It's easy to imagine Artificial intelligence (AI) as something of the future. Something that you once probably only saw in 'Jetsons' or 'Back to the future. However, it's already present in almost every aspect of your life and is likely to power some operations inside your sales technology ecosystem.
AI can enhance sales processes, find sales opportunities, address sales difficulties, and raise overall sales success. Understandably, these potentials have piqued the attention of AI for sales.
If your company hasn't yet adopted AI for sales prospecting, it's time to reconsider.
AI in sales may help you improve customer interactions and free up employees from time-consuming administrative tasks. When customers are satisfied, they spend more money, which helps your bottom line.
Machine learning and Artificial intelligence (AI) have been nicknamed the Fourth Industrial Revolution. AI is set to alter the way people operate, particularly in sales substantially.
Companies may profit from AI for sales by using AI-powered solutions to liberate sales staff from unpleasant (and sometimes repeated) administrative responsibilities. Additionally, they are also exploiting the wealth of data available to sales, marketing, and customer success teams.
About 88% of chief sales officers (CSOs) already have invested in or are contemplating investing in AI analytic tools and technology.
But, before we get into the specifics of how sales teams can utilize AI to enhance their bottom line – and how AI technologies assist businesses in doing so - let's first go through the basics of AI in sales.
What is Artificial intelligence (AI)?
AI is all around you. You're probably utilizing AI now!
From moving items to your shopping cart to ordering food or watching your favorite TV series, AI permeates every part of your life.
According to Techopedia, Artificial intelligence is a discipline of technology that tries to develop intelligent machines, and it's now an essential component of every industry. Artificial intelligence research is highly technical and specialized in several fields such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Natural Language Generation.
Artificial intelligence's primary concerns include programming computers to do specific tasks such as voice recognition, reasoning, problem-solving, natural language generation, perception, and learning.
According to Gartner, businesses will use machine learning in 70% of customer encounters within the next three years. AI may also help in the empowerment of sales representatives.
What is Artificial intelligence in sales?
The application of advanced algorithms and analytic techniques to automate and optimize sales processes is known as Artificial intelligence (AI) in sales. AI may help sales teams operate more effectively and complete more transactions by automating tedious processes and analyzing client data. You may also use machine learning algorithms to anticipate revenue, predict customer behavior, and unearth actionable insights.
According to Harvard Business Review research, organizations utilizing AI in sales could generate leads by more than 50%, cut call time by 60-70%, and achieve cost savings of 40-60%.
Potential of Artificial Intelligence in sales
Sophisticated AI sales systems can estimate which prospects are most likely to close, anticipate revenues, and propose the next best step—removing a lot of guesswork. It can also help you teach reps at scale, optimize pricing, and everything in between.
For example, you may utilize AI sales tools to determine how frequently your competitors appear on sales calls, and there are AI tools used to manage chatbots on websites. AI tools provide live coaching, automated call logging, and other features in a unified communications platform.
According to McKinsey, sales personnel who have implemented AI have boosted leads and appointments by around 50%. However, you must be strategic in using AI in sales, and it's currently not possible to automate every aspect of the sales process. Because AI cannot handle complex problem-solving and interpersonal interactions, you must combine it with a human touch.
The importance of using Artificial Intelligence in sales
So, can sales automation improve business processes and, eventually, your bottom line?
The short answer is yes.
According to one report, sales representatives only spend one-third of their working hours on the phone. The remainder of the time is spent on data entry, appointments, prospecting, scheduling further meetings, and other day-to-day chores that have little to do with the sales cycle.
Mid-level sales assistants may transform into high-performing teams simply by freeing up two-thirds of their working time with a sales automation system. More time implies more selling possibilities, leading to a win-win situation.
How is Artificial Intelligence transforming sales?
AI is now essential for businesses that wish to develop and thrive in the ever-changing business ecosystem. Here are some of the ways artificial intelligence may help your sales.
1. Formulating business strategies
AI for sales allows you to concentrate on developing strategies for generating more leads. Artificial intelligence in sales will unload the tedious jobs that sales professionals have through machine learning systems. As a result, you will be able to develop more in-depth sales strategies.
