Man vs. Machine: When to Hire, When to Implement Partner Sales Software

Posted on November 15, 2016

By Scott Salkin

Tags: 

sales software

As technology becomes increasingly intelligent, more and more business processes and procedures are automated. From marketing to sales, many companies rely on “smart” tools and technology to streamline tedious tasks and make day-to-day operations even easier. But as we’ve seen outlined in countless sci-fi films, there’s a point where technology can overwhelm, or, in the case of some hyperbolic plots, dominate mankind. In fact, when you search for “Artificial Intelligence” on Google, many of the 82M+ results relate back to fear, uncertainty and doubt related to everything from the destruction of jobs to the destruction of mankind entirely.

Let me make this very clear – I’m NOT here to say that technology is inherently evil. It’s not. However, I am here to make the claim that there are, in fact, many business tasks that technology, artificial intelligence and “bots” simply should not and cannot complete. In other words, there are plenty of instances where “HI” (human intelligence) will always be greater than AI – where man (or woman) is greater than machine.

So when do you hire more resources or implement partner sales software?

Technology is capable of extraordinary things. But there’s one thing it cannot, and will not, surpass: human connection.

“Today’s organizations are filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity” – @bobgower #INBOUND16 Tweet: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” –Seth Godin http://ctt.ec/cTfE2+ @figmints

Today’s organizations are ecosystems filled with people, processes and technology and surrounded by markets and competitors of the same. Sure they’re volatile. Sure they’re uncertain. Sure they’re complex. So are humans. And humans connect to brands that have emotion and realness. We’re talking human-to-human connections, people. The meat and potatoes of business. That certain something that makes good organizations great.

While technology can be modified to resolve various, complex problems, human resources are still required to close deals and sell products. No matter how much you rely on technology to automate processes, the core of the sales process still requires reps to pick up the phone and utilize specialized skills.

However, there are situations where organizations definitely can benefit from AI and automation, such as when there are too many leads for internal sales teams to qualify, or not enough leads to close. In this scenario, the sales pipeline is clearly underperforming or under resourced—and the need to introduce alternative resources becomes apparent.

That’s where we turn to technology.

At its core, technology serves to increase efficiencies and reduce human error. Errors, after all, make businesses slower, less efficient and less agile. Three top-level nightmares for any executive. If used intelligently, software applied to your channel partner program can do the opposite – it can accelerate sales, reduce unnecessary costs and pressures, and improve performance and agility. So, isn’t it fascinating that the best and most effective platforms have found that the key to success is being extremely intuitive for the human end-user and facilitative of collaboration between those users. In other words, they’re not about “managing” anything. Rather, they’re about make partnering simple and enjoyable.

Partner sales acceleration software is built around the unique needs of the people within a channel program. The tools and features are created for the purpose of simplifying and facilitating cross-enterprise communication and complex deal making. In this regard, software can be applied to rescue a struggling marketing program or sales pipeline.

Machine, not man, can provide digital dashboards for centralized access across an entire organization. For partner sales teams, technology can be utilized to distribute customized content to virtually any device, anywhere in the world. And it can manage future development with real-time data and key performance indicators (KPIs).

While hiring us pesky, emotional humans is often required to boost sales, it’s also important to pay attention to your processes. In other words, it’s entirely possible to use technology to boost your sales pipeline.

Channel reps can work around the clock to close deals. But they’re only human after all. Unfortunately, they can’t analyze every interaction effectively and efficiently. Sales acceleration tools enable partner teams to prioritize deals that have actively engaged decision makers.

If implemented correctly, sales acceleration software should greatly impact channel sales efforts. By enabling your teams—and partners—you can learn how partners compare to each other, see who’s engaging with training and playbooks, and leverage data to gauge effectiveness.

Scott Salkin

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