Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Automation in Sales

Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Automation in Sales

Hanna Kleinings
Content Queen
Divider

According to recent data, 80% of retail company executives anticipate their companies to use AI-powered intelligent automation by 2027. But what is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) encompasses a wide range of technologies, including machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning, and more. All of these technologies, at their most basic level, assist machines to accomplish specific cognitive activities, sometimes even better than humans.

So how can AI be used in sales? This article aims to help you understand just that. We will take you through everything you need to know about how artificial intelligence and intelligent automation can be used by companies of all sizes, for both sales and marketing purposes.

What Are the Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence in Sales?

You might have heard about how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to transform businesses. But what about the benefits of using artificial intelligence in sales and marketing?

AI has been shown to have many benefits in growing revenue – from improved forecasting and customer engagement to enabling better time management, to name a few.

Let's take a look at the use of artificial intelligence in sales and marketing:

  • Increased Revenue: AI lowers the risk of making a mistake by setting up pre-approved discount guardrails. By speeding up the sales process, the time it takes new salespeople to get up and running is also reduced. AI can also assist vendors in providing upsell and cross-sell suggestions to guarantee that consumers get the most value for their money (and that you get the most of your leads).
  •  Time-Saving: By recording all of their communication, appointments, and other basic sales activities automatically, AI relieves salespeople of time-consuming administrative duties. Sellers may now focus on selling and nurturing customer relationships rather than filling out forms manually.
  • Improved Customer Engagement: Intelligent technologies allow sellers to gain a better understanding of their customer’s requirements in order to foster trust and loyalty. Salespeople have access to a comprehensive view of the client when using AI, allowing them to provide personalized interactions that appeal to customers.
  • Improved Forecasting: AI is used in sales forecasting to boost deal forecast accuracy by providing a real-time picture of each transaction in the pipeline and assisting sales executives in determining when to advance or park deals. Deal scores can now be generated thanks to AI-driven insights, allowing salespeople to fine-tune their forecasting method with past data in order to generate highly precise predictions.

Now that you’re aware of how using AI for your sales process can greatly benefit your business, let’s take a look at how AI is already being used in sales.

How is AI Used in Sales?

Sales are an integral part of any business. The right sales strategy can make or break a company, but what is the best way to go about it? As more companies invest in AI, there has been a lot of speculation about the use of artificial intelligence in sales.

Let's explore how it is currently being utilized in sales strategies:

Predictive Forecasting

There are artificial intelligence technologies that may forecast or anticipate outcomes by looking at past data and using it to predict what may happen in the future. Sales AI systems can make the following common forecasts:

  • Deals and prospective deals that are most likely to result in a sale.
  • Figure out which deals or prospective deals to focus on next.
  • New leads or clients who may be interested in your product or service.

The accuracy of artificial intelligence in sales forecasting relies on the system being used and the quality of the data. However, the fact remains that AI may actually show you who is most likely to buy in the future with the appropriate inputs from past and current data.

Using similar types of data analysis, artificial intelligence can also assist sales executives in forecasting their teams' performance for the quarter ahead, allowing them to take proactive action based on the data.

AI helps make better decisions by giving your team leaders a real-time view of each deal in the pipeline and assisting them in deciding when to advance or park deals.

Deal scores, for example, may be generated automatically using AI with the help of machine learning. Sales teams may fine-tune their forecasting procedure with historical data to give highly precise estimates thanks to AI-driven insights. That being said, remember that AI accuracy is determined by the quality of your data set.

Price Optimization

AI takes all of a customer's sales data, including location, size, and prior successful sales, to determine a suggested price. As a result, salespeople don't have to guess what pricing will assist them in closing a deal.

In fact, studies show that AI can help companies improve their leads by more than 50%, cut call time by 60-70%, and save 40-60% with cost reductions.

Pricing may even be customized in real-time for specific clients, which increases the likelihood of closing the deal. Not only does this help to speed up the sales process. By lowering the amount of time it takes for new salespeople to get up and running, then the time from when they are hired until they can start making profits is reduced, too.

This is because they wouldn't have to worry about overpricing, or worse, underpricing, the product or service. By lowering the number of back-and-forth discussions that slow down the sales process and make it unpleasant, optimal pricing enhances the customer experience.

Lead Scoring and Prioritization

It's crucial to determine the lead importance and priority of the leads that you have generated. AI-powered platforms can evaluate consumers' chances of converting based on third-party and company data, allowing your sales staff to focus their efforts.

A great example is the lead scoring systems that you come across in call centers. They're used to pre-qualify and score leads to increase the potential of a sale. As a result, the sales team presents an offer to those who might be genuinely interested, rather than disturb uninterested leads.

