Artificial Intelligence is a concept that seems to drop right out of Science Fiction films. Everywhere we look, we see frightening predictions that it may accidentally destroy humanity, or develop into a singularity and try to take over the world. I’m here to tell you AI is already influencing our lives, and it’s here to stay. It’s time we de-mystify this concept and learn how it can be applied to the business world for real results.
Artificial Intelligence is already part of some very smart systems which are powering our day-to-day lives. The systems are powered by machine learning algorithms which make accurate predictions on future outcomes, based on past data.
Here’s just a few examples:
- Amazon’s AI-powered recommendations when shopping online
- Spotify uses AI and machine learning to understand our musical preferences and recommend similar music
- Google Maps and Waze help us get around by using AI-powered systems
We all use and enjoy these applications, although we may not all be aware of the machine learning technology behind them. According to research from XANT Labs, 55 percent of consumers use AI outside of work for navigation, virtual assistants or personal entertainment.
However, Artificial Intelligence is lagging behind when it comes to implementation in the professional environment.
Factors like lack of trust, disparate systems, insufficient data or difficult integrations are slowing adoption in the business environment.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in the Sales Industry
In the sales industry, sales acceleration technology powered by Artificial Intelligence can lead to amazing revenue growth, when it is adopted and accompanied by a profound sales transformation process. We’ve seen businesses increase revenue up to 30 percent, by adopting AI-powered sales acceleration systems.
Here’s a list of the 5 most amazing things AI technology can do to help sales teams close more deals.
Offer Insights on Customer Behavior
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is not enough to offer sales reps all the information they need, from first contact with the customer to finalizing a transaction. Stats show that sales reps rate the CRM as the most frustrating and least useful system – they feel it is lacking the insights they need to go after the right targets and make the right decisions to reach their sales targets.
By analyzing billions of data points, sales acceleration platforms work as an extension to the CRM, and can give sales reps information about:
- Leads: Who are the leads most likely to answer and show interest
- Accounts: Prioritize the accounts that will purchase
- Opportunities: Identify which opportunities are likely to push or close
Alert to External Factors That Influence Your Deal
Sales acceleration systems can analyze billions of data points to predict customer behavior and preference and aid close a sale. However, internal data can only do so much for the accuracy of these predictions. There are numerous other factors that influence your deals – company mergers, stock fluctuations, even the rain outside can cause your deal to close or fail. When Artificial Intelligence gains access to all this data, its predictions and recommendations become even more important.
The best AI-powered systems use two types of data:
- Internal data about sales transaction (call times, call outcomes, email or agent social activities)
- External data (stock price fluctuations, company or industry events, local weather or traffic information)
In the B2B sales space, crowd-sourced, cross-company data on transactional information can offer the data volume needed to bring up AI prediction levels to a high level of accuracy.
Streamline Sales Communications
Sales doesn’t mean we have to struggle managing spreadsheets and waste time taking notes manually. Modern technology has made it possible to automate many sales reps activities. Their time can be thus free to focus on what really matters – meaningful conversations with the right contacts, at the right time.
Sales acceleration technology can increase the time reps spend on actual sales activities through productivity-enhancing tools. Email templates and automated voicemails or appointment reminders can all increase sales productivity and make a difference to your bottom line.
With the help of AI-powered technology, you can can generate dynamic calling lists that automatically populate with prospects that match a predefined business rule. This way, you have control over what your priorities are, and make sure the sales team’s activities are aligned with company goals.
Respond Immediately to Your Hottest Leads
A lead called within five minutes of requesting information is over 10x more likely to answer, and is 4x more likely to qualify as a solid sales opportunity, shows research. This is why it’s important to get your best people on the phone as soon possible, and this can’t be a manual process.
How will they know a lead is looking for information?
AI-powered sales systems will automatically place new incoming leads at the top of sales reps’ lists. This way, you will never miss a hot opportunity again.
Sales Reporting and Forecasting
Forecasting has long been one of sales leader’s major challenges. Creating predictable revenue growth is no small task. Most organizations are struggling and only 53% of sales reps are reaching their quota.
Artificial Intelligence can identify the most promising deals and potential risk factors. This in turn produces pipeline forecasting reports with a high degree of accuracy.
Combined with the judgment of sales reps and managers, along with internal and external data sources, AI can build a predictive forecast that is 80% accurate on the first day of the quarter.
Consumers Agree AI Will Have a Significant Impact on the Future
Artificial Intelligence is no longer a term out of Science Fiction books and films. However, our relationship with AI will come down to trust and perceived opportunity.
According to XANT research, 49% of consumers believe that AI will have an impact on medica advancements, 47% believe it will take over dangerous jobs, and 41% hope it may automated mundane tasks in their home. It’s time we see what it can do for the enterprise sales world.
The “State of Artificial Intelligence” study includes 1,985 respondents from a variety of backgrounds and locations in the US. It shows the attitude, understanding, and expectation of this emerging technology, and will let you in on how AI is poised to change our future,
Download the “State of AI 2017” study (executive summary) to understand:
- The state of artificial intelligence in the US and the UK
- How consumers view artificial intelligence at home and at work
- What the future will look like with artificial intelligence
- What artificial intelligence brands to consumers trust the most