Balancing GenAI and Human Touch in Sales Outreach

In an era of overflowing email inboxes and limited attention spans, all sales reps understand the struggle to generate engagement with prospects via email. In our recent survey of 600+ global technology buyers, TechTarget found that 65% of buyers want vendors that understand their needs, underscoring the need for timely, precise and personalized outreach. But, behind every well-personalized email lies a considerable investment of time and research.

In this blog post, we’ll examine the potential generative AI (GenAI) has to revolutionize sales outreach by automating personalized emails while also exploring the possible risks of automating without human oversight.

How GenAI increases efficiency in sales outreach

GenAI’s capabilities allow it to sift through vast amounts of information and compile it into easily digestible formats, presenting an opportunity to transform sales outreach. Instead of spending 10 minutes or more combing through LinkedIn profiles, company websites and more to collect insights on a prospect, sales reps can now craft highly personalized messaging in under a minute with the touch of a button.  

AI-driven outreach empowers sales reps to personalize their approach at scale, ensuring that each individual prospect feels valued and understood. This enhanced level of personalization goes beyond merely addressing the recipient by name by delving into their pain points, aligning the value proposition with their specific requirements and presenting solutions that genuinely address their unique circumstances. By leveraging this technology, sales teams can streamline their operations and focus their time and resources on nurturing relationships and driving conversions.

In response to the potential value AI-generated messaging provides sellers, TechTarget recently launched IntentMail AI™, a new feature within Priority Engine™, to drastically reduce the time it takes to personalize outbound outreach. By combining recent, relevant account information with deep insights on what the specific prospect has been researching on TechTarget’s global publishing network platform, IntentMail AI allows B2B sellers to create highly effective, business-relevant email messaging quickly and easily.

Why GenAI doesn’t replace the need for quality research in Sales

Booking a meeting or generating a response to email outreach is only half the battle for sales reps. To further an opportunity and close the deal, sellers need to be able to have intelligent conversations with prospective buyers about their individual needs. Since the process of producing AI-generated emails is so simple and so automated, there’s a risk that sellers may no longer feel a responsibility to do the research behind the account. So, despite the benefits of GenAI in automating sales outreach, there’s still a need for sales reps to perform their own research.

Luckily, leveraging GenAI’s capabilities can help enhance the research process. AI can help gather and analyze data about prospects’ online behavior, industry trends and competitor activities. Sellers can then use these insights to tailor messaging to address specific needs and pain points. As we’ll touch on next, it’s important to remember that AI-generated content should be used as a starting point, not a replacement for creativity and human touch.

The importance of human oversight in AI-generated sales outreach

While AI’s potential is seemingly unlimited, it’s important to remember that it’s meant to be a tool that enhances human efforts, not replaces them. There are certain aspects that require human judgment, critical thinking and emotional intelligence, and no AI-generated outreach should be sent without human review.

One significant concern with GenAI is the potential for AI hallucinations, where the AI generates inaccurate or false information. To address this, TechTarget’s IntentMail AI feature ensures that all output from the AI is thoroughly reviewed by a human before it is sent to prospects. This human oversight serves as a safeguard, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information being communicated.

Another risk associated with using GenAI in sales outreach is the possibility of degrading the overall customer experience by creating false hope. AI can produce intelligent outreach that results in an initial response, but if the sales team isn’t prepared to continue these conversations effectively or accurately, it can result in disappointment for the prospect. Therefore, human involvement remains crucial in ensuring the quality and appropriateness of the messages generated by GenAI.

With human guidance, GenAI can improve Sales efficiencies

While GenAI can provide insights and suggestions based on data and patterns, there is no substitute for human understanding, empathy and the ability to adapt. AI-generated content should always undergo human review to maintain quality, relevance and appropriateness. By leveraging GenAI to streamline processes and enhance personalization, sales professionals can forge stronger connections and elevate customer experiences while also driving more revenue for their businesses.

For more insights on leveraging GenAI for sales outreach personalization, watch Make it Personal: Enhance Your Sales Outreach with Prospect Intent + AI.

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