Here are a few business areas enhanced by AI
- Consolidation of data.
- Developing customer profiles.
- Choosing the material for leads that will lead them down the funnel.
- Sending follow-up information to leads.
With these responsibilities removed from your plate, you will have more time to design strategies that improve customer experience.
AI and machine learning-powered algorithms quickly offload boring activities, freeing up time for strategic planning.
AI can combine data, fine-tune customer profiles, pick and provide next-step information to leads, etc. Consequently, the marketing and sales teams can concentrate on what they do best: devising strategies that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
As a result of custom AI software tools for sales performing a challenging task, the cost of conducting these operations will be reduced. The time and attention of sales reps are better invested in strategies and planning, leading to better revenue.
2. Generating qualified leads and accounts
To complete a sales, there needs to be a concerted effort in marketing and sales. Historically, one of the most challenging areas of agreement has been determining what defines a lead or, in the case of account-based marketing, what constitutes an "ideal customer profile."
Of course, marketers have a plethora of lead and account scoring tools and tactics at their disposal, resulting in an automation qualification process, but even automation has limitations. Setting up scoring in a meaningful method that aligns broad audiences, product offers, and sales strategies can be challenging.
Using predictive lead scoring and account scoring, sales teams can deliver value through qualified leads and accounts. Predictive scoring tools scour the internet for digital signals that match your brand's ideal customer profile. All marketing teams have to work with sales to find those "ideal" customers or clients.
3. Creating meaningful customer experiences
Customers have learned to demand individualized interactions and experiences through their desired format or channel. Nothing says "I'm not paying attention," like receiving an automated email promoting a free trial that a prospect has already signed up for. In fact, "irrelevant material" is the leading cause of customer disengagement.
Engaging with thousands of prospects and customers with individualized content is impossible unless your marketing efforts are equipped with artificial intelligence.
AI-powered predictive content solutions enable marketers to be more strategic while reducing strain.
These artificial intelligence-powered marketing tools may crawl your website for blog posts, case studies, white papers, ebooks, videos, and other content. After assembling the material arsenal, AI determines which collateral will appeal to—and eventually convert—each audience segment.
Insights may be leveraged to engage visitors across email, online, social, and mobile channels for a complete omnichannel sales strategy. Consequently, organizations may engage in one-to-one value marketing, which was previously impossible without significant scalability.
4. Tracking useful analytics
Using data to create more powerful customer interaction tactics is critical to winning your customers' hearts. This includes testing, measuring, and interpreting data.
The irony is that marketers employ artificial intelligence to facilitate more meaningful human relationships.
AI-powered sales systems gather and aggregate marketing metrics and enable marketers to extract valuable insights and applications from that data and apply them to be more personal with their consumers.
A good AI platform for sales will monitor the metrics, alert anything that needs attention, and make any required updates or adjustments. Sales and marketing may work together to deploy creative solutions and meaningful engagement based on these valuable data points and insights.
5. Using past data to enhance sales
When you sell your product/service to a business, you must look over all of the previous sales that were lost or won. And in all likelihood, there will be quite a number.
Human sales executives are rather adept at estimating sales numbers and establishing targets, but AI for sales can assist them more accurately. Before establishing a sales estimate, advanced data, gathered automatically for maximum efficiency, presents you with the whole picture.
Managers may then make more educated business decisions. Tracking the busiest hours at a contact center, for example, might help you plan future staffing.
As part of the millions of data points it uses to create prospective suggestions, AI can automatically synchronize — and natural language processing can assess — all calendar events and emails. Those data points are used to select the best lead to contact or finish an existing deal.
6. Managing and improving performance
Even if you have the best salespeople globally, they will require continual training to stay up to date with technological advances. Managers now can monitor performance in real-time, thanks to AI.
You may record conversations for training purposes and utilize sentiment analysis to ensure agents say the right things to customers. Additionally, managers can check to see who makes the most calls or completes the most transactions.
AI sales solutions provide teaching and sales advice in real-time. They not only help new sales assistants get up to speed fast, but they are also excellent for continual learning.
