Semi-Automation in Sales: How to Offer a Better Shopping Experience
I wrote this content to help sales teams of sky marketing which adapt to new market needs: greater personalization and contextualization of contacts with potential customers through semi-automation in sales.
After working in the three areas of the sales process (Business Intelligence, SDR, and as a salesperson), I realized that customizing contacts is very important for all 3 steps. From the Commercial Intelligence gathering customized information, as for the SDR and Seller, which guarantee a personalized communication.
I felt the need to write content about it because, when lead qualification and contacts are made with personalization from the first contact, regardless of whether it is done by an SDR or a salesperson, the entire customer journey develops with more quality and engagement on both sides: the sales team and the lead.
By the end of this text, you will understand why automated processes should be used at more specific times within the context of the lead and how to adapt your sales process to increase lead conversions in the face of the new commercial area scenario.
Automation vs Semi-Automation in Sales
Most managers have already received an email that offered to provide a service, but that was not the solution that would solve their pain.
In other words: someone contacted us to offer a service without even knowing if there was a need for that solution.
If they had done previous research on the potential customer’s scenario or sector, they could have offered a service more adapted to their needs, drawing attention quickly, differentiating themselves from the noise and still generating authority and confidence in front of the lead.
But as it was an automated contact and no personalization, they didn’t know the real need for that lead and offered a service that didn’t make sense at the time. It is likely that the contact attempt was ignored or filed in the inbox.
It’s important to understand that automation shouldn’t be left behind: it should be best used at specific times within the lead context as long as it doesn’t detract from the shopping experience by offering ease to sales staff and SDRs.
For example, inflows of the first contact with a lead, the ideal is to use semi-automated flows, in which more contextualized contacts can be made.
In fallback flows (recovery of disengaged leads), more automated flows can be used so that the sales team and SDRs have more time to focus on other lead flows with greater conversion potential.
The real truth is that “how you sell” has become as important as “what you sell”. Offering a poor, customizable shopping experience to a potential customer is shooting yourself in the foot, no matter if your product is the best in the market!
Customization is a way to improve the shopping experience
I can prove the statement I made above with this chart:
After doing an analysis of 10.5 Million sales interactions, it was clear that the conversion of semi-automated flows (contextualized and personalized) is far superior to automated flows (with little contextualization and personalization and sent in high volume).
And what is the reason for this? Yes, it’s a matter of personalization and contextualization!
The use of semi-automated flows is the first step towards achieving higher conversion rates offering a better shopping experience.
Why Automated Flows Should Not Be Used to Generate Volume
First, I’ll explain the difference between automated and semi-automated flows.
The automated flow is one in which all contacts are automatically sent to the leads, usually by email.
The semi-automated flow is one that has so many contact attempts without automatic tasks, allowing the seller/SDR to have a much more personalized approach to leads. In it, it is possible to vary the channels of interaction with leads, increasing efficiency, and conversion.
(Data from Reeve’s report)
There are parts of the process that can (and should) be automated, but this should not be the main way used to generate really expressive results.
Yes, automating bulk emailing will reach a lot of people. But that may not make you sell anymore! Have you ever heard the phrase “quantity is not quality”? It applies perfectly here.
You need to understand which types of flow have the need to be semi-automated because they have more customization in the approach and which ones can be automated to increase and facilitate the movement of your process.
Lead context should be analyzed before using automated flows as sending bulk emails can irritate your customer and waste leads using generalist approaches.
Now that you understand the importance of adapting some flows to the semi-automated, we need to talk about adapting who will carry out this operation: the sales team and the SDRs team.
When do sales teams and SDRs use semi-automated flows?
The Sales team of Capital Smart City will use semi-automated contacts during prospecting for potential customers, and the sales team enters this new scenario from its first attempt to contact the lead, whether by transferring an SDR baton or raising a hand coming from inbound.
This generation of value is necessary from the first contact with the lead, both by sales and by SDRs, which will make a very positive first impression for the potential customer.
