What is AI in Sales?
Artificial intelligence is changing the world. It’s impacting almost all aspects of modern life and business. When it comes to sales, Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping companies boost lead volume, close rate, and overall sales performance. That’s because this technology can automate and augment much of the sales process. As a result, you're free to focus on what matters: revenue.
How is Artificial Intelligence used in sales?
Building pipelines: Artificial intelligence tools can help salespeople fill pipelines fast. There are AI tools today that find new leads for you within your databases. Others will find new leads that look like your current leads. And some tools even provide contact information for people in your addressable market.
Closing more leads: There are AI tools in sales that use predictive analytics to target and rank leads based on their likelihood to close. This helps a sales rep prioritize sales activity and work only the most promising leads, which increases close rates and creates more revenue opportunities.
Intelligently automate and augment tasks: AI intelligently automates some tedious sales tasks. For instance, tools exist that automate data capture to give you back time in your day. Some solutions provide automated playbooks to cut down on response time. AI tools can also augment your work. One example is AI solutions that analyze sales call data to help you scale operations.
Predicting and controlling buying behavior: Your customers - not your sales reps - are now the ones in charge of the sales process. They research different options online and compare features and prices on their own instead of looking at a sales rep for answers. Sites like Amazon and Netflix use AI to make spot-on recommendations for what we should buy or watch next. E-commerce has ultimately taken away the need for salespeople to explain things.
Rise of chatbots: Chatbots displace sales reps whose main task is information gathering. Your salespeople can only gather so much information when talking to leads, as they need to focus on the conversation. But since chatbots integrate with social media, they can gather much more data about every person they interact with. Plus, AI makes far fewer mistakes than humans do, guaranteeing that the data gathered is error-free.
What are the types of platforms that use artificial intelligence in sales?
Sales engagement platforms: Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables salespeople to drive smarter, more personalized, customer engagements. Sales engagement platforms enhance your existing workflows across all of your disparate sales tools - Salesforce and other CRM, your inbox, your phone, your content management system, and more - to make you faster and more effective.
- Intent Reporting: The AI can read customer responses and do sentiment analysis to understand the intent of the customer. AI can classify the responses into the ones which are positive intent as they usually demand more information, and ask for further engagement or negative intent as they usually indicate the presence of an existing solution. Managers can now use Intent Reporting to understand the context of their reps’ conversations and get insights into how buyers are responding to their reps.
- Guided Engagement: Once AI understands the intent of each response (whether the customer is interested or not), it first prioritizes which leads to go after for a successful outcome and then even recommends the next step based on past behaviors of each customer.
Sales enablement platforms: Sales enablement is the strategic, iterative process of equipping sales teams with the content, guidance, and training they need to effectively close more deals. Sales enablement analytics provide marketing and sales teams with data-driven insights to optimize their business and drive revenue. These are some of the key features where AI is implemented in the sales enablement process:
- Prepare Sellers: Today’s buyers don’t have time for unprepared sellers. Buyers expect consultative, personalized, sales conversations that drive value and provide insights.AI driven process ensures that every seller has the most relevant content, knowledge and skills to exceed buyer expectations. You can have training material for sales reps in the context of their everyday work and for every sales opportunity.
- Prospecting: AI makes prospecting efficient. AI can create detailed customer profiles or buyer personas by analyzing a sample of your existing customers, and then help you find other people who match those personas. For example, it can determine whether a customer is actively researching a product or solution, perhaps on social media; then send an intent signal to the sales rep for follow-up. This allows sales reps to engage more actively with leads that are most likely to convert and drive revenue.
- Engaging Buyer: Personalize every buyer interaction and deliver more value with each conversation. Once you have data on prospect behavior and customer intent, sellers can easily discover, personalize and share the most relevant content with buyers and collaborate with them throughout the sales cycle. Engaging content insights provide sales reps actionable next steps to deliver more value with each conversation.
Conversational intelligence platforms: Conversational intelligence (CI) platforms are a new sales technology category that delivers insights from sales calls and virtual meetings/video conferences.
How AI is used for Conversational Intelligence?
Conversational AI is the set of technologies behind automated messaging and speech-enabled applications that offer human-like interactions between computers and humans. Conversational AI can communicate like a human by recognizing speech and text, understanding intent, deciphering different languages, and responding in a way that mimics human conversation.
Conversational AI makes use of a combination of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), speech recognition, natural language understanding (NLU), and other language technologies to process and contextualize the spoken or written word as well as figure out the best way to handle and respond to user input.
Revenue operations: Revenue Operations (RevOps) is the alignment of sales, marketing and customer success operations across the full customer life cycle to drive growth through operational efficiency and keep all teams accountable to revenue. RevOps platforms automatically capture and sync activity data from your CRM, email, calendar and other business systems and then uses AI for projecting predictable revenue. Sales leaders prepare for their forecast call with real-time insight provided by RevOps platforms. Sales reps can gain AI-driven visibility into engagement and activity data to spot your risk and opportunity.