Ask any successful sales rep what makes them great and they’ll likely tell you that it’s all about relationships. They’re good at what they do because they earn the trust of their customers. Sure, they utilize a handful of apps and tools to do what they do but at the end of the day they hit their numbers because they work hard at developing mutually beneficial, transparent relationships with their customers. These are the soft skills; the intangibles. And they aren’t going anywhere.
Yet as new sales technologies designed to automate, improve or otherwise do what a successful rep does are released on a seemingly daily basis, there’s a creeping concern. There’s a twinge of anxiety that it’s only a matter of time before technology takes dead aim at what the great reps are so good at: relationships.
Dwight taking fear of sales tech to the extreme.
Humans Like Buying from Humans
But here’s the rub: they’re not. Is it risky to declare that technology won’t blend into or fundamentally change any aspect of life? Of course. But in the B2B sales world, there’s one thing that seems to be universally true: humans like buying from other humans—especially when price tags are in the five-, six-, seven-figure ballpark. Customers want a (quality) relationship with their seller.
Therein lies the opportunity. The right technology used in the right way has the ability to help reps optimize what they do best. The right technology is going to give sales reps a leg up on personalization, collaboration, context… all the things that contribute to quality relationships. Digital engagement solutions help reps sell better. They widen the pipeline, filling it with more accounts—and that’s a significantly better approach than incessant phone calls and emails.
The timing is perfect too. More and more of the buying process is happening internally, without the sales rep at the table. Buyer teams are building internal consensus and executing internal due diligence for the first nine yards and only bringing in sales for the last one. B2B sales tech that can serve up the right information at precisely the right time during those first nine yards is driving relationship development in a digital way. The future is a blend of digital engagement and human touch that facilitates reps in doing what they do best.
Rethink Your Sales Tech Perspective
So the next time a piece of sales tech feels like a threat to your ability to create real trust and real relationships, change your perspective and think about how it can super-charge that innate skillset. Think about how a given piece of B2B sales technology might help you deliver more personalization and more customization. Think about what more it might let you do instead of worrying what responsibilities it might take from you. And lastly, think about what these technologies (which are designed to optimize your relationship-building excellence) might do for your organization’s top line.