Many of us have interacted with interfaces like Alexa, Siri, or the Google Assistant, using it for some or the other daily activities. Be it finding news online, paying bills, shopping, or simply as a home entertainment tool, these virtual, interactive machines respond to our questions and sound like any other human would. Except, they aren’t. These intuitive and ‘interactive’ machines, which are capable of performing a task for us simply on the utterance of a voice command, are a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a technology that allows machines to exhibit human-like traits, but also far greater cognitive and analytical capabilities than humans. The implications of such a technology are massive in the sales and marketing domains, allowing businesses to radically transform how they communicate with and serve consumers.
How Artificial Intelligence is capable of transforming sales
Sales is one function in organizations that has long since relied entirely on human insights and efforts. However, when combined with the advanced analytical and computational capabilities of AI, sales professionals and marketers can leverage the vast amount of data created by consumers and harmonize enterprise data to gain better insights. Although many businesses underuse CRM data due to the lack of necessary analytical tools to obtain insights from it, Artificial Intelligence can make it much easier for enterprises to integrate internal data sources and even make sense of raw, unstructured data. This is because sophisticated data analytics can identify hidden patterns, behaviors, and triggers which salespeople cannot recognize.
Artificial Intelligence is already changing the way sales operates and will continue to transform the sales function in three important ways:
- Efficient processes:AI-driven process automation allows data to be captured automatically the instant it is created and in an intelligent manner that frees sales executives from repetitive functions like populating the CRM system with new data.
- Effective strategies:AI-driven sales systems and platforms can play a crucial role in not only identifying selling opportunities but also designing the right strategies based on their analysis of these opportunities. Moreover, it can drive better outcomes by suggesting the best possible ways to close deals and optimize sales/marketing campaigns at various stages.
- Enhanced performance:Sophisticated AI platforms are capable of providing salespeople recommendations on how to carry out conversations with prospective customers by analyzing both past and current interactions.
How Artificial Intelligence can make salespeople more productive and efficient
AI-driven sales technologies are capable not only of making the sales process more efficient but salespeople too. Be it during meetings when an AI-driven sales assistants take notes and records conversations, or when ideating on how to approach a selling opportunity, an automated platform can truly transform how salespeople work.
These platforms can be programmed to feed new data and update existing information systems, while at the same time assist the sales executive in developing effective strategies. What’s truly amazing is that AI continues working even the executive is not, analyzing the outcomes from tasks performed each day and also prioritizing future tasks and meetings. Ultimately, this frees executives from having to perform mundane activities that add little to no value to their overall productivity. On the other hand, since AI never sleeps, it can work round the clock to create value for the organization as well as salespeople by constantly studying data and learning from it to deliver better outcomes each time.
New use cases and applications of AI are constantly being developed and enhanced that is cementing its position as a tool capable of transforming entire businesses, as well as business landscape in general. AI is both the present and the future of sales, and the key to making it work for your organization lies in adapting to the latest technology. Businesses that equip their sales force with the knowledge and tools to work with artificial intelligence, can not only make enable them to perform their tasks with greater efficiency but also help the enterprise become more competitive in the long term.
By Mr Rajat Narang, Director, Absolutdata Analytics