From investors to potential customers, one question I frequently get asked is, “Isn’t automation dehumanizing the sales process? Aren’t you just replacing salespeople with impersonal robots?” Although Outreach is a sales engagement platform, needless to say, this concern is hardly specific to sales. One glance through Linkedin, Fast Company, or Fortune and you will see article after article about the invasion of robots, artificial intelligence, and the potential impact on our jobs, businesses, and daily lives. So, are companies like mine a portent of doom to humankind? Should we all grab our robot light sabers, or hunker down in a bunker with Costco flats of La Croix and batteries? Is human connection becoming obsolete? In a word, no. In fact, automation is making our lives more human, not less.
Simply put, automating mundane tasks allows more time for the things that matter. In my business, that means Account Executives use prospect intelligence to spend less time researching their prospects and more time building their relationships with them. In recruiting, this means recruiters spend less time emailing back and forth about potential interview times and simply allow candidates to choose a slot on their e-calendar. Let’s bring it in even closer and look at our daily lives. In the case of Amazon Fresh, it means you spend less time navigating a crowded grocery store and more time eating dinner with your family. Or what about the greeting card reminders that remind you when a family birthday card is coming up? This is a perfect example of how automation increases human connection, ensuring that no matter how busy you are, you don’t miss life’s important moments. If you can click “Congratulations!” on a new job notification on Linkedin, rather than have to type it out, is the sentiment any less sincere? Of course not.
Life is busy. Even among the most well-intentioned, It’s easier than ever to forget a birthday, overlook an email, or spend way more time at work getting buried in manual tasks instead of tending to strategic pastimes. Automation is communication for the real world, and enables human connection by removing the obstacles that reality presents.
Lastly, no matter how much technology advances, the truly human element can never be automated. The shared joke, the apt metaphor, or the razor-sharp insight to a custom scenario are just a few examples. There’s no app for that, and there never will be. And that’s a wonderful thing. Together, let’s harness the power of technology to make more time for the things that matter, and less for the things that don’t.