April 19, 2017
Artificial intelligence has invaded our living and working environments and, already, a number of B2B companies are trying to integrate AI with their sales strategies.
That is a wise decision, if you ask me, considering the ease of processes it brings to your sales planning and execution. But, with so many competitors and so many software options, how do you get the maximum benefit out of it? How do you know which tools to use and, most importantly, how to use them? Let’s dig a little deeper.
So, just what exactly is artificial intelligence? AI is a software that is able to imitate human processes of collecting and analyzing data to optimize its use. Essentially, it saves time and spares you the hassle of gathering data and spending time on analyzing where and how you should use it.
Some of the major areas AI helps boost your sales include focused targeting, pitch tailoring, scheduling meetings and predictive analytics to name a few.
There is software that can automatically connect with both your and your client’s calendars to choose an optimal scheduling time for both of you. It spares both parties the multiple back-and-forths of “when is the most suitable time for you”?
Artificial Intelligence is hands down a good choice when it comes to gathering insightful data about your current pipeline and customer base. It collects the information you need to analyze and suggests which target market you should focus on, based on your previously closed deals. It tracks and measures the types of leads converted so that you, as a sales rep, can shift your attention specifically to those high value accounts.
AI driven data collecting also helps you create the best content to attract your accounts. It goes through your existing customer database, taking into account specialization, company size, number of employees and so on. With this information, those tools are able to give you the best keywords and, let’s say, “dictionary,” to use to create the best content to attract prospects in that pipeline. It also makes the discovery of the account’s pain points and needs much easier for your reps, too.
Another perk of AI in your sales tactics is the measurement and tracking of your performance. It’s easier to measure how well your actions performed, how much time it took your reps to close the deal and complete the entire sales cycle, etc.
So, now that we have some good insights on the AI’s role in your company’s sales results, let’s figure out HOW you should use it to its absolute maximum.
Many of us have some fear of Artificial Intelligence’s biggest component: that fact that it’s artificial. This leaves us with salespeople thinking that AI will soon take away their job, and consumers fearing that they will no longer have human connection in their buying journey. And, quite frankly, the famous line of Daniel Pink’s bestelling book title ‘To Sell is Human,’ is the most relevant phrase here. You don’t have to use only AI or only the human factor. You must use BOTH powerhouses to succeed in your sales execution.
The most important thing in modern technological advancements of any sphere, especially sales, is the realization that AI and all other technologies are only useful if they are being used by the right people. Meaning, the human factor is indeed getting smaller, but the key is that it will never go away completely. So, the best practice to succeed with AI in your sales strategy is to combine its efforts with your sales force.
Let me explain it better. Customers love to see the human connection. But they do appreciate well-trained AI driven tools in their buying experience, too. So, if you use it right, you get the best of both worlds. Your client is happy and satisfied that his/her buying journey was not entirely led by a computer, yet the speed and easiness they got with AI interference is also invaluable.
And, the other way around: Your salespeople are happy and satisfied because AI helped their selling process by collecting data and tailoring their best pitch, yet it was them who closed that deal.
Final word of wisdom: The use of artificial intelligence combined with the right people will translate into more sales.
Maria Harutyunyan is the content co-ordinator at Contiq.com, an artificial intelligence driven software for enterprise sales and marketing team.