According to Velvetech’s CEO, Yuri Yushkov, one of the key trends that has been influencing sales organizations is artificial intelligence, and it has become more imperative than ever to leverage it for efficient operations.

“Sales reps only spend around 30% of their time on sales activities, everything else is spent on other duties. So, the more meaningful automation we can attain to reduce the time they spend on data entry, research, and grooming existing records, the more time sales reps will have to nurture leads and have conversations with customers.”

— Yuri Yushkov

Yet, what does all this mean in practice?

Well, we are glad you asked because today, we’d like to dive into the subject of artificial intelligence in sales and discuss some of its most common use cases within this revenue-generating department.

Thus, if you’re interested in boosting the productivity of your sales team — keep on reading. No matter the industry you come from, insurance or finance, retail or healthcare, the uses we cover today will definitely be relevant for your business.

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The Purpose of AI Development in Sales

Sales are challenging. After all, customers don’t just purchase your product or service as soon as they see it. Often, there are multiple touchpoints they have to go through prior to making a payment. Thus, with the sales department facing so many prospecting and lead generation activities, teams often get slammed with repetitive, manual work. Here, AI can come in to save the day.

Despite being still in its nascent stages, it is a technology that already presents a myriad of opportunities for the sales department. In fact, according to HubSpot, 52% of sales professionals say AI plays an essential part in their daily activities.

However, it’s important to note that AI is here not to replace sales representatives, rather to augment their capabilities through automation. Thus, it brings a lot of benefits with it, including:

If you want to reap the above-mentioned rewards, now would be a great time to start thinking about AI software development for your firm. Otherwise, you risk falling behind and having to play catch-up with competitors who have long embraced this innovative technology.

Uncover more Sales Technology Trends That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Types of AI Tools Used in Sales

Before exploring how to use AI in sales and get the maximum benefit from this technology, we need to look at what kinds of artificial intelligence sales professionals can actually embrace in their daily activities. Although there can be other AI-based tools like predictive analytics, voice recognition, or even emotion AI, we’ll focus on the key four that, in our opinion, set the ground.

NLP

NLP

Natural language processing, most commonly used as NLP, is a branch of AI that enables the interaction between computers and humans. In essence, it allows machines to understand, interpret, and even generate human-like language. That’s why it’s called natural language processing.

AI-powered sales assistants and chatbots rely on NLP to comprehend and respond to conversations. Sentiment analysis is also about this technology to understand customer attitudes, preferences, and potential concerns. Another example here is email parsing, which sales reps use to extract meaningful information from emails.

RPA and SPA

RPA and SPA

Robotic process automation is a great tool for those who deal with lots of manual activities and want to eliminate their quantity. It involves the use of robots or software bots to automate rule-based tasks and help employees focus on more strategic and complex things.

Read more about the Benefits of the RPA Approach

In sales specifically, it’s called sales process automation that applies RPA to support sales-related tasks, such as data entry, lead scoring, or order processing. SPA contributes to enhanced speed and accuracy of sales processes by streamlining workflows and reducing errors.

AI Data Analytics

AI Data Analytics

AI-based data analytics lies at the heart of many sales operations, being especially helpful for scrutinizing calls. We’ll talk about it further in detail. It generally supports teams in analyzing customer behavior, finding patterns, and informed decision-making. Particularly, predictive analytics can be used for lead scoring, sales forecasting, and optimizing pricing strategies.

On top of that, analytics and artificial intelligence merged together provide a helping hand in training sales reps. Companies can rely on AI algorithms to scrutinize performance data and find what works and what doesn’t in the sales workflows, then train their employees based on the found insights. We’ll also discuss this use case a bit later.

Generative AI

Generative AI

Finally, there are generative AI solutions that have recently entered the game. They refer to systems that can generate new content, such as text, images, or even entire pieces of creative work, based on patterns learned from existing data. Despite the young age of this technology, 14% of organizations already use generative AI for sales and marketing, according to McKinsey findings.

