Why Sales Automation Needs a Human Touch

8 minutes

Why Sales Automation Needs a Human Touch

In an attempt to become more efficient and save time, salespeople are becoming increasingly reliant on sales automation. Sales automation usually comes in the form of auto-diallers, email sequences, LinkedIn outreach and pre-recorded voicemails.

At Fide, we're all for making our lives easier with tech. But it's important to understand that sales automation can be a cause for concern and can harm your sales efforts. No matter the form of sales automation being utilised, it's important that it's combined with real human input. Here's why.

Prospects can tell the difference

The principle behind sales automation is that salespeople regularly encountered repetitive activities and tasks. Follow up prospecting, follow up emails and leaving voicemails are all examples of activities that are repetitive and typically automated in order to save time and generate more leads.

But in 2021, more leads doesn't equal more closed deals - especially in the B2B space. Inside sales requires a very personalised and one-on-one approach to ensure a prospect's needs are understood. When note used correctly, auto-diallers, pre-recorded voicemails and email automation can threaten your buyer's perception and lose you deals.

Auto Diallers

Auto-diallers dial through your database for you until somebody picks up. Because these dialers reach out to multiple prospects at once, there are typically three issues that occur when someone picks up:

  1. The salesperson hasn't prepared their pitch or
  2. Depending on how the auto-dialler works, there may be a delay to connect the call or
  3. There may not be a rep immediately available

In most cases, this gives rise to an awkward pause that can be the difference between having a conversation or the prospect hanging up before they even get to listen to what you have to say. In this modern era where cold calls already have a stigma attached, prospects do not have the patience for automated calls and your company is likely to be perceived as less credible.

Auto-diallers are great at shaving off seconds but for many salespeople, those seconds saved through the day isn't going to translate into more deals closed. We recommend manually dialling through your CRM or database.

Pre-recorded voicemails

On top of auto-diallers, many sales teams take it a step further and leave pre-recorded voicemails. It's as simple as clicking once to dial and then clicking a second time to leave a voicemail.

When it comes to voicemails, you need to ensure your message is tailored to the person hearing it. Leaving a voicemail that doesn't even mention the prospect's name isn't a good start. Combine that with not demonstrating that you understand the prospect's needs and their specific position is the recipe for failure.

Prospective buyers want to know what's in it for them to pick up the next time you call or call them back and automated voicemails don't help convince them. Instead, don't worry about the 15 seconds you're going to save and leave a voicemail that tells your prospects how your service/product solves their pain points relative to their business and role.

Email automation

Emails are the same - they should give prospects the specifics of how your solution can help their business. From what we've seen, email automation is very often abused with 100+ prospects receiving the same email with only the first name and company name being the difference.

Sales automation works only if it's deeply personalised. It needs to go beyond first name and company name and include information specific to the prospect and their business. This is where the human touch comes in as there's a level of research required before crafting the email sequence.

At Fide, we utilise sales automation in our outreach campaigns for both us and our clients but personalise our messages to a degree that yields 90%+ open rates and 40%+ response rates. How? Every email is unique. This is an email that was sent to prospects in the banking and finance industries on behalf of a programmatic agency client.

Hi <First Name>,

I was digging through some data on the <industry> industry and found that <company name> is spending about <ad spend per month> a month on <advertising channels>.

A lot of other <company type>'s like <competitor list> have been shifting spend to Facebook because they're able to run more targeted campaigns with stronger conversion rates and CPAs. This is particularly useful when <desired outcome affected by pain point> is the goal.

We know this because we've produced these results for brands like <clients with same problem>.

If you've got a few minutes, I'd like to discuss a few ideas I have on <desired outcome of solution>.

Let me know. Enjoy your day.


<SP name>

P.S. I can send you the case study from our engagement with <similar client> so you can get a sense of what we've done for other companies.

The above is a great example of how email automation combined with proper personalisation connects with the prospect and shows that there has already been an investment in getting to know their pain points and current position.

If you need further guidance, look at the sales emails you've received over the last 3 months. Which ones did you respond to and which ones did you ignore? More importantly, why?

It can waste money and time

Sales enablement tools like email automation software, auto-diallers and more cost quite a bit of money. To give you an example, great email automation software alone plugs into your CRM and genuinely save you time is likely to cost around $100USD per month.

Although that may not sound like a lot, the question to ask is what ROI are you getting from this tool? Unfortunately, it's very difficult to attribute success to tools like the above, especially when faced with the possibility of wasting money and time.

Burning through data

At Fide, we have an account-based approach to data. It involves us hand-picking accounts based on the client's ideal customer profile, building out the account details by hand and then taking a very focused approach when it comes to the outreach.

Many companies take more of an automated approach. They may buy databases from online vendors or export lists from LinkedIn or other lead software and then feed them into their automation software. The problem with this approach is that it burns through prospects very quickly.

This automated approach is focused on short-term gain and may help hit targets for the next month or quarter. However, over time, the investment in building these lists is lost when compared to taking an organic approach.

At Fide, we know that building a narrowly defined buyer persona and then reaching out is the most effective method for B2B sales. Although you will end up with a smaller list of prospects, the chance of conversion and successful engagement is much higher.

If you want your sales team to spend their time on quality leads that are most relevant to your ICP and buyer persona, you need a reliable and accurate database from the get-go. Fide can help build or refine your existing database to help with your sales efforts. Learn more about our data service by click here.

IP Blacklisting

When it comes to large databases, abusing email automation often results in your domain (e.g. or IP address being blacklisted. In other words, emails you send to prospects land in spam/junk folders and go undelivered. There are many causes for blacklisting but the most common are:

  1. Sudden increase in sending volume
  2. High rate of emails flagged as spam
  3. Bad email data (too many invalid email addresses)
  4. Spam-like words or phrases in email content

Once you've been blacklisted, it takes very long to get your domain delisted and involves contacting your email provider, ISP or third-party that operates the list. We suggest you leave email automation to the experts instead of people who don't understand the best practices and risks of mass emailing.

Practice makes perfect

Salespeople should get better over time when it comes to selling your service. The more opportunities they're given to research a prospect, the better they become at identifying pain points. The more they get to cold call, the better they get at pitching and objection handling.

When a sales process is over-automated, salespeople get fewer opportunities to engage with reps on a personal left and boost their experience. For example, leaving pre-recorded voicemails removes the opportunity for sales people to practice personalising and articulating their value propositions throughout the day. Practice makes perfect.

A tool not a substitute

Sales automation is a tool and not a substitute for human interaction and your sales process. When heavily relied upon, it presents your company in a bad light, burns through leads and results in less engaged salespeople.

However, when used correctly and combined with a human touch, it can bolster your sales process to help generate more opportunities and closed deals. If you'd like you find out more about how Fide uses automation to get you sales meetings with prospects, get in touch with us today.

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