Artificial Intelligence or AI has come a long way since its inception. During its initial years, it was merely a technological buzzword that only seemed real. There were no major applications impacting our day to day lives. However, AI has grown out of its infant phase and now has become a notable power that drives all industries. AI’s acceptance and dominance in many sectors can only be described as something straight out of a Sci-Fi novel.
Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing since computers came into existence. And every single industry that uses computers have implemented or are planning to apply AI to streamline their business. After all, a machine that can learn and adapt, and be flexible with its function is more efficient than human beings themselves.
From the automated factories of a far off land to every single ad you see on your web pages, everything has an AI touch to it. AI is the ultimate tool and people are buying into this notion that it helps all businesses. And guess who’s doing the selling part? Salespeople? Not quite.
AI in Sales – Streamlining One Of The Most Critical Business Aspects
Sales are such a fundamental part of every industry. No work is useful unless the result can be used or sold for profit. And in most cases, it is the latter. This shows how deeply ingrained sales is with all jobs and all sectors, big and small.
Artificial Intelligence has found a way to make itself known and be relevant in almost every sector. From agriculture to cutting edge science, from space exploration to particle physics, everything can be made more efficient using the power of AI. And Sales is no different!
Sales require specific skills that can help a salesman understand a need or want, find the product that suits it, and then sell it at the highest possible profit margin. A good salesman is capable of detecting problems and offering solutions that most people don’t even realize exist. However, that is a more nuanced concept of sales and usually, require a salesperson.
However, there are areas in the field of marketing and sales where leveraging AI pays rich dividends. Using their predictive analytics and data processing capabilities, most work that requires study and analysis on a deeper level can be done with Intelligent systems.
Sales And Its Pain Points
Every job has its perks as well as headaches. The profession of selling also comes with enormous problems. These issues are referred to as pain points. They are specific problems that your prospective customers can expect.
There are a million things that can go wrong in this field, but the main pain points can be broken down into three categories, namely management, technology, and people. Identifying and solving these pain points are crucial to running your business smoothly, and this is where AI can help your company.
AI: The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife
Artificial Intelligence contains a vast assortment of tools and applications that have been tried, tested and assured for effectiveness in a plethora of sectors. These same tools can also be employed in various aspects of sales to overcome pain points and boost the overall output.
There are two forms of assistance that AI provides. The first is introducing new ideas and processes to the sales environment. These ideas can be derivatives of the existing possibilities of AI and are unused or unheard of in the field of sales and management. These include concepts like predictive and prescriptive sales, sales content personalization, and so on.
The second is where AI assists an existing process that is part of sales. Things like chatbots and automation are not introducing anything new to the current process. However, by performing the functions that are currently done by humans, productivity is now increased beyond anything humanly possible. Examples can be Sales rep chatbot and response suggestions.
Artificial Intelligence and Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers for your products or services. This process works in a wide variety of ways and is crucial for a sales rep who needs to make the sale and meet his quota.
The best AI algorithms excel is processing large amounts of structured and unstructured data to better understand leads which can be often missed by human beings due to the sheer volume, and manual effort involved. AI systems can also find leads for your business based on the existing data you have and also convert leads into sales. This helps businesses to better manage their pipeline.
Predictive Analytics – The Big Gun
The predictive analytic capabilities of AI opens up new frontiers in the field of sales. Predictive sales can be carried out using this application.
The system can analyze and correlate many factors such as leads, sales rep performance, customer behavior, market trend, etc. to accurately predict sales. The powerful algorithms can carry our accurate sales forecasting, score leads, and assess contactability. Enabling accurate predictive sale capabilities can help a company in multiple ways. Demand can be forecasted, inventory can be better managed, the business can have a clear vision, and invest time, energy, and funds in the right channels.
Personalization – The Need Of The Hour
With cut-throat competition in the market, you cannot reach out to your customer with hundreds of options which they may not even need. You need to understand what a customer wants based on the historical data available in your systems.
Robust AI algorithms process this data and recommend customers the best available option for them. This also ensures customers feel special and the sales process becomes easier.
AI for Prescriptive Sales
Inconsistency in statistics is a huge problem for every salesperson. The ideal growth curve is a steadily climbing one, and aberrations cause doubts which is never good for business. This is where prescriptive sales comes into the picture.
These are pre-designed and step by step processes that are considered as a guide of operations for a salesperson. They involve rules and procedures regarding sales, from the beginning till the end, and helps to maximize the success rate.
A better process plan requires a better prediction of random behavior. AI can be used for sales forecasting, a process that evaluates the customer to be a likely buyer. This can be done using the data analytic capabilities of the AI. By distinguishing the potential buyers, the sales rep can now be prescribed to maximize chances of a sale.
Sales Assistance – Your Trusted Assistant
Now, this is where the use of AI is much more straightforward and a lot more tangible for the common man. The broad categories of sales assistants include everything from a sales rep chatbot, e-mail bots, smart sales rep assistants to even physical robots. They can be used in a wide variety of ways to help the sales representative provide good customer service, answer queries, keep tabs on the chain regularly, or even sell the goods on the retail floor.
Data Input Automation – Streamlining Repetitive Tasks
Sales processes produce a large amount of data in the form of bills, tenders, receipts, and so on. Handling all this data can prove difficult for a human being even when provided with computers. However, AI comes with automation capabilities that can upload and store all this data in real time. Not only that, the safekeeping of data can be ensured, and at the same time the information can also be analyzed to provide accurate predictions and analytic insights.
Sales Rep Assistance – To Bring Out The Best
AI can also be used as a helping hand to the sales reps in many ways. The smart systems can be used to assist the sales rep in connecting with a potential customer, assess situations and requirements, and be informed at all times on the probable customer behavior. AI can also assist sales reps in giving the best possible response to a customer and help the sales rep carry out any follow-up actions if needed. The end goal is to sell more.
The Verdict: AI is here to stay
There used to be a time when computers and mobile phones seemed unreal. They were so revolutionary that every person and industry welcomed them with open arms. Today, they both have become an indispensable part of our lives.
AI is doing the same thing across all sectors. This marvel of technology has found a use in all corners of the world, across all industries and sectors. The utilization of AI has made many companies more efficient, and their rivals have no choice but to follow suit. Intelligent systems are making work so much easier; people are not required to put in even a tenth of the effort that they used to.
From finding customers to closing deals, AI can be a powerful weapon in the hands of the right wielder. The storm has begun, and it is bound to change the face of the industry.