Is your revenue team ready for what's next?
Giving your sales team more leads doesn’t necessarily mean it will close more deals. Converting leads to opportunities and opportunities to closed-won sales is as much about efficiency as it is about effort, but even the hardest-working, most dedicated sales reps are limited by time and energy.
Although you may be proud of your sales team, they probably could close more deals, particularly if success currently depends on people, not technology. Aptitude and attitude aside, you can’t expect your team to generate more revenue without having greater insight into opportunities and more time and energy to bring it to fruition.
Artificial intelligence tools (AI) allow sales teams to use machine learning to analyze data and automate tasks in ways that aren’t humanly possible. Given the efficiency it offers, almost 85 percent of 3,000 surveyed business leaders said AI will help their companies obtain or sustain a competitive advantage, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review.
Consider the following ways to use AI in order to generate more revenue.
Your customer relationship management (CRM) system may be the central repository that your sales team relies upon, but does your team work for it or does it work for your team?
Sales reps can spend as much time updating records within your CRM as they do on the underlying activities that prompted the updates. They also can be overwhelmed by the vastness of information, thus missing opportunities.
An AI tool like PersistIQ can clone successful workflows, according to a list of artificial intelligence sales tools from Nudge. PeopleAI helps salespeople identify and jumpstart deals that have stalled. AI tools provide informative data to make sales teams more effective. For example, AI can identify prospects that are more likely to buy, and then determine personalized messaging.
Your reps could also save time by using voice-controlled digital sales assistants to record information. AI-powered assistants will even prompt reps to ask the right questions in order to gain the information they need, without requiring the reps to input the information into your CRM manually, according to a Vainu blog post on ways artificial intelligence will increase your sales.
With an AI system, you can tell which prospects will buy without even meeting them, because you can create profiles of customers based on behaviors and patterns, the Vainu blog post notes. This makes reps more effective because they can tailor their pitches to customers based on their knowledge of the customers’ preferences.
AI also can help you spot trends between customers so that you can offer them the right products, PandaDoc notes in a blog post on how your sales team can leverage artificial intelligence. Reps can use the same technology to avoid wasting time pursuing leads that aren’t likely to convert. Then, they can redirect their energy to closing the most statistically likely deals.
AI could also influence real-world shopping situations. It can push in-store purchases by serving ads that relate specifically to buyers in the moment of purchase, according to an Inc. article on how AI can be used to increase sales.
AI can drive sales online as well, by placing bids and adjusting programmatic advertising programs for optimal efficiency.
A DataRobot blog post on using AI to optimize your Google AdWord bidding notes: “By inputting past marketing activity and sales volume into automated machine learning software, companies build models that predict the sales volume attributable to each individual AdWord ad and therefore the maximum price to bid while still achieving their target ROI.”
The Inc. article also notes that AI tools can help generate revenue by analyzing online activities, such as social media shares and product reviews. AI-powered sales software can then assign leads to the reps who are most likely to close them based on the reps’ expertise and experience working with similar leads.
The software can also automatically store activities to a customer’s record, thereby saving time for your team, and you can monitor activity through advanced reporting.
Knowing that it needed to contact leads six to eight times in order to convert them, Epson increased its response rate and revenue by using an AI assistant to follow up on leads, the Harvard Business Review noted in an article about how AI is streamlining marketing and sales. The assistant achieved a 50 percent response rate.
Such conversational AI assistants automatically engage leads via natural, conversational emails until they become customers. In addition to having peace of mind from knowing that every lead is followed up with every time, you can rest assured that your assistant is helping you generate revenue by consistently contacting leads until they close.
Your sales team may be doing well, but it could do more if it had more information, time, and energy.
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