A few weeks ago, Velvetech’s CEO, Yuri Yushkov, took part in Accelerate Global, Creatio’s livestream conference for IT and digital leaders. There, one of the subjects that was touched upon was the impact of new technologies and how they can help sales teams achieve operational excellence.
According to Yuri, 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.
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 artificial intelligence being in its nascent stages, it is a technology that already presents a myriad of opportunities for the sales department. In fact, according to Salesforce, 57% of high-performing sales organizations are using AI to improve internal processes and customer experiences.
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:
- Improved efficiency
- Granular analytics
- Accurate forecasts
- Reduced human errors
- Decreased costs
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.
7 Game-Changing AI in Sales Uses
Now that you have a better understanding of what role AI can play in the sales process, it’s time to get more specific. So, 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.
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.
Artificial intelligence 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.
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 agents’ 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.
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
According to ZoomInfo, sales reps average 35.9 phone calls per day. Not a small number, but 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.
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.
Full-featured Inbound & Outbound call center with AI-based agent scoring and call analytics.
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.
What if every customer could deal with your single most effective sales or service person?
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. 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.
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.
Embracing Artificial Intelligence 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 onto 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.