Looking for an option to personalize your customer experience and increase your sales? Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings to you a way to create seamless shopping experiences across different channels, from e-commerce to brick-and-mortar and everything in between. With its potential to provide large incremental value from a commercial perspective, AI has been accepted well and adopted by the companies of various sectors. AI is everywhere: a recommendation algorithm during the process of searching the movie on Netflix, an association algorithm on Amazon to explore different options for shopping, or as a location algorithm on a platform like Uber to locate the car in our vicinity quickly. Needless to say, companies are using AI in several innovative ways to bring an inevitable wave of change to advance their businesses with more personalization & smarter technology and create a quicker and better impact amongst people.
Artificial intelligence is about replacing human decision-making with more sophisticated technologies.
– Falguni Desai
The same types of algorithms can be used in sales too, to work smarter and establish better connections with customers. As we all know, selling is an intimidating task with a low conversation rate. The sales cycle is long: you need to make calls, meet them in person, answer their queries and continue to provide services even after sales to maintain a long-term relationship with your client. With AI tools, companies can boost their ability to reach closer to their goals by streamlining the right information about what customers are looking for while making their efforts more focused. Thus, it becomes easier for companies to adopt a proactive approach instead of being reactive to constantly survive in the dynamic nature of market conditions.
If these statistics leave you a bit overwhelmed, it would be further interesting to know how the integration of AI is bringing an evolution in sales.
Below are 10 ways of how it changes it for better:
#1- Increase in Lead Counting
A salesperson will only be able to convert the lead into a deal if he has a rich database of qualified potential clients, the information of which is based on distinct and complete facts. The AI algorithm makes the compilation of historical information about a client and his social media postings possible along with providing the salesperson’s customer interaction history. This collective information helps in ranking the opportunities or leads according to their chances of closing successfully. Thus, AI reduces the most time-consuming tasks of connecting with leads, qualifying, following up and maintaining the relationship.
#2- Better Sales Forecasting
According to a study, 68% of B2B sales team have lead scoring strategies, while only 40% bringing value. These judgements are all based on intuition and incorrect information.
A lot of time of sales managers is invested in predicting when the total sales numbers will rise/fall each quarter to manage the operations as well. With the help of AI algorithms, managers can foresee the next quarter’s revenue with a high level of accuracy and consequently manage inventory and resources according to changing requirements.
#3- Easy Performance Management
If all your time will be consumed in listening through the taped or live calls of your sales team to eventually coach them, how will you be prioritizing your other important tasks? Or, how will you be keeping an eye on each of the salesperson’s performance to assess the revenue, every month? AI can make your work easier by listening to these conversations, transcribing and analyzing them. Or, with the usage of dashboards, you can simply evaluate which salespeople are most likely to have a good chance of closing the deal and perform outstandingly. Incorporating AI into sales, on any day, is a good idea to consolidate your energy to emphasize key salespeople and associated deals to further ensure that your company hits the quota.
Artificial intelligence is a tool, not a threat.
– Rodney Brooks
#4- Pricing becomes Easier to Optimize
It will be difficult for your sales team to always have the discounted prices of various products at their fingertips. This situation is generally tricky since one can’t afford to miss his chances of winning the deal, and at the same time, leaving money on the table. An AI algorithm could help in telling the ideal discount rate by looking at specific features of each won/lost past deal to make sure that your team member wins the deal. Knowing the discount to give to the client, a salesperson can stay confident about his offerings with minimal chances of the customer hanging up on him due to this specific reason.
#5- Increase in Upselling and Cross-Selling
Getting a new customer to sell your company requires extensive effort as compared to making your relationship stronger with the existing customer base. The AI algorithm refines this process by identifying which of your existing clients are more likely to buy a better version of what they currently own (up-sell) and/or which will want to buy a new product you are offering altogether (cross-sell). In simple words, it analyses the customers, his actions and his needs to drive additional value to the customer. This works for both the customer and the business. It helps in generating more revenue for the business and increasing relevancy and loyalty from the customer at the same time.
#6- Prioritizes Selling
Different learning styles used to train the sales reps by the organization creates an imbalance since they do not account for an individual’s learning styles. With the help of accurate and objective information produced via AI, you can identify the learning styles of sellers and provide individualized training to them. This individualized training can enhance their productivity level and align sales processes better with the customer journey while bringing a significant improvement in the outcomes.
61% of respondents in organizations deploying AI technologies, in a survey conducted by Gartner, reports a significant value addition. Some of the benefits cited by them were increased efficiency, cost reduction and improved revenue.
#7- Improves Customer Engagement
On average, 63% of the time of sellers is spent on non-selling activities. This includes time-consuming and manual tasks like entering meeting and email notes into the CRM. Needless to say, the main focus of salespeople should be on the preparation of the first meetings and eventually selling the product. AI makes automatic tracking of communications, appointments, and other core sales activities attainable, relieving sales reps from tedious admin work. Sellers, consequently, can pay proper attention to selling and building relationships with customers.
#8- Improves Customer Engagement
The intelligent tools of AI provide immediate customer insights to the sellers. This complete view of the customer – points like when they visited your website, what solutions are they searching through your website, what solutions they use, and what kind of engagements they’ve had previously with your company, can help in understanding the customer’s needs better which can be proved effective in building trust and loyalty. Apart from saving time, it also makes personalized interactions with the customer possible. Additionally, AI scores and highlights the potential & promising accounts automatically, giving sellers the ability to prioritize leads.
#9- Focused Attention to Create an Impactful Strategy
AI, effortlessly, offloads various monotonous tasks involved in selling which may impede the managers to take out required time and devote to the creation of an insightful sale strategy. The AI tools can help in consolidating data, honing customer profiles, selecting and sending next-step content to potential leads, and more. As a result, the sales team can focus on strategy development which holds the potential to create valuable customer experiences.
#10- Boost Conversation Rates and ROI
E-mail is the most consistent lucrative digital marketing channel, and it becomes all the more effective when it is supported with AI tools. AI can analyze data from your e-mail campaigns and suggest the best times to send them with the top-performing subject lines. It can be taken to the next level by automating e-mails to individuals by selecting different times based on their past engagement, demographics, and buying history. Another way to personalize e-mails with AI is by using it to recommend products to customers according to their search history. The personalized e-mails backed with AI improves the ROI greatly.