Perfection is a challenge for any human to accomplish and fortunately I don't have to rely on a human to manage my sales contacts. When I compare what a human requires, it becomes easy to understand why a computer program is so attractive. The computer doesn't take breaks or go on vacation. It is rare for a computer program to forget anything as long as there is power in the lines, there is action.
The computer will replace a salesman's best friend when it is programmed to perform the duties a salesperson doesn't like to do. In my case, the program reminds me of every contact or communication I need to make and it makes many of them for me. If I forget to make a call or overlook one, it reminds me that I need to take action. When I used to do this with a paper method, it would take hours to perform what now takes minutes and I have more time for additional sales calls.
The Sales Manager Replacement
Now that my sales manager is a computer, I don't mind the gentle reminders that come with the program. The contact reports I generate are filled with details of all my calls and I can track what has occurred in all my accounts. The computer program actually completes these tasks for me. Yes, I hate to fill out most contact reports, I'm human aren't I? In reality, I am the one that is controlling the situation; the computer simply does what I have programmed it to perform.
The sales manager replacement only happens when I forget something. Best of all, I never have to attend those long meetings where they ask me what I did. The sales contact reports list all my activities and it has made my life easy. Management is thrilled with the higher level of contact I am making now that I have empowered the computer to perform many of my tasks. It is like doing the work of three or four salespeople instead of struggling to do my job.
Why This Isn't Crazy!
If you are thinking, this is crazy; no computer program can do this. You are wrong! Think of it this way, every sale follows a path or an action plan that leads to sales. When a company can program these events and automate them for salespeople, the sales process is automated. The trick is to work with a consultant that specializes in automating the sales process.
Typically, the consulting firm will analyze the business and determine what the typical sales actions are. These will be applied to a sales process and the events will be triggered so they are automated for maximum effectiveness. The salesperson will actually be removed from many of the time consuming activities that are performed by the computer. In many cases the computer program can eliminate as much as 90 percent of the time wasted activities the salesperson would normally attempt.
The automation of the sales process will increase the sales activities and this will lead to increased sales. The computer can be programmed to perform human tasks that are ritual in nature but are required to build relationships. If you aren't sure if your sales program can be automated look at your typical day, is it filled with similar activities? The answer is probably, yes! These routine activities are the activities that can free a salesperson to accomplish more. In many cases a salesperson will be able to perform the job of several salespeople and in other cases; a business owner might discover that a salespersons role can be accomplished by a good Customer Service Representative (CSR) who enjoys working with computers. The secret to success is building the sales process and the action plans for the computer.
Steve Martinez is a Sales Management Growth Strategist and Founder of Selling Magic. Ask for a "Sales Automation Audit" and subscribe to his ezine to Increase sales with the best practices of sales management at http://www.sellingmagic.com