How AI can transform sales teams

From automating data entry to identifying up-sell opportunities, AI is transforming sales.

Written by Folake Dosu
Published on Oct. 09, 2018
How AI can transform sales teams

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More than 75 percent of companies are firing up artificial intelligence to accelerate business development, automate busy work and deliver a better customer experience, says Entrepreneur.

The media outlet lists six ways AI is transforming the sales process as we know it:

1. Automating undesirable work

By eliminating monotonous tasks such as updating the CRM or generating weekly status reports, AI platforms and machine learning tools can free up valuable time to help that business development professional focus on selling.

2. Automating difficult work

Working in sales can leave scant time for data science, but insights need to be competitive. Using bots to research companies and qualify leads can generate actionable information for salespeople.

Predictive analytics translates to less time prospecting and more time selling. Having solid leads prevents lower morale on sales teams, which, in turn, reduces churn on these teams.

3. Improving lead quality and cutting down sales cycles

A full pipeline could belie irrelevant or unqualified leads. Lead qualification currently relies heavily on guesswork. Predictive analytics translates to less time prospecting and more time selling. Having solid leads prevents lower morale on sales teams, which, in turn, reduces churn on these teams.

AI can help score leads using KPIs and historical success patterns to figure out who is likely to buy and when they are likely to buy. Not only do sales revenues get a lift, but focusing only on customers who are primed to buy is also more pleasant for all parties involved.

4. Predicting cross-sell and up-sell opportunities

Knowing whom to up-sell and when is the low hanging fruit of sales that sales teams sometimes miss. AI can identify customer personas that present higher chances of conversions and keep these personas up-to-date through analytics.

In the end, buyers appreciate having another need met, businesses relish the revenue bump and sales teams get the satisfaction of hitting new goals.

5. Forecasting sales projections for specific customer personas and offers

AI can power personalization of ads with accurate targeting as well as optimal timing and messaging. This can bridge inbound marketing and outbound sales development to achieve much-coveted alignment between sales and marketing.

AI can better group sales targets through analyzing data from sources such as CRM and customer orders to conversation intelligence and lead scoring tools. Meanwhile, customer personas that factor in risk prediction and sales potentials using machine learning can enable more sophisticated segmentation.

Understanding the whole arc of the customer journey - customer lifetime value, intervention points for sales and support, and so on - can enhance business decisions across the board. Pricing and sales strategies would be starting points, and following that are custom customer journeys by persona to maximize revenue and minimize churn.

6. Making human work more meaningful and valuable

The real end game of AI is making people more productive and giving us more freedom as we are unencumbered by mind-numbing work.

Without having to worry about less fulfilling things such as data entry, we can focus on meaningful work - all the intangibles that make sales worthwhile. By spending energy on building customer relationships, AI can have the curious effect of humanizing the sales process as a whole.

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