In the ever-changing world of sales and marketing, managers and their teams always seek innovative solutions to boost close rates and generate revenue. Most companies, including small and medium enterprises, struggle to understand unpredictable consumer behavior in competitive markets. They need a solution that imitates human thinking to drive profitability. In this piece, we dive into the game-changing potential of AI integration into sales.
What Is AI, and How Can It Be Used to Improve Sales?
AI refers to Artificial Intelligence, a computational simulation of human cognitive functions such as learning, reasoning, perceiving and synthesizing. The concept of AI was first introduced in the 1950s and was described as a machine’s ability to perform intensive tasks that would have previously required human input. After decades of progress, we now have self-improving and self-starting systems, like predictive dialer. These technologies are appropriate for use across various industries.
Industries Where Artificial Intelligence Is Used
Artificial intelligence – interchangeably described as automation – has made inroads in virtually every field of human endeavor, such as:
Healthcare, most notably in wearable technology for monitoring outpatients. It also helps manage patient communication, which can be effectively handled by leveraging AI to ensure that important calls and messages are promptly addressed.
Sales and Customer Service, where voicemail and call transcriptions are powered by AI to streamline customer interactions and response times in real-time. Sales and customer service AI tools can also be used to ensure queries are directed to the most suitable agents and to enhance customer satisfaction.
Manufacturing, particularly for supply chain management, where it can be used to tag and track inventory. AI-driven tools enable efficient communication across various channels, ensuring smooth operations and improved customer service.
Finance, particularly in smart contracts, where financial transactions are automatically executed when certain conditions are satisfied. Along with comprehensive call analytics, AI allows financial firms to make data-driven decisions, improve customer engagement, set realistic expectations and identify areas of potential growth.
Real estate, where AI is used in smart buildings to control home fixtures through a single app. Integrating AI and natural language processing into communication systems allows seamless interactions with customers and among teams, improving business efficiency.
AI in Sales
All the industries we have examined rely on sales and marketing to stay afloat in their competitive environments. AI might raise questions with sales staff, but well-used, it enhances the efficiency of the sales process of businesses. It improves visibility on customer activity, informing the organization of cross-selling and upselling opportunities, while automating routine activities and offering insights into future trends. It also improves the productivity of sales managers and sales rep through automation of sales calls and other repetitive tasks.
The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Sales Workflows
The sales workflow refers to all activities directed toward landing sales, including call scheduling, transcribing, note-taking, data compiling and transfer, and call playback. As simplistic as they look, completing these tasks can take more than 20 hours, which represents a substantial chunk of a typical salesperson’s working week. A sales workflow automation solution saves time and improves the overall sales pipeline performance, leading to cost-savings and increased revenue.
Let's look at how AI can facilitate this process:
Gaining Deeper Insights with Granular Data
With the automating functionality of AI, all those hours of repetitive work are now a thing of the past. Sales professionals all over the world are praising the efficacy of AI-Powered tools in simplifying the sales process. In the past, crucial data on customer behavior were sometimes overlooked during manual processing. But with AI, the sales rep receives critical insights almost instantly. For instance, an AI-powered transcription feature embedded into a company's call protocol would summarize the action words of the customer and suggest the next steps. Onboarding the right automation solution means reclaiming up to three days of wasted work on repetitive tasks.
Improved Pipeline Management
Optimizing your pipeline is key to increasing your revenue bottom line. There is an expression in management that says “you can't manage what you don't measure”. The sales pipeline is a visual rendition of your leads as they pass through the different stages of the purchasing process. This sales funnel allows you to forecast sales opportunities and maintain future revenue by identifying tiny problems before they grow big and threaten your business.
AI streamlines everything related to sales forecasts, prospecting, lead qualification, sales calls (as well as meetings and demos), sales and post-sales. Automating your sales activities and opportunities with AI gives you the chance to identify opportunities hidden in your customers' or prospects' data. Some of the activities AI performs for pipeline improvement include:
AI ranks historical data according to which leads are most likely to be converted into customers. The salesperson can use lead ratings to know which prospect to prioritize in order to increase the probability of closing deals faster. Aircall's AI architecture presents information such as call duration and the nature of inquiries to enable the team to pinpoint potential leads and those to follow up.
Automated sales forecasting is the process of predicting future sales revenue using certain sets of historical data, such as customer behavior, market trends and past sales data. This allows the manager or sales leader to allocate resources wisely and set realistic targets for sales organizations to maintain the competitive edge in the marketplace. Machine learning also helps to predict the likely behavior of potential clients and future sales cycle. You can leverage valuable insights from sales report to make informed decisions.
Bespoke messaging and personalized interactivity are a great way to make sure prospects are receptive to your value proposition. AI sales tools help you achieve higher conversion rates faster by analyzing consumer preferences, buying trends and habits over a long period of time. It improves your customer relationship management through deep learning of previous customer experiences and relationships.
Boost Close Rate
Close rate is a critical metric that helps sales experts gain insightful feedback on the workability of their marketing strategy. It is the ratio of sales leads that are successfully converted into customers and revenue expressed as a percentage. Companies aim to improve close rates with AI in order to make game-changing decisions.
To improve close rates, AI is capable of analyzing vast amounts of data in a matter of seconds by:
Screening out fuzzy data and consolidating prospective relationships.
Uncovering hidden data and insights required to close certain deals.
Facilitating the search for high-quality new leads for an even better closing rate.
Why Artificial Intelligence Is the Future of Sales
What is the future of AI in sales? Given that leading indexes have revealed that over 75% of companies are exploring AI and 65% of workers expect revenue growth upon AI integration, AI has the potential to change sales operations forever. Starting as a fun thing to play with, AI has become a valuable tool businesses can use to unlock hidden opportunities in their sales pipeline. Some companies have already started implementing drastic, data-driven changes:
Plexus, a Legal Tech brand, was able to onboard new customers in its recent brand expansion drive. The integration of Aircall with Outreach enabled Plexus to record an unprecedented 240% increase in call volume. The Aircall app offered the company a hands-off note-taking service, which enables Plexus to now make up to 100 calls every day.
Pipedrive, a deal-driven CRM solution and a SaaS unicorn, leveraged Aircall's program in conjunction with Intercom for the integration of Klaus. With Klaus, the company could initiate personalized communication with customers while seamlessly pulling up conversations for review. By automatically synching all call details in Pipedrive, the integration of Aircall has eliminated the need to toggle between different tools.
More than just a complementary solution, AI has proven to be a powerful ally in shaping the future of sales strategies. It empowers businesses, drives performance and provides sales teams with the technology they need to thrive in a competitive environment. The transformative power of AI and automation technology in sales cannot be understated, making it crucial for every forward-thinking sales teams to adapt and evolve.
Embracing AI in sales is more than just keeping pace with the changing times; it's all about setting the pace for others to follow. It's about boosting your sales performance by leveraging sales technology, optimizing processes and unlocking new growth opportunities to avoid lagging behind in a fast-changing world. Empower your sales representatives with the transformative power of automation and redefine your approach to sales success. If you're ready to explore AI's vast potential for your sales team, now is the time to Discover Aircall AI.
IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022 New research commissioned by IBM in partnership with Morning Consult
Published on November 14, 2023.