Why Automation Can’t Replace Sales Reps

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Technology has permanently changed the way we do business, mostly for the better.

Incorporating technology can make your business more efficient but on the flip side, it has created some chatter about what the future holds for various industries, including media sales.

The role of the sales rep has traditionally been considered a people-centered job and tech has facilitated this in many ways. CRMs allow sales reps to manage client relationships, leads and follow-ups; Automation platforms allow for prospect nurturing and lead scoring; Website analytics help identify what tactics are engaging prospects and LinkedIn connects like-minded business people – sometimes

And while we would never dismiss the importance of automation, we do challenge the notion that it is the be-all and end-all of sales success. 

For every CRM, you need the fuel that makes it useful – think sales triggers and Valid Business Insights, relevant company data and correct contact details. For every social networking platform, you need a showstopping reason to get in touch with a connection if you’ve any chance of creating a lasting business partnership. 

And most importantly, you need a knowledgeable, confident, well-equipped sales professional to identify the critical buyer personas and deliver a message that will resonate, at just the right time. Nuance, adaptability, a personal touch – these things just can’t be automated, in our humble opinion. 

Here’s three reasons we believe the machines need us humans, for now anyway.

1. Innovation and critical thinking

One area humans outperform automation is our ability to think critically. When you automate a task, it is performed with no ‘thinking’. Is next Friday actually Good Friday and perhaps not a great time to schedule a bunch of automated sales outreach emails? Have school holidays started and will all parents (yes, prospects are parents too) be slightly distracted for the next 2 weeks? A talented sales rep can pre-empt problems, think critically and devise appropriate solutions that automation would simply go ahead and, well, automate. 

2. Understanding nuance

Technology allows us to draw out enormous amounts of data. Understanding customer interactions and the behavior of your leads can help you target your pitch and win more sales. 

But the data itself isn’t what will land a sale – it’s the person who is acting on that information. It takes smart sales reps to interpret the data, act on those insights, and turn them into sales opportunities. 

3. Building and nurturing relationships

Relationships drive business and an automated chatbot won’t forge a friendship the way a real-life person will. And when it comes to closing a deal, buyers want to work with someone they can trust. Tech doesn’t have the capacity to replace a sales rep’s ability to build trust and connection.

Particularly in relation to B2B selling, we still need proactive, outbound sales teams to identify prospects, close deals, and delight clients with authentic human interaction. 


However sophisticated automation becomes we still need smart humans running the show. Rather than worrying about being replaced by a robot, harness the power of automation to provide value to your customers by identifying the things that will reshape their business world.

And this is where IRD’s products come in handy. We don’t offer an automation platform but rather, we support proactive outbound sales reps by providing sales triggers that act as the fuel to supercharge your systems. 

If you are interested in learning more about what IRD has to offer, you can book an online demo. We will show you all the business opportunities you will have available to you by partnering with us.