Less than a decade ago, the idea of artificial intelligence would inevitably have us thinking about the catastrophic future where machines ruled all mankind. Fast forward a few years, and artificial intelligence is all the rage, albeit with much less dramatic results. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not present in our lives.
One area where artificial intelligence is making its mark is sales. According to research, as many as 30 percent of businesses will use AI in at least one fragment of their sales process by 2020. As a sales professional, you should know that there is no way to avoid it, which means that you should embrace it and make use of its numerous advantages. Some businesses, such as AustralianEssays, have already begun to integrate AI in their sales. Their sales manager, John Craig, was kind enough to share a few tips on how you should go about implementing AI into your sales process.
Start Relying More on Data Instead of Guesswork
If you are a seasoned sales professional, you would probably agree that most of your decisions regarding your prospects and clients are based on previous experience and your instincts. You decide to choose those who seem more likely to convert. Though sometimes you can trust your instincts completely, you can’t be right all the time.
This is where artificial intelligence can help since it will provide you with more data than you could handle. As a result, you will be able to make decisions on cold, hard facts, and not your gut, which means you will be able to pitch to the right prospect right away, thus saving your marketing dollars.
For example, Salesforce came out with Einstein, which is a virtual coach which is capable of providing lead scores, insights into new business opportunities, as well as suggesting next steps.
Use AI for Natural Language Processing
Even though telephone and email are the most common channels through which companies and customers interact, it seems like artificial intelligence will start to play a much larger role, especially when it comes to chatbots. Studies suggest that 15 percent of adults in the US have used a chatbot in the last year while interacting with companies. This coincides with the emergence of smart digital assistants, which are owned by 16 percent of Americans.
Chatbots are especially useful if you are just starting out and you don’t have money to spend on staff which could help you handle support and sales. But, they can also be used to complement your existing sales channels, even if you run an established enterprise.
Voice search will also play a huge role in sales, along with digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri, or Cortana. Another example is IBM’s Wilson, which is powering many chatbots and is capable of figuring out most of the complex nuances of natural language.
Shorten the Sales Cycle with AI
Since AI will help you gather relevant data when it comes to your prospects, leads, and clients, you won’t have to spend a lot of time researching them, which means you will already be ahead. Also, artificial intelligence will also assist you in qualifying those leads, since the entire process will be automated. Other aspects of the sales process, such as administrative and transactional tasks, will be automated and handled by AI as well. This means that you will be able to lead your prospects faster down the sales funnel, but it will also free up more time to develop a relationship with them. As we know, today’s customers are looking for a more personalized experience, which you will be in a position to provide because you won’t be burdened with half a dozen of other tasks.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve both our personal and professional lives, and that goes double for sales. By doing the heavy lifting for you, sales AI will allow you to focus on your customers and providing a better experience for them, which will keep them coming back for more.