CRM: Can it Replace Human Empathy in Sales?

When it comes to relationships and people, it is always a question of “what’s in it for me?” People won’t listen to you purely out of their sheer desire to listen. Everyone has a motive, and that motive centers around their interest. The same is true in sales. The person selling goes out of his way, not because he wants to, but because he benefits from it.

The person listening is not there for the sales skills of the seller, but because something perked his interest and is bound to get something he wants. Joe Girard, the world’s best car salesman, sold over 13,001 cars within 15 years of his career because he gave people what they wanted. At one time, he was able to sell 18 cars in one day. How did he do it?

He took care of every client he had, listening to their needs and making them feel important. Every month, he wrote handwritten cards to all his customers, conveying a message that they mattered to him. He empathized with his client. He felt that they needed to be heard and valued. He gave them what they needed, and in the end, he also got what he wanted. He closed every sales opportunity that came his way.

But what exactly is empathy, and is it possible to rely on such a sales strategy when everyone is gearing towards optimization and automation?

What Is Empathy, And Can It Be Modeled Through a CRM?

In psychology, empathy is defined as the person’s ability to feel what the other person is feeling. In sales, Harvard Business Review succinctly defined it as the crucial central ability of the seller to feel what his buyer feels to help him sell a service or product. This doesn’t always mean for you to be sympathetic.

Essentially, you can still know what the other person is feeling without agreeing with that feeling. You need to have that irreplaceable and invaluable ability to solicit powerful feedback through empathy. A good salesperson can sense his customer’s reaction and should be able to adjust his responses according to this reaction. With the creative modifications he applied, he can close in the sale.

The strategy of Joe Girard may be very personal and requires face-to-face interaction, but it does not mean that such a strategy cannot be modeled through modern-day CRM and sales optimization tools. While sales skills are personal to people, technology can model this skill to develop automated processes that will even increase company revenue by leaps and bounds.

Knowledge Of The Customer Is Vital

Since the meaning of empathy is established, the more pressing question that needs to be answered now is whether or not human empathy is something that you can model through sales CRM. The digital marketplace calls for atomization to streamline operations, reduce workforce costs, and widen its market reach. Though these tasks seem to be highly-advanced, it will all come down to how well you know your customers.

If you know your customers, working with a sales automation tool will take “human touch” and “human empathy” out of the equation. Instead, it will help your company identify your customers’ needs, offer them choices they would like, and hasten the delivery of service. The sales reports and analyses your automation tool can generate will help you identify the areas you excelled in, aspects you can improve, and opportunities you can explore. After reviewing these reports, you can design, tweak, or completely modify your sales processes to make your service more efficient.

People and technology are intertwined — they have a symbiotic relationship. If people can only utilize technology for the better, it will surely improve business processes and customer experience by leaps and bounds.

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