7. Optimizing prices
Finding the correct pricing for each customer might be demanding, but AI makes it more manageable. It analyses prior deals using algorithms, then determines the best pricing for each proposition and conveys it to the sales rep. Dynamic pricing AI sales systems employ machine learning to gather data on competitors and make suggestions based on this knowledge and the preferences of the particular group of customers.
8. Cross-selling and upselling
Rather than attempting to upsell or cross-sell to every client, AI for sales can help you to identify who is most likely to be responsive by analyzing prior interactions and profiles for insight.
It also assists salespeople in determining the best time to sell a complementary product by analyzing the emotion of a conversation. It's an excellent way for humans and AI to work together.
4 strategies for developing a good sales AI strategy
1. Set reasonable goals
Sales targets should be clear, realistic, and quantifiable like any corporate goal. Everyone should understand what is expected of them and why it's essential.
Expect outcomes to take time and be realistic about objectives as representatives learn how to use
AI technology. Assure them that it's acceptable to ask questions or request further assistance.
2. Prioritize quick wins
If you want to observe the impact of AI on your business, focus on a project that will yield returns within six to twelve months. It will demonstrate the value of AI to the suits upstairs, but it will also help motivate your staff.
Look for representatives that excel at using AI for customer service and success, and then use their calls or engagements as a learning resource for the organization.
3. Adapt AI to your business context
There's no use in acquiring the latest and high-tech solutions if they're not appropriate for your company's requirements. And, with an increasing number of AI tools for sales on the market, it's essential to do your homework to find the best ones for you.
Align your AI strategy and tools with your overall goals, whether business development, increased brand recognition, or specialized goals such as shorter wait times.
4. Collaborate with the right experts
If you want AI to work for you, you must select the best tools from the best suppliers. Look for a sales platform that includes a communications suite, extensive CRM connectivity, and sentiment analysis.
You must also understand how to use these tools and assess the benefits of AI for your organization. Bringing in an AI specialist could make sense to help launch and evaluate the endeavor to get things started.
The future of AI in sales
Although the full potential of AI may be years away, there are currently ways to incorporate the technology into existing sales processes. It's already being used in many businesses, and sales are steadily adopting it. Almost 90% of business people that use AI claim they are present or plan to use it for sales forecasting and email marketing.
However, AI has its limitations. Salespeople, particularly at the enterprise level, must understand their company, product, market, and buyer. They must be able to collect data from numerous sources, understand it, intuit the requirements of others, intelligently explain abstract concepts, and make judgments on the fly – frequently with limited information.
This is unlikely to become wholly automated very soon.
This brings us to the next concern.
Will AI replace salespeople?
After all, it's a legitimate concern that these technologies are becoming increasingly powerful with each new day.
But don't be worried. In our market, most companies have a large number of sales representatives.
There is no denying that AI will change the way sales teams operate.
- AI does not seek to replace sales representatives but instead serves as a supplement to:
- Assist them in automating routine operations like data input and meeting scheduling and more complex duties that do not require personal contacts, such as sales forecasting.
- By identifying trends in customer responses, they will be able to focus more efficiently and become better salespeople.
- Provide complete data on every contact between sales agents and prospective customers, including emails, phone conversations, and chats, to team management.
Most AI sales tools empower you instead of automating you out of existence.
Are you ready to make the most out of AI for sales?
Whether it's B2B or B2C sales, face-to-face encounters, or inside sales, AI transforms the sales landscape.
With repetitive chores automated and sales cycles reduced, the future of sales will focus on decreasing time spent on activities that might be automated—while enhancing sales stages that require a human touch.
Of course, not every sales company is ready to implement an AI approach, but if you're feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data or your representatives require additional assistance, you'll need a platform that can help you make sense of it all.
There are several AI tools available for experimentation. Because tools and their capabilities differ, hands-on expertise is required. Many businesses provide free trials or demos of their technology.
Begin investigating AI-powered sales suppliers. Once you get an idea of the different tools available in the market, you can pick one that best suits your business.
Results first, payment later.