For example, genAI is applied to create personalized and dynamic content for sales presentations, marketing materials, and emails. It enhances the ability to tailor communications to individual customers, improving engagement and relevance.

10 Game-Changing AI in Sales Uses

Now that you have a better understanding of what role AI can play in the sales process and what kinds of AI technology you can leverage, it’s time to get more specific. Let’s take a look at the various AI uses within the department so that you can best identify which ones can be of most benefit to your company.

10 Game-Changing AI in Sales Uses

1. Data Input Automation

One of the primary uses of artificial intelligence in the sales process is for automating data entry. Typically, sales reps spend a lot of time on low-value activities like admin work and entering meeting or email notes into the CRM platform. Well, with AI, that no longer has to be the case.

AI can automatically track communications, appointments, and other sales initiatives to then sync all the relevant data from various sources into the CRM for effective relationship management. Thus, relieving sales agents from tedious, manual work and letting them focus on high-value tasks.

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2. Lead Scoring

Another major AI in sales use concerns lead scoring. As any sales rep knows, it can be difficult to identify which lead is worth your time and should be prioritized over others. Typically, it’s only determined based on each agent’s gut instinct which comes from years of experience.

Once again, AI can come to the rescue here. With the help of machine learning solutions and predictive analytics, elements like historical data and social media activity can be leveraged to rank high-value leads that are likely to make a purchase.

Thus, if you’ve got good lead generation processes in place but your team struggles to determine who to focus on first — it might be time to consider turning to AI. It will quickly simplify your agents’ work processes and systematize everything that’s got to do with lead scoring.

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3. Outcome Forecasting

Besides predicting which leads are most likely to result in a sale, artificial intelligence can also forecast pretty much any outcome your agents may be interested in.

Which deals are likely to be closed by the end of this year? Which new customers may be interested in complementary products and services? All these questions and more can be answered with AI that goes through various data sources, analyzes customer behavior, and draws out insights that a human may not have been able to.

4. Call Analytics

Sales reps make a really vast number of calls daily. However, it’s important to remember that not all of those conversations pan out in the best way. In fact, most probably don’t.

So, what if your sales team was able to use real-time call analytics and conversation intelligence to ensure every call is top-notch? Chances are high that more calls would conclude successfully.

Find out how Velvetech implemented AI Call Analytics to Boost Insurance Firm Sales

You see, things like speech-to-text-transcription and dialogue visualization can power truly helpful dynamic scripts. Thus, enabling contact center agents to resolve complicated issues faster and close more deals. Primarily by automatically adjusting what should be said depending on the flow of the conversation or providing real-time suggestions to guide the dialogue.

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5. Next Action Recommendation

Determining which action to take next is one of the most frequent dilemmas a sales agent has to face. Is it time to send an email after you’ve just met a prospect? What should that email ideally say? Is a call appropriate after your emails have gone unanswered? Or, is it best to reach out via LinkedIn? All these questions can plague the minds of sales reps on the daily.

It is essential to take an action that actually benefits the relationship and helps establish good communication. Otherwise, you may risk alienating the right connection by coming off as too pushy, or on the contrary, taking too long to get in touch that prospects are no longer interested in what you offer.

So, with the help of artificial intelligence and data science solutions, your sales and marketing specialists can get concrete recommendations on the optimal next steps they should be taking when building a relationship with each prospect or lead. By learning from historical data and the information provided about the potential customer, AI algorithms can essentially tell sales teams which action is most sensible.

As a result, your agents benefit from guidance and make truly data-driven decisions. Thus, freeing up their time to focus on relationship building and deal closing, not deliberating what to do next.

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6. Deal Intelligence

Sometimes, it can be difficult to take a step back and analyze what all the closed, most profitable deals have in common. It would take too much time and even then some intricate insights might escape the human mind.

