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AI For Sales
Several organizations now leverage Artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their close rates, lead volumes, and other key sales performance indicators across-the-board. That’s because AI automates and augments time-consuming sales processes, freeing you up for other core responsibilities.
Research by Salesforce projects a 155% increase in the adoption of AI by sales leaders and their teams at the end of 2020. The report also shows that thriving sales teams are 4.9× more inclined to using AI compared to their peers. At Canopy, we boast several years of research on AI and its application to help companies streamline their sales processes. In our experience across all these years, we have encountered meager to zero evidence that AI is bad for sales.
How To Use AI For Sales
Perhaps we should start by asking — what exactly is artificial intelligence?
If you ask five IT experts the same question, you can be sure to get five different responses. Demis Hassabis’s description of AI as “the science of making machines smart” is considered by many as the standard definition. Today, we can train machines to ‘think’ and act like human beings — they can hear, interpret, speak, react, see, move, write, and so on. Your smartphone is a classic example of AI in use. It employs facial recognition (AI that sees) to unlock, voice commands (AI that hears) to run programs, and predictive texts (AI that writes) to improve your typing experience.
Have you ever wondered how Netflix suggestions or YouTube pop-ads are so accurate in appealing to your tastes and preferences? They use Machine Learning — this is the tool behind most of AI’s remarkable capacities. ML is a type of AI that synthesizes and analyzes large sets of data to interpret patterns and make predictions. It’s the most valuable aspect of AI for sales. The result is smart machines that require very minimal human involvement to operate.
This is a significant improvement and departure from traditional software. Let’s take a typical non-AI software accounting system, for example. It is heavily reliant on human input — you must physically hard-code the system by rules to do your taxes. Unless you update it, the system cannot improve by itself.
With a modern AI-software system, the machine evaluates its performance by analyzing big data and uses the ai for sales leads results for self-improvement.
For instance, there are AI sales tools that write email subject lines for users. All you have to do is train the machine using samples of your organization’s sales materials to generate email subject lines. After that, you do ai for sales leads split-tests and leave the tool to improve on its own. With time, it gets better and drafts precise subject lines even without your input.
Now, imagine applying AI in sales operations. How far would an AI sales assistant software augment your sales processes?
The truth is that this is already happening in very many spheres:
- AI Lead Generation: There are several AI sales tools today that you can use to find new leads within your databases. Some will even find new leads similar to your existing ones. Other tools automatically give contact information for prospects in your addressable market.
- AI To Increase Sales: There are also AI sales tools that employ predictive analytics, i.e., studying and interpreting big data to rate leads according to their ability to close. With this background, you and your sales team can prioritize working on leads that are more likely to convert. Ai use cases in sales improves productivity, generates more revenue opportunities, and boosts your close rates.
- AI Sales Tools For Automating Tasks: You can use AI to save on time by automating tedious tasks like data capture. Solutions like automated playbooks help you reduce response and resolution time.
You can also use AI sales tools to augment your work and scale your operations by analyzing sales calls.
How AI Is Changing Sales
AI has significantly revolutionized how we do business, and Sales is no exception. Machine learning is a concept both creepy and cool: Creepy since our devices know so much about us. Cool, because you can use this knowledge to advance your sales.
Victor Antonio says in his book, Sales Ex Machina: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the World of Selling, that “the power of selling is moving away from the individual and toward the machine — machines that can now prospect, follow up, present, and propose without human intervention.”
The increasing application of AI in sales has significantly changed how customers make purchases and how salespeople sell:
- Leads Rise: Statistics from a McKinsey research published in the Harvard Business Review reveal a 50% increase in leads and appointments for sales teams that have fully adopted AI. The report attributes this to machine learning taking over and perfecting laborious duties like contacting leads, qualification, conducting follow-ups, and maintaining the connection.
- Predictive Sales AI: We know how complicated it sometimes gets for sales managers to predict sales volumes and set achievable goals. With AI for sales prospecting, you can forecast more accurately. You can, therefore, make well-informed decisions when planning for production and resource distribution.
- Increased Close Rates And Sales: Since AI gives you insight into your prospect’s needs, you have the advantage of aligning your solutions to their tastes and preferences before launching a pitch. This reduces call times and the time used to close while increasing close rates. A higher close rate automatically translates to higher sales.
