Everyone wants to increase the reach of their SDRs, BDRs or Inside Sales team without significant expenses or massive complications. Yet, achieving this goal remains out of reach for many companies. Why is that? Odds are, they’re using the wrong technology or making the Sales process too manual to properly scale and manage.

What about the organizations that are getting it right? They’re using an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) to initiate and nurture those vital conversations with leads.

Read on to learn about how Intelligent Virtual Assistant speaks to leads in a personalized and polite manner and which businesses have seen amazing results from this technology.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants Are Not Chatbots

When people hear the phrase “Intelligent Virtual Assistant,” they sometimes think of chatbots. However, IVAs are far more sophisticated and powerful than a chatbot.

That’s not to say chatbots are without their strengths. Chatbots are well-suited for answering simple questions; such as retrieving a return policy for an e-commerce customer or nudging a web visitor to fill out a lead form. However, chatbots can’t always understand the deeper meaning behind a customer’s message. And thus, chatbots are very limited in their use cases.

The latest developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have produced Intelligent Virtual Assistants that conduct such natural conversations with contacts, prospects and customers that they genuinely feel they’re interacting with a friendly person, not an impersonal computer. Funny enough, today’s IVA solutions are so engaging that people have asked them out on dates!

How Can an Intelligent Virtual Assistant Help Your Sales Team?

There is a popular perception that the growing use of AI will result in lost jobs. But in most cases these fears are unfounded. In the case of IVAs, organizations often find cause to increase hiring because these technologies allow employees to work more efficiently and effectively.

Here’s an example of an Intelligent Virtual Assistants in a Sales scenario: When a lead comes in, the IVA sends a message to him or her through email or SMS. The IVA will persistently and politely continue its outreach to prospects.

At a certain point, the software will stop trying to reach the lead because it’s clear the lead simply isn’t interested. But if the lead expresses interest or wants more information, the IVA autonomously passes the lead along to a Salesperson to close the deal.

In this way, your Sales staff no longer wastes time trying to identify hot leads and follow up with them. Instead, employees devote their resources to closing deals, which is what they’re best at and what brings the most value to your business.

Real-Life Success Stories: Companies Getting Great Results from Intelligent Virtual Assistants

There are many companies successfully using Intelligent Virtual Assistants to effectively reach out to potential customers. Three interesting examples are CenturyLink, Epson, and IBM.

CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S. It chose Conversica to increase Sales conversions.

“For us, lead-to-sales conversion is very much a volume play,” explained Kate Cindric Federhar, CenturyLink’s manager of marketing operations. “The more leads we can get into the top of the funnel, the more business we’ll end up with, so we looked for marketing technology to help us with that.”

“We now use Conversica to contact 90,000 prospects every quarter,” Cindric Federhar added. “This is a huge volume, and the biggest benefit is that we can do it quickly. With Conversica, we’re able to have a real conversation with each one, a personal email thread that can really cut through the clutter and get people’s attention.”

Epson, the global technology leader, chose Conversica in order to optimize leads. Before selecting Conversica, there wasn’t a solid lead follow-up process; leads weren’t qualified before being turned over to Salespeople. Since deploying the Conversica Sales AI Assistant, Epson has seen a 240 percent increase in its official response rate. Additionally, the company reported a 75 percent increase in hot leads and the influenced pipeline has grown to $3 million.

While IBM has led the market in delivering innovative technology and business services, it struggled with its digital marketing efforts. IBM’s Global Email Marketing Practice head Kevin Pollack chose Conversica to improve the company’s lead nurture and scoring initiatives. During the trial run of Conversica’s Sales AI Assistant, IBM generated $6.5 million in pipeline revenue.

Improving your Sales reach and lead flow doesn’t have to be time-consuming or labor-intensive. With an Intelligent Virtual Assistant—like the Conversica Sales AI Assistant—you can free up your Sales team to pursue the most qualified leads and create value for your company.

To learn more about how Intelligent Virtual Assistants augment Sales teams, read the Sales Capacity Challenge eBook from Conversica.