buyers have more than enough opportunities to find venders and serve themselves. So where are the actual opportunities to achieve results: to become a winner?
One key difference between marketing and sales is the degree by which the message can be changed. Marketing has become adept at appealing to particular audiences with 'personalised messages'. But such messaging pre-supposes a degree of understanding - the need or desire has been translated into product terms by the customer. Particularly in B2B where needs are more complex, this is harder for the customer to do, and creates an opportunity for selling by helping and educating.
Four stages of learning
Fortunately, you can split your audience into four clear behavioural groups; with varying degrees of competency and consciousness. We're not talking about whether they're awake or not, but their feelings and judgements.
In B2B buying terms, we've labelled them as Luddites, Researchers, Procrastinators and Self Servers. Traditional e-commerce marketing clearly reaches the latter group - the consciously competent self servers effectively. They know what they want and where to get it, it is just a decision of which one to buy.
Process driven sales assistance reaches the other untapped audience groups or parts of the market. Symptoms of the prescence of these groups are visitors that don't buy and complementary products going unsold.
Winning lies in using the language of the buyer. Adopting a need or consultative based sales approach. Educating, informing and reassuring uncertain enquirers so they convert to buyers. The result: increased conversion rates along with larger basket sizes often including the premium margin products.
There will always be a smaller group who 'don't get it'. These 'know-it-alls' think they know how to 'do' something. They simply assume you don't have what they need because they dont know what they are looking for. These 'Luddites' will eventually get it, but only through broadcast marketing sprinkled with a bit of social proof.
Whether considered doing or achieving - increasing sales by reaching the largest and forgotten customer groups is definitely ACHIEVING. Here at AMO we can provide automation to do sales 24/7, so let's start a conversation today.