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Over a century ago, the telephone kicked off a communications revolution. More recently, the internet and high levels of smartphone adoption have totally changed the way we do business. Now, it’s the turn of artificial intelligence (AI). A report by Infosys revealed that organisations adopting AI expect to see a massive 39% increase in their revenue by 2020. Here are five of the best reasons why ‘thinking’ computer systems can help your business sell more.

Better lead prioritisation
Do most of your sales calls end in the fatal words “not interested”? You’re not the only one. According to a report by BrightTALK, 80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. In a world where the outcome of pursuing a lead is so far from certain, AI can provide a competitive edge.

Lead prioritisation involves separating quality leads from the poor ones, allowing your business to contact only those prospects who are most likely to buy. AI helps to expedite this process by sifting through all your data to score prospects based on how likely they are to convert.

From identifying customer sentiment and competitor involvement to deciding the difference between interest and intent, an AI-enabled CRM platform can analyse all your historical sales data to discover the top factors that convert a prospect. This, in turn, makes sorting through leads super-efficient, giving sales reps all the ammunition they need to prepare for every call.

Sales cadence optimisation
Generating better quality leads means your sales team is going to get a whole lot busier. Put simply, a sales cadence is a sequence of activities sales people follow when chasing leads. Just like a metronome produces a steady beat to help musicians play to a rhythm, applying an effective sales cadence will help your team keep on top of leads when demand increases.

NewVoiceMedia’s new Contact Accelerator feature will ensure outbound sales or service teams are connecting and having successful conversations with prospects and customers. Because it takes between six to eight touches to generate a lead, follow-up is key, and calls are automatically rescheduled in the ContactWorld dialler at the optimum frequency with automatic geographic number presentation, significantly increasing the chances of a successful connection.

With sales journeys often beginning with missed calls, this feature will deliver significant benefits for sales reps who will be able to make first contact with prospects, faster. Furthermore, unanswered calls no longer need to be manually recorded and scheduled, which can be disruptive to the flow of the day, and call backs will be hassle-free.

Helping salespeople to work smarter, not harder
The convergence of big data and AI is set to transform sales productivity. Between email, calendar, CRM and calls, the number of data touchpoints your sales team creates throughout the year is impossible to measure. AI offers your team the chance to collect all this data and feed it through an algorithm that reveals actionable insights.

Right now, many sales reps rely on their instincts when evaluating whether a lead will be interested in a product or service. By tracking behaviour via every single touchpoint across your business, AI can tell reps precisely when and how to contact a prospect for the best possible chance of success. In short, AI eliminates the guesswork to help your reps work more efficiently.

Build better human relationships
Ask most sales reps what part of the job they hate the most and they’ll probably say data entry. Unfortunately, according to research by Docurated, sales people only spend one-third of their time on selling. The rest is, you guessed it, typically spent on the type of admin tasks that most reps find mundane and boring.

AI-powered capabilities such as automated data capture, predicative analytics and lead prioritisation eliminate time-consuming administrative work. By providing these features, AI allows sales teams to work on want they do best, building customer relationships – an area where humans are still far ahead of the capabilities offered by machine minds.

Recommendations to help close sales
Salespeople have a bad reputation with many customers. But as Andy Rudin once said, “most people don’t dislike salespeople, they dislike bad selling”. The AI in Salesforce’s Sales Cloud Einstein reduces the likelihood of bad selling by including an Opportunity and Account Insights feature that provides sales reps with recommendations in real-time.

Einstein Account Insights collates all your cloud data to discover the unique patterns and customer trigger points in your sales cycle. As a result, it recognises when deals are on track or at risk, and offers sales reps recommendations on how to close. Meanwhile, by analysing thousands of articles, Einstein Account Insights provides reps with information on the most important issues affecting prospects.

For more on this topic, read our latest research report on how technology can enable more successful connections with your customers and prospects. 

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About Ashley Unitt

Ashley founded NewVoiceMedia to exploit the obvious benefits of putting an enterprise-class contact centre in the cloud, and now serves as Chief Scientist, leading the architecture and research teams.

Prior to NewVoiceMedia he spent ten years at Teamphone.com Ltd developing innovative CTI software solutions including voicemail systems, hot-desking products and an open source gate keeper.

Ashley's blog will focus on security, PCI-DSS and general cloud computing issues.

Outside of work he spends most of his time running around after his two young children. You can follow Ashley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/aunitt.

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