“These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they’re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They’re for closers.”
– Blake (Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross)
It’s time for a major upgrade to the way salespeople are depicted in movies. And the way they operate in real life.
If you’re in sales then you have likely seen “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Alec Baldwin’s iconic turn as a fire-breathing sales manager delivers the most anti-motivating motivational sales speech in movie history. His targets are a motley group of real estate salesmen who cold-call their way through leads taken from handwritten response cards (hey, it was 1992!). What they really want are the Glengarry leads. The qualified leads.
It’s the same for salespeople in 2018.
No matter what the movie with salespeople as main characters (“Boiler Room,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Pursuit of Happyness” are others in the genre), every salesperson wants only the most qualified leads. Why wouldn’t they? While there could potentially be future customers in a CRM full of unqualified leads, the odds are roughly the same as finding a needle in a haystack. Despite the fact that most contemporary sales teams use CRMs, marketing automation systems, lead scoring tools, and any number of related solutions, they still consume an inordinate amount of their time on manual, inefficient and unproductive tasks. In other words, tasks tailor-made for an AI sales assistant.
Imagine if salespeople had a battle-tested AI sales assistant doing the bulk of their time-consuming, low-return work. Those Glengarry leads would be served up in their CRM with zero effort on their part. This scenario is not fodder for a futuristic salesperson movie. In fact, virtual sales assistants powered by artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming a reality.
If I were directing a new movie depicting forward-thinking sales teams in 2018, they would not only be using an AI sales assistant, it would be an essential part of their everyday existence. The assistant would be so integrated into daily workflow that it would be embraced even by those who shy away from automation and/or are reluctant to relinquish control of the lead-qualifying process.
I’m a big proponent of the “4 Ps” approach to generating those Glengarry leads: follow up promptly, personably and persistently, and make sure every message makes the person’s inbox. With conversational AI assistants able to do all four, today’s salesperson is freed up to spend more time closing business (and earning those knife sets).
Many sales professionals just don’t do a good job of following up with their most valuable leads. And why is that? Sometimes it’s due to a lack of time, poor internal processes, burdensome lead management and CRM systems, or the inability to sort the good leads from the bad ones. The solution is automation. Automation powered by AI, that is.
“Glengarry” companies have turned to AI automation tools to reach out to every lead, personalize each message and improve response rates. Automation provides the engine and consistency to fully perform in each metric and engage valuable leads at a scale that is impossible for a human sales team alone. With an AI assistant, no lead is left untouched, and no opportunity for sales goes undiscovered
What AI is delivering now is an exponentially faster and more efficient path to closing deals (which is a requirement if you drink coffee, as those who have seen the movie know). After all, at the end of the day every company still needs humans to, as Alec Baldwin’s character famously shouted, “Get them to sign on the line which is dotted!”
Erroin A. Martin worked as a field rep with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals before making the transition to enterprise software sales, business consulting, and launching two start-ups in healthcare. He joined Conversica in 2014, where he has helped sell and lead triple digit growth for three consecutive years in a row since 2015.