Your company's traffic is also a great source of data for lead prioritization. Using website identification tools, businesses can utilize how potential consumers engage with their company's digital properties to prioritize leads.

You use these technologies to find leads that spend time on the business's website and provide contact information for the firm. You define what a high-quality lead is for your business, and then these platforms send "trigger reports" directly into your sales staffs’ inboxes.

Upselling and Cross-Selling

Salespeople with AI have a better chance of finding prospects who are most likely to buy from them. Sales representatives also employ AI to forecast when they are most likely to make sales. The AI algorithms scan for individuals that are highly likely to buy into your firm or business's solutions.

Banks are a good example of this. They employ artificial intelligence to determine who among their clientele has the best chances of purchasing more services.

Expert Recommendations

Just as it does with pricing, upselling and cross-selling, AI is capable of making incredible product/service suggestions on an individual customer basis. The AI can look at the metadata of various items (for example, whether they're cruelty-free/gluten-free for groceries), examine how frequently the customer purchases from a certain category, and which brand they buy, among other things.

This information can then be used to recommend products that the customer is likely to want, or even offer coupons and discounts on items that the AI knows the customer is likely to purchase. In this way, AI can help businesses increase their sales without requiring any extra effort from the client.

This enables companies to not only remind consumers that it's time to stock up on a certain item but also to suggest alternative products that are closely linked or similar to those previously bought. This has the potential to improve CX and expand basket size.

For instance, according to Forbes, AI is crucial to Amazon's recommendation engine, which contributes 35% of the business's income. Amazon can construct a tailored list of goods that specific clients would like to buy based on data from consumer preferences, purchases, browsing history, and related and frequently bought items.

Performance and Productivity Enhancement

AI might also automate or enhance your workload to free you up for higher-value activities.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to help you with everything from scheduling appointments to assessing a sales team's pipeline by automatically performing these tasks for you. It can even make these processes far easier by leveraging your past usage data in order to make judgments when providing the outputs.

This scenario is similar to how many consumer calendars and productivity applications function, suggesting recurring events or to-dos automatically, using AI.

As you can see, the benefits of using artificial intelligence in both sales and marketing cannot be underestimated. Next, let’s look at some tools that make the integration of AI to improve your sales a whole lot easier.

What AI Tools Are Used in Sales?

Salespeople have always been in a tough position. With the economy getting tougher, they need to work even harder to compete with other opportunities and stay afloat. And now that automation is more common, it's become nearly impossible for many salespeople to keep up.

Here, we'll explore some artificial intelligence tools that are used in sales and marketing to lighten the load and increase the chance of successful automation integration:

Automation

Keeping track of all of your current solutions with data entry and updates is critical. However, time spent on admin chores and manual data input is not being utilized in selling.

Scheduling meetings is one of those low-value activities that you can entirely automate right now. What's more, a 100% AI-based solution can take care of it for you.

Example: Calendly

Recommendations

Beyond basic automation, AI-based solutions can now analyze your communication style as well as conversion goals and provide personalized recommendations on what the next best step is.

Example: Highspot

Analytics

The ability to identify why deals are won and lost is crucial in being as effective as they can be. While sales-call reviews now mostly rely on manual and subjective analysis, AI-powered analytics can already considerably speed things up.

Example: InsideSales

Engagement

You're aware that engaging potential customers in conversation is critical to keep them in your sales funnel and on your website.

While contact forms are still the most popular way for web surfers to inquire about a solution, the typical email response time is typically over a few days, meaning you'll miss out on connecting with leads at their peak of interest in what you have to offer.

Example: LiveChat

Buyer Intent

Chatbots have the ability to raise your conversion rates, but they can't immediately qualify leads on their own (short of going through a time-consuming process with potential clients that will likely reduce your chances of converting). As a result, your team spends time talking with people who aren't interested in buying and misses out on those who are.

Example: Leadfeeder

Summary

AI-based sales tools provide much more than just automating simple and low-value activities. They give you tailored recommendations and analytics so that you can win more deals – quickly and easily.

The use of artificial intelligence in sales can bring your company many benefits, and since predicting the future is often a time-consuming task, using AI in sales forecasting is just one small change that can bring about incredible results.

Any delay on your side might mean missing out on optimizing your sales process, increasing your revenue, and losing out on sales to all the companies that are taking advantage of this technology.

There's no need to wait because where these technologies are currently, they're already making a difference. And they very well could make all the difference for you and your business.

Now that you're here

Levity is a tool that allows you to train AI models on images, documents, and text data. You can rebuild manual workflows and connect everything to your existing systems without writing a single line of code.

If you liked this blog post, you'll probably love Levity.

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