First off, you need to understand what was wrong with the robo-calling half of today’s supposedly ‘innovative’ telemarketing technologies.
#1. It’s still a robo-call – A pre-recorded response is still just that, pre-recorded. You can let your human user augment it with their own judgment but it’s going to catch on to your prospect real quick. There’s also the tendency
#2. It’s not dynamic – Much like robo-calls, the conversation isn’t dynamic enough to really allow flexible responses (and call evaluations). In B2B marketing, this can be a major pitfall because any information from that process will be too simple to be of any value to sales reps.
#3. Humans aren’t machines – There’s nothing wrong with eliminating the false enmity between man and machine. It’s just that the solution isn’t turning man into one. Technology should only enhance human functions like communication, not come at their expense.
Now with that out of the way, what does it mean for the other half of telemarketing technology? What defines it that sets it apart from the embarrassment associated with robo-calling?
#1. It automates non-thinking processes – Auto-dialing is one example, along with the database that accompanies it. There’s not much thinking required to dial a number. It’s just a bit of menial labor that takes up too much concentration.
#2. Transformation doesn’t result in a cyborg – Sometimes the transformation isn’t about the machine. It’s about how the machine impacts and advances a process. Auto-responses don’t make much for an improvement. Analytics however can improve the flow of conversations and negotiations.
#3. It expands the dynamic – Sometimes a telemarketing conversation can then switch to an email correspondence. After that, it takes off again in an live web conference. You retain the dynamics of a conversation while at the same time, using technology to add more convenience to prospects who want to take it across channels.
Instead of merely blurring the line between man and machine, maybe the best way to understand technology’s role in transformation is to understand the way it improves the human element (and not just stunt its potential).