A crazed man thumps a message into his keyboard “STOP PRETENDING YOU ARE A HUMAN!”     

This man is working his way through multiple LinkedIn messages that pretend to come from a human being but are, in reality, part of an automated outreach sequence.   

Sound familiar?  

Yet thousands of companies are choosing to be anti-social in their lead generation.  

When I speak to CEO’s, CRO’s and VP sales about the ROI on automated Linkedin lead generation, they talk of fantastic ROI and one the best ways to reach new prospects at scale.  

So if this approach may work for the company.  But does it work for the individual sales rep? 

Do not get me wrong, cold prospecting sits at the heart of most successful sales strategies. Many Sales Reps (myself included) started their careers spending their days dialing away to cold prospects hoping to find the diamond in the rough.  

What I am trying to get my head around is how automated cold prospecting, that is designed to look as if it is sent to an individual from another individual but in reality part of an automation, delivers the results the seller is looking for.  

As a potential customer am I more likely to engage with a person who has just adding me to an automation?   

Does my perception of that company go up or down when I figure out, they are not really interested in knowing me at all?   

The irony that seems to be lost on those using high volume automated prospecting on social media, is that social media is meant to be a place to build relationships. Yet their approach is actually anti-social and may be doing them more harm than good.  

The paradox I see is that most sales professionals will openly say that they do not want to cold call using the phone, fearing being seen as pushy or bothering clients.      

Yet many sales professionals seem happy to burn the reputation they have worked hard to build up on social media by spamming their new connections with an automated sequence.   (unless they are using BURNER Linkedin profiles – more on that another time)  

Just in case you start thinking I am anti-technology in sales,  I LOVE sales technology, BUT only when used to enhance the buyer’s experience as well as improving overall sales productivity.  

The challenge that many businesses face is how to use technology to enhance the sales process by blending existing human interactions with digitised services.   

Gartner’s  Q1 edition of The Chief Sales Officer highlights that B2B buyers are increasingly wanting a “sales rep free” buying experience. They predict that by 2025 80% of B2B sales interactions will take place through digital channels as buyers increasingly seek out seller-free sales experiences (currently at 33%).  

So, if you want to invest in technology to drive sales, think about how you can digitise your sales process to make it seller free….it is where the future is at.  

 So, if you want to invest in technology to drive sales, think about how you can digitise your sales process to make it seller free….it is where the future is at.  

And IF YOU MUST use automated prospecting funnels think about trying these things:  

1: Highlight that it is an automation…..  they will work it out anyway.  By saying upfront what the process is, then the pressure is on you to make them feel like they want to engage with a human.   

2: Plan your content that aims to add value & learn more about them vs trying to write every email like you wrote it. ( i.e, Hi Alex, one last message before I do not email you again…)  

3: Blend automation with humanity – taking the extra time to send some personalised messages as part of a cycle will allow you to add information that cannot be scraped from a LinkedIn profile and make you look more human.   

 

At this point you might be thinking I am just a grump traditionalist.   

But you would be wrong, because ultimately I love meeting individuals that are skilled at sales.  So I do offer those that put me in an automated sequence a chance to prove their worth.  

How?  I throw them an objection and see how they respond.

After the third message I reply with something like this “I do not engage with automated message sequences on social media as I feel they are anti-social and defeat the objective of “social”.  But if you want to engage human to human then feel free to message me back?”

Sadly only only 1 in 5 respond, however when they do I have met some great people, seen some great products and even bought one or two.

I call this game HUNT the HUMAN….. may be you can play it too!!

Let me know how it goes

 

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