How sales hustle and automation hurt customer experience


Share on LinkedIn

Are your sales reps being asked hit the phones and send more emails?

The mandate for most sales teams is to make more calls, send more emails.

Companies are now hiring more people to do those things. They’re hiring more junior people and sales development reps who are less experienced.

And they’re just doing more. More emails. More calls. More activity.

The experience of automated sales hustle

If you’re a B2B buyer, you’re probably receiving tons of generic, irrelevant emails.

If you don’t respond, you get another email. And more.

Buyers are getting a whole series emails because there are automated tools that will set up the cadence in a series. Reps don’t need to send them second emails anymore. Hustle gets automated.

By the third email, you may get something like “Have you bothered you?”, “Are you ignoring me?” or a “is rhino chasing you?”

It’s out of hand.

What’s the bottom line?

All this sales hustle and automation is hurting customer experience.

Here’s why:

You can’t automate trust

For example, I recently registered for a demo account for CRM software.

Five minutes later I got a call from the company. Didn’t answer. Wanted to try the demo first.

I got another call five minutes later.

Checked caller ID. Same number?!

Wow, that’s crazy I thought. Is this company that eager to talk to me?

I was just logging in.

Email alert.

I got an email from the sales rep.

He said, “I just tried calling… Saw you just signed up for a demo.” And he wanted to set up a time to talk about “my needs.”

This all happened in under fifteen minutes.


Was it responsive? Yes.  Did it help and give me a good experience? No.

Don’t pounce (or interrupt and hover)

It’s like walking into a retail store. Being greeted by the sales rep. Say I’m just browsing. Then I want to pick something up. They hover. They interrupt. They pounce.

And you leave.

Chatbots could be great, but they’re set up by default on the homepage. So everyone gets the same blanket message.

And brands come across as overly eager or annoying. Just like pushy salespeople in a retail store.

Automated cold emails

Here’s another example of sales hustle that happens to me multiple times a week.

I get a cold email from a sales rep. I don’t reply.

Then I get a second email asking if I saw the first one. Or it asks why I didn’t reply.

Finally, I get the third email. Perhaps a little shaming, “I’ve tried emailing you.”

I got asked if I’m “being chased by a hippo.” I’m not making this make this up.


These are emails sent in an automated sequence. They’re scaled. Now think about the customer impact.

Blowback against hustle

I’m not saying hustle is bad. But when it’s disconnected from the customer experience it’s taking you in the wrong direction.

It’s hurting results for marketing, lead generation, sales because it doesn’t build trust.

Customers can smell hustle and automated emails a mile away.

So the question is: Are you or your reps doing this?

I liked this post, The Blowback Against “Hustle” by SteveWoods, CTO at Nudge. 

According to Woods:

First, if all we are looking to do is “hustle” and send increased volumes of undifferentiated, formulaic content to our buyers, AI will be better than humans at that task.

Second, the more we do this, the more the AI that differentiates spam from real content will immediately eliminate it.

We need to humanize our approach. And focus on building trust with remarkable interactions.

Do this instead

Go through your sales (and marketing) experience as a customer. Walk in your customer’s shoes and do the following:

  • Get emails from your salespeople
  • Fill out your own website forms and experience your automated funnels (calls, welcome, nurturing emails, etc.)
  • Listen to your sales voicemails/cold calls by SDRs and sales reps
  • Recieve your sales/marketing emails
  • Sign up for your individual nurturing sequences

Do this from your customers perspective.

It’s eye-opening to see things from your customer’s experience. It changes everything.


Go through your sales experience as a potential customer.  Evaluate the experience through the lens of a customer (just like secret shoppers do in retail.) I know this isn’t always easy. It may even be humbling. But if you do this and focus on how you can build a better experience to start relationships, it will be worth it.

In sum, use your applied empathy. And Then fix the gap.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here