- Reduction In Costs: The use of artificial intelligence in sales automates most processes that would require more money if done manually. Besides, it frees the sales team to concentrate more on making profits.
- Easier Price Optimization: AI algorithms and predictive analytics will help you identify just the right amount of discount to give while still maximizing profits. Machine learning analyzes data on past similar deals, whether they were lost or won, offers from competitors, the deal’s size, and the prospects’ spending habits and abilities.
- Improved Relationship With Clients: There’s a misplaced notion that AI jeopardizes the human touch with customers. This is entirely not true. First, salespeople have a better understanding of their clients’ needs. Besides, real-time automated responses make the customers feel appreciated and valued.
AI Lead Generation
It’s expensive and time-consuming for human beings to access and analyze large datasets manually. Even if you could sort through all that data, you still may miss critical insights.
Artificial Intelligence analyzes visual and textual contents from various social media platforms to understand consumer interests better. It can recognize logos, demographic interests, and objects based on photos or captions posted online. For instance, chorus ai can interpret a brand’s Instagram or Facebook followers to learn more about them. This may be based on knowledge of other brands they like or what they post about most frequently. What results is a clear understanding of the audience’s interests and preferences.
Finding New Leads
Artificial Intelligence then digs the association between companies, products, people, and places on the web. It uses this information to discover and recommend new customers; it’s this process that is called AI powered lead generation. AI integrates with your marketing automation software to look for new leads.
AI Powered Sales Campaigns Are More Productive
AI powered sales systems customize on-site contents to maximize visitor engagement. It then attracts new users to that content and retargets those who visit. Enhanced engagements lead to more excellent conversion rates and sales, i.e., leads that spend more time on the content are more likely to buy from you. AI B2B lead generation helps predict accurate win rates so that your pipeline stays at the highest quality possible. Besides, it ensures you target the best quality AI leads within that pipeline over the others. This reduces cost and increases revenue.
Why AI Is Not A Threat To Your Sales Team
The fear of AI taking over jobs and that there are several jobs affected by ai is not unique to salespeople only. To put it bluntly — this is an assumption and is not accurate. There are several jobs that cannot be replaced by ai. It’s preposterous to imagine a scenario where the sales manager’s responsibilities, for example, will be taken over by AI. Managerial jobs safe from ai. AI replacing jobs statistics show that a successful buying process must include at least 6.8 people, and it all narrows down to the human touch.
AI provides too many opportunities than difficulties in the sales industry. It simplifies operations and improves the speed and efficiency of sales processes. Besides, AI is a technology that requires extra hands for management — this further generates more AI sales jobs. Instead of focusing on jobs replaced by AI, the concentration should be on what jobs will ai crease.
Examples Of Companies Taking Advantage Of AI For Sales
If you are not leveraging AI for sales, be sure that your competitors will. Here are some of the leading AI software companies and what they provide:
1. Seamless Ai
seamless ai is a sales intelligence tool that organizes contacts for easy universal accessibility, enabling you to create and sustain better client relationships.
Like Seamless.AI, Conversica also provides intelligent virtual assistance to help your sales team optimize client engagement.
3. Salesforce Einstein
This is a smart app for processing sales data. It analyzes big data to make predictions customized to fit your business’ unique needs. Salesforce makes it easy for your team to access and understand large sets of data and analytics, even if they have no background in data science. The program’s myEinstein feature enables users to “design and publish their own intelligent and predictive applications” for individualized solutions.
It’s a one-stop platform for all your AI sales solutions. Its main features include:
- Signals — Act as a GPS for your revenue teams, giving them instant insights into risks affecting their pipeline. It provides real-time notifications for your next turn/detour.
- Forecast: Combines AI and ML predictive analytics to generate comprehensive predictions of your sales and other processes.
- Coach: This feature provides you with the visibility needed to optimize revenue. It measures KPIs and rates sellers’ performances, enabling you to identify weak points and strengths.
- Analyze: This feature functions like a DVR, recording all your pipelines’ changes for uncovering key insights.
Canopy is the only sales tools ai that integrates augmented revenue analysis. The product is an improvement on limitations identified with other similar platforms in the market. And so, it provides you with responsive AI tools for all of your sales needs – all in one place.
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