Many companies are now using marketing automation tools to keep track of their client relationships. They also use these tools to nurture their leads through the sales process. This includes everything from customer relationship management (CRM) systems and automated email tools to social media management apps. However, sometimes people get complacent or overly impressed with the new capabilities of technology and forget about the importance of human connection. Many have developed unrealistic expectations of what automation can do for them. Also, many are expecting these tools to automatically turn their prospects into “sales-ready leads” on their own. While it’s nice to have this automation, you can’t forget the importance of human connections. Below are 4 examples of how human connections can complement marketing automation. 

Giving an extra nudge to prospects who need it

Sometimes, automated systems can cause sales teams to overlook or miss out on prospective buyers that just need an extra nudge. A CRM system can’t always track this. Human intuition is required to know when someone is almost ready to buy but just needs one more contact. In these cases, talk with a manager or a colleague to see if they’re hearing the same things from the prospect that you are. There are so many subtle nuances to knowing how and when a prospect is truly “ready to buy.” These signals are not always going to show up on a computer-generated report.  

Creating that ‘human touchpoint’ to build a relationship

Marketing automation tools can be helpful at organizing your contacts, keeping track of notes and managing relationships over time at a high level. However, your prospects often need human connections to help break through the clutter and noise of everyday life. This is where your automation tools can help hone in on the right people to call. However, it requires a real person to take that next step and pick up the phone. You may be surprised at how happy your prospects are to hear from you.

Answering questions to help prospects fully understand the solution 

Your prospects may have questions or specific concerns that are not addressed by your emails, brochures or website FAQs. The human element can help guide your prospects to understand the solution you’re offering. Talking with customers by phone or web-based video chat can also help you understand the weaknesses and blind spots of your marketing literature. Having real conversations can help you get your marketing in better alignment with what your customers need.

Hearing the prospect’s sales objections

Marketing automation tends to work silently. You send a batch of emails, test the response rates and maybe get a few inbound leads. But what happened to all the prospects that didn’t respond? Were they turned off by your marketing message? Or were they just too busy to read your message? You’ll never know unless you actually talk to people. This is another limitation of marketing automation that requires human connection. At some point, you need to start making calls and getting direct insights into what people think about your company and product/service. Sales phone calls are valuable not only for what you say to prospects, but for what you hear from them.