Using scripts for a first commercial interaction is the same thing as receiving an email offering a service that your company does not need: it is generalist, boring, and clearly not done thinking about what your company needs, in addition to representing a discredit in the SDR/Seller’s ability to interact with the prospect in a humane way.
The sales and SDR teams need to be trained, empowered and humanized to make more contextualized contacts!
Customized email converts much more than automated email, which reinforces the need for customization and the importance of SDR/Seller skills in the process.
By believing in the salesperson’s work and skills, he is more open to using his creativity and skills and maximizing his impact on the sales process, with more human and specific interactions according to the scenario of each lead.
In addition to providing a better experience for the potential customer, the sales team is more engaged and willing to offer a positive buying experience for the lead! Everyone leaves satisfied and, consequently, everyone engages more in the process.
Here at Reeve, we believe in the power of personalization and empowerment of salespeople and, therefore, our tool works with the option of semi-automated flows, giving the sales team the opportunity to customize contacts within a flow.
Therefore, our solution has the option of using automated or semi-automated flows.
The individual freedom of vendors and SDRs to create their own cadence streams and confidence in the vendor’s capabilities allows them to constantly improve the quality of their work.
Furthermore, with the use of different types of flows, the team will always have new ideas for approaches that convert more, increasing the performance and quality of the team as a whole.
On Reeve’s platform, SDRs/Sellers have the option of creating a workflow that allows a quick flow change for the lead, according to the actions it takes.
This creation of triggers generates greater productivity for the SDR/Seller and a better buying experience for the lead, who will have contacts with the commercial area according to their maturity in the purchase journey.
When the manager humanizes and gives creative freedom to his team, the SDR/Seller has reasons to deliver his best, and so we can deliver to buyers the best buying experience and buyer engagement.
By balancing the 3 aspects, we have the Sales Engagement methodology being applied in its purest form!
What are the activities that convert the most?
As we can see in the chart below, the activities that convert the most are those that naturally require more personalized contacts:
Making personalized contacts is very important. But all this personalization loses its effectiveness if it is used in contacts only by one channel.
The mixed flows, with several different touchpoints (email, phone, LinkedIn, other social networks), convert up to 4x more than the streams that only have one type of touchpoint:
The chart below shows how the use of personalization, combined with the variation in touchpoints, has positive effects:
This graph shows us how the first two contacts joined together generate conversions and the result of varying channel usage.
Firstly, we have contacted via a well-written and personalized email, together with contact via Whatsapp. Second, we have a contextualized link, followed by a follow-up via Whatsapp.
The presence of instant messages was strong in the first 3 positions and became a great practice in structuring cadence flows.
Reeve is a Sales Engagement platform, that is, it seeks to engage leads, the commercial area and the manager in processes and flows. For this, she developed several tools to strengthen this relationship.
As in semi-automation salespeople/SDRs have a lot of variation in channel usage when contacting leads to generate this engagement, Reeve facilitates the visualization of results and organization of the salespeople/SDRs cadence flows.
In the tool, all contacts made with leads are saved and organized so that the salesperson/SDR knows exactly what their tasks are for the day, what type of channel will be used on the next touchpoint with each lead specifically, and in which step of the flow it is, which improves the team’s engagement in the process.
In this way, the salesperson/SDR spends less time organizing the tasks of their day, has more visualization of the flows that are giving more return and the manager has total transparency of the results of the sales team:
Converting semi-automated flows is far superior to automated flows, but automated flows are still necessary in business processes and should be used at more specific times within the context of the lead.
The commercial team must have greater creative freedom and humanization so that they can use semi-automated flows with quality, delivering contextualization and a good buying experience for the leads.
Using Reeve, the entire Sales Engagement methodology is applied: the manager has better visualization of the flows and touchpoints of the commercial area; the team has greater creative freedom, the ease with its organization and management of tasks and visualization of engagement in its cadence flows; and leads will receive more contextualized contacts according to their needs, having a better experience in the purchase journey!