AI, on the other hand, can extract meaningful information from myriads of data and deliver key findings to your dashboards in minutes. For instance, algorithms can identify factors that drive more deals, sales agents that close most valuable clients, and other findings you may deem relevant. Thus, helping better understand what goes into successful transactions so that you can keep doing it and improving existing processes.

7. Optimized Email Campaigns

Managing email campaigns is not an easy undertaking as it includes crafting the entire strategy while aiming to achieve marketing goals. Fundamentally, it encompasses planning, execution, and analysis, where AI technology serves as a valuable assistant.

As you can already guess, algorithms analyze vast datasets to create personalized content recommendations, suggest optimal send times, and come up with subject line options. AI here is like a fortune teller, predicting which email content is likely to resonate with your target audience. It, of course, increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Additionally, AI has the ability to adapt to changing customer preferences through continuous learning, which ensures that your email campaign remains effective over time. With it, you can expect improved open rates, click-through rates, and overall campaign success.

8. Chatbots

We couldn’t omit chatbots from our list of AI use cases in sales and marketing. Most of us are well familiar with these tools as both customers and professionals. Chatbots leverage NLP, which we talked about before, to understand and respond to user queries, providing assistance and guiding users through various processes.

Today, you can choose from a wide variety of tools on the market and customize them to match perfectly your needs. Whether you decide to deploy a chatbot on a website, social media platform, or messaging app, it will help you offer instant support, answer frequently asked questions, and even qualify leads.

By automating routine interactions in sales, chatbots free up agents to focus on more complex tasks. In addition, they contribute to lead generation by capturing relevant information and initiating the sales process.

9. Price Optimization

The ones who offer competitive prices can naturally win more customers. Thus, many companies are embracing price optimization tools to streamline the process. These tools can drive an increase in sales due to the use of artificial intelligence that analyzes a range of factors to determine the most effective pricing strategy. These factors include market demand, competitor pricing, historical sales data, customer behavior, and more.

Machine learning algorithms continuously assess the mentioned variables and adjust prices dynamically to maximize revenue and profitability. So, with this approach, you can set optimal prices for products or services in real time, accounting for market fluctuations and consumer trends.

10. Sales Rep Training

The last AI in sales use case we’ll cover today is all about staff training. First off, all of the data that this technology can analyze is imperative for quickly onboarding sales reps. After all, it provides all the key insights that they’ll need to be aware of.

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Additionally, AI can identify what are the weak areas of each recent recruit after a few weeks of work and create a personalized training plan that ensures they quickly acquire the missing skills. Thus, making sales rep training much more individualized.

Lastly, if you choose to incorporate AI into a mobile application that your agents can use for training, they’ll always have the best guidance for managing client relationships, even on the go.

AI in Sales vs. AI in Marketing

Marketing and sales are best friends, working in union to drive customer acquisition, engagement, and revenue growth. The synergy between them is powered by shared data, aligned goals, and the strategic deployment of technology. That includes AI, of course, to optimize customer interactions and drive business outcomes. However, there’s a subtle difference in AI tools for sales and marketing. Let’s have a quick look at it.

Artificial Intelligence in the Sales Process

Artificial Intelligence in the Marketing Process

Embracing AI for Sales

Sales are all about building lasting relationships. However, that takes time, energy, and some savvy know-how. Now, it can all be enhanced with the help of intelligent technologies like AI that serve to automate repetitive processes, extract valuable insights, and forecast various outcomes.

At Velvetech, we understand that it can seem overwhelming to dive into AI by yourself and figure out how to use the technology for business growth. That is why we are pleased to offer easy-to-use, AI-powered contact center and call analytics solutions that can quickly help take your sales game to the next level.

Additionally, if you’re looking to gain a customized tool that fits well into your business, we provide extensive AI software development services to help organizations make the most of these innovative technologies and build solutions that truly cater to the unique requirements of each company. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team — we’ll be happy to discuss any project you may have in mind.

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