Salesforce recently published their State of Sales research, accompanied by the depressing headline that salespeople spend less than 30% of their time actually selling. This begs the question: how did we get here?
A short history
The profession of salesperson has undergone many evolutions over the last couple of decades:
historically, sales was predominantly a relationship-driven profession. Salespeople spent the majority of their time in face-to-face interactions with clients, building relationships and closing deals. This era prioritized personal connection and persuasion skills. The introduction of the Rolodex (ask your parents) in 1956 was seen as a revolution. The rotating device stored data cards containing contact information. As you might imagine, the world was never the same. Lawsuits were filed by companies against employees who attempted to take their Rolodex with them when leaving the company. Information, it turned out, was worth quite a lot.
The introduction of computers and the internet only emphasized this point more. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems we all love to hate were developed to help salespeople manage their client interactions more efficiently. While these tools were intended to save time, they also introduced new tasks related to data entry and management.
The explosion of information available online transformed buyers' habits. Customers began conducting their own research, often preferring to engage with salespeople later in the buying process. This shift required salespeople to spend more time understanding customer needs and customizing solutions, rather than just selling products.
As businesses grew more complex, sales roles expanded to include a variety of non-selling activities. Salespeople found themselves spending significant time on administrative tasks, customer service follow-ups, internal meetings, and training. The pressure to keep detailed records and engage in strategic planning further reduced the time available for actual selling.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to digital sales interactions. Remote working and virtual meetings became the norm, changing how sales are conducted. While this offered new efficiencies, it also introduced challenges in building personal connections and required salespeople to adapt to new technologies and methods of communication.
Today, salespeople are navigating a landscape where their role involves much more than just selling. They are expected to be data analysts, customer service experts, and tech-savvy professionals. The increased burden of administrative tasks, coupled with the need to stay informed and adapt to rapidly changing technologies and market conditions, has significantly reduced the time they can dedicate to direct selling activities.
So here we are: we have entered a future that is somehow both supercharged and administrative. A profession that used to literally revolve around relationships (Rolodex-joke), has now become something akin to bureaucracy. And that is not actually a bad thing.
Prioritizing leads/opportunities, researching prospects, preparation and planning, prospecting and manually entering customer and sales information. All these tasks may be a boring way to spend 9.2+9.3+9+8.8+8.7=45% of your time, but they actually ensure that the buyer is infinitely better served. Buyers have come to expect (and deserve) a personalized, well-prepared approach, so salespeople have to develop an entire separate skillset of detail-oriented LinkedInvestigating.
This brings us to the future: one where, if we play our cards right, we may end up with the best of both worlds. When AI systems take over the load of researching, documenting and preparing, human salespeople will be free to revert back to their default state of face-to-face interactions with clients, building relationships and closing deals.
This is where Emailpig comes in. A new approach to sales technology, Emailpig links with your website, CRM and email system. Our AI identifies high-propensity prospects based on prior interactions, website visits and thousands of other datapoints. It then selects the perfect contact at that company and does your research. Based on this research and your states preferences, an email is written that personally engages the prospect and matches your tone.
The dashboard shows you which pages the prospects visited and how they got there. If not satisfied with the selected prospect, you can easily filter other employees and immediately change your messages. You can switch templates at will, directly send the email from your own account, and even schedule messages to be sent at specific times. They will even appear in your Sent folder.
This system will, when prompted, also add colder leads to your Outbox. These are prospects determined by the AI to match your Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona. You can share your dashboard with your colleagues, and even assign contacts to them without ever touching your CRM. Almost as cool as a Rolodex, right?
Emailpigs mission is to enable to salespeople to do what they do best: sell. Salespeople want to spend their day having face-to-face interactions with clients, building relationships and closing deals. We’ll make it happen. Harnessing the current wave of awesome AI-developments, Emailpig will couple with your website, CRM and email to supercharge your prospecting and research.
By signing up to a free trial, you can start your days with opening your daily email of personalized outreaches to interested prospects.
And never look back.