Gartner named Hyperautomation a top trend to watch every year since 2020, predicting the overall market to be $500B+ by 2025.
It is “one of the fastest growing markets of all time”, yet nobody in revenue org is talking about it. How do we know this? Just google ‘sales hyperautomation’ and you’ll find almost no articles, no vendors, no ads… nothing.
Why is that?
In this article, we’ll unpack what hyperautomation is, why it’s so new to the revenue org and what benefits it can bring to companies that are increasingly focusing on driving revenue efficiency through Revenue Operations.
Sales Has Fallen Behind
According to a McKinsey report, sales has fallen behind all other functions in automation by a factor of 3x.
Over the same time as this McKinsey report, the salesforce automation market grew from almost nothing to $10B+ annually. Furthermore, Gartner survey respondents said they were planning to increase spend in automation software by 20% in 2022, despite the turbulent economics environment.
So if sales is investing in automation software at a blistering pace, how is it that it still lags all other functions so heavily in automation?
To understand, let’s take a look at what is and isn’t being automated on the sales floor today.
What is Basic Automation?
Almost all automation in the world of sales today falls into the ‘basic’ category of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
This technology is designed to simulate the repetitive/mindless/mundane tasks that humans do, such as copying/pasting data from one system into another and clicking buttons to start a process.
In the sales tech context, this includes:
- Prospecting Software: automatically copy data from Linkedin >> create a contact in salesforce >>
- Sequencing software: automatically copying/pasting a standard email message into an email and following up over and over again with standard templates.
- And many others…
Much of this software has been focused on top of funnel activities where there is one-way conversations and minimal complexity in what tasks need to be performed. Call, Call, Call, Email, Email, Email until someone replies. But once you get that reply from the customer, the automation stops and humans taken over the remaining 80% of the sales cycle.
In order to address this next 80% of the funnel, simple ‘If This Then That’ rules fall short because there’s simply too much variability in the signals that we get back from prospects both in what they say (does “I’m not interested REALLY mean not interested”?) and what they do (they said “I’m interested”, but are they no-showing to our meetings?”)
This is why we rely so heavily on reps to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the sales journey and why we emphasize the importance of updating our CRMs — it takes an entirely different level of intelligence to interpret what’s happening and translate that into next next steps in the sales cycle.
What is Hyperautomation?
Hyperautomation takes basic automation to the next level by adding human level intelligence/judgment into the process, often requiring one or more forms of AI to achieve. Examples of hyperautomation might be:
Example #1: Detect if a prospect no-showed to an introductory sales meeting
To pull off this automation, it’s not enough to go off of simple data like calendar data. You need to analyze the actual conversation information and intelligently understand who the speaker is. Traditionally this requires someone to either show up for the call or audit a call recording.
In this case, deploying AI to translate audio/video into metadata allows the data analyst to ‘see’ beyond what traditional sales tracking allows, and enables a level of automation that would not have been considered ‘safe’ to do (imagine sending a rescheduling email to a prospect after a held meeting!)
Example #2: Sales Prospecting Follow Up
It’s easy to automate one-way engagement (call call call, email email email). What happens when the buyer actually responds?
Very frequently, a prospect response will be some thing like ‘contact me the 2nd week of Q3’ but they’ll never get a follow up for one of several reasons. Either the rep has forgotten to update the contact status and set a future reminder task, or the rep forgets to execute the task, or the rep may not even be with the company.
Again, a combination of AI and custom rules can be deployed to ‘understand’ what the interaction ‘means’, pulling in the contact status, activity history, email metadata and other factors to understand that this is a top of funnel engagement from a prospect requesting a follow up on a given date. This date can then be stored and a follow up workflow invoked at that exact time in future from whomever owns the account.
How will hyperautomation change sales?
According to Gartner, the future of work will be one where “Everything that can be automated WILL be automated”, leaving workers to focus on activities unique to humans — strategic, creative and original work.
This means that anything repetitive will be eliminated in the long run. These activities will span every person in the revenue org today, including:
- Reps: CRM administration, administrative follow up
- Managers: Call Coaching, Deal Coaching, Deal Review, Forecasting
- Ops: Pipeline Validation, Process Adherence Measurement/Validation, Forecasting
When will this change happen?
Based on Gartner’s research and what we are seeing today in market as the only hyperautomation player today, we predict that the market will evolve along the following path (similar to industrial automation) and timeline.
2020-2022 (age of sales tools)
Focus on giving individuals tools to give them leverage in executing their activities (stop using rocks, here’s a hammer)
TODAY (age of no-code)
Focus on mapping out business processes that span multiple siloes and improve efficiency/effectiveness using basic automation (RPA, no-code, etc)
2022-2024 (age of AI-assisted ‘vision’ / process mining)
Understand what’s **really** going on in your business by moving from self-reported data capture to machine generated data and process inspection.
2024-2025 (age of supervised AI “assistants”)
Use AI to simulate human judgement in task execution/orchestration — kind of like ‘autocomplete’ for complex manual tasks like sales follow up. Reps still ‘pull the trigger’ but machines get them 90% of the way there.
In the process of reps tweaking the pre-completed work results, a feedback loop is created to the ops team to improve its automation models.
2025 (age of end to end automation)
The rep’s role becomes purely about the “unautomatable”. Things like CRM updates, ‘chasing’ customers, forecasting are all an afterthought. They focus on the customer and nothing else.
Note — these dates are not about when these technologies will become feasible but a prediction of when they will become ‘center stage’.
Here is Gartner’s take on the maturity, timeline and impact of these technologies
The global economic slowdown, reduction in funding and rise of RevOps create a fertile ground for hyperautomation to emerge and become mainstream over the next few years.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to our team for a free strategy session!