The Rise of AI Tools: Verticals to Watch, Part 5

Welcome back to our five-part series on the rise of AI. In part four of this series, we took a look at how legal and regulatory professional are using AI to examine risks and improve performance, and how those in the science fields use AI to push their research further.

In this final part of our series, we’re going to talk about AI use cases that are particularly close to our heart. Curious how HR, sales, and marketing are currently using AI to exceed their goals and leave competition in the dust? Read on!

 

Marketing

Whether they know it or not, marketers have been using solutions augmented by artificial intelligence for a few years—particularly if they’ve run a PPC campaign. Most ad campaigns that are run through Facebook or Google AdWords (and that accounts for most campaigns, with Google accounting for 40 percent of the digital ad market, beside Facebook’s 19 percent) are targeted based on optimization algorithms that match your ads with ideal prospects.

As we’ve covered previously, there’s a lot of noise to contend with on a daily basis. That’s why it’s more important than ever for marketers to create experiences that cut through that noise. Artificial intelligence seems to be a way that many companies are able to further differentiate themselves.

Marketing teams are able to use AI to support classic strategies like product recommendations and predictive lead scoring. For example, AI will help marketers take their campaigns a step further using customer insights from consumer data hidden in keyword searches, social media, and other online data for smarter and more effective retargeting campaigns.

As with other industries, AI removes some of the technical burden from marketers’ shoulders. It frees them to be more creative and focus on the customer experience, rather than spending time making sure they coded an HTML template correctly.

Marketers are fiends of good data, and AI is excellent at extracting valuable insights from huge quantities of seemingly unrelated data.

This is especially valuable when it comes to providing sales teams with content and guidance about new leads. Forty percent of marketers believe their sales teams are not equipped with the right account intelligence to engage with prospects. Luckily, sales is also using AI.

 

Sales

Anyone who’s been in sales knows that every deal is won on top of a mountain of drudgery. That includes cold calling, managing the CRM’s data hygiene for your accounts, scheduling prospecting and researching time, emailing and meeting with your manager. It’s a lot. And when you think about it, all of that is beside the point, which is getting a prospect to say yes to your solution or at least take the first step in that direction.

Forty percent of time spent on sales-related activities can be automated by current AI technologies, found McKinsey Global Institute. That’s a lot of time that can be used for nurturing relationships with prospects and guiding deals to the finish line. In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, companies using AI for sales reported a 50 percent increase in leads. That’s a significant return on investing in state-of-the-art technology.

If those results aren’t enough to convince you, it’s been proven that monotonous work leads to burnout, dissatisfaction, and low productivity.

 

HR

According to Josh Bersin, a veritable guru of HR technology, “the heart of AI is better-informed people decisions.” And if we’ve established anything in this post, it’s that AI empowers people to make better decisions based on the data that’s available. When it comes HR, AI can help users answer questions like “Who do I hire?” “Who do I promote?” “Who is leaving leftovers in the fridge?” Well, maybe not the last one, but when it comes to making unbiased, data-driven decisions about the people you hire and the people you work with, AI can help HR professionals take things to a new level.

Bersin believes that “the biggest impact AI will have on HR is augmenting corporate training and coaching,” which might be true. According to George Elfond, CEO of Rallyware, a workforce engagement platform, companies who use AI-based learning technology have seen “a 32% increase in employee productivity and a 43% increase in employee retention.”

What about hiring those employees? Well, companies who use AI to recruit are seeing a 71 percent reduction in cost per hire. That’s on top of a three times improvement in recruiter efficiency. This is largely because AI allows much of recruiting to be automated.

AI can leverage analytics to help recruiters find the candidates who are most likely to succeed in the open role. Recruiters can also use AI to save time by allowing an algorithm to screen CVs and resumes for ideal candidates—which, when you receive hundreds of applications, saves a significant amount of time.

Additionally, AI can pair your new hires with the optimal team and recommend career development opportunities, such as skills trainings and conferences. And if that learning development opportunities just isn’t doing it for an employee, AI can even predict how likely they are to leave.

A lot of companies are using video calls to interview candidates. These videos can be recorded and analyzed by an AI to help assess a candidate’s truthfulness and other body language indicators that might help a hiring manager make a better decision.

People are often speaking to you in ways you can’t perceive, either through a pattern of behavior or imperceptible body language. AI can help HR professionals make decisions that not only benefit their company, but also help put candidates on the right course for success.

 

What’s Next?

There are a lot of research firms making predictions about AI. Some are optimistic and many are pessimistic when it comes to job displacement. But there’s really no consensus on overall impact or timeline.

Jim Adler, the managing direct of Toyota’s AI Ventures, reminds us, “Whenever there is tech disruption, more jobs are created than before in places we don’t expect. The tech opens up new markets. People sometimes forget that.”

If you want to see how AI can help improve your business, check out Conversica’s AI Assistant, which can help you see results like those found in the Harvard Business Review study.

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