Spend Less Time Chasing Leads and More Time Closing Sales
You wake up and yawn.
“Siri, what’s the weather like today?”
“The weather is rainy and overcast, 70 degrees.”
Now you know to pack a rain jacket.
Later in the day, you’re driving on a busy highway, but you want to change the song your phone is playing.
“Siri, play the Beatles - Greatest Hits Album.”
You just saved yourself some time (and protected yourself from the dangerous task of messing with your phone while driving).
These are just some everyday ways in which AI is already making your life easier, whether you realize it or not.
And for the smart sales rep, AI represents a new opportunity to gain a competitive edge over your peers.
Artificial Intelligence All Around Us
Growing up, artificial intelligence (AI) seemed like a far-out concept that would be everywhere in the future. Though there aren’t humanoid robots roaming the streets yet, artificial intelligence is more ubiquitous than most people think.
From small automatic vacuums that will know where they have been and where they haven’t, to the more complex personal assistants Siri or OK Google that come with nearly every new cellphone, the range of existing AI we interact with daily is considerable.
All AI exists for the same purpose: to improve our daily lives. From not having to vacuum the house, to making it even easier to search for things on the internet - AI can help you save time and effort.
It’s no surprise that AI is now being used to improve business, sales, and marketing. By helping people solve problems in more efficient ways, AI has opened the door to cost-effective and rapid business growth.
Sales, Meet AI
Sales reps know their job isn’t easy. With numerous clients to monitor as well as quota and deadlines to meet, any assistance to make sales reps’ lives easier would be a godsend.
Most people already know about basic sales automation and AI, including pre-written emails or messages sent after users complete specific tasks. This amazing advancement has allowed companies implementing basic AI to reap huge benefits.
For example, Acteva, an online registration service, began using basic marketing automation and reaped the rewards. This automation generated improved target leads which allowed Acteva to build an email database 4-5 times faster than before, resulting in a savings of $400,000 per year. (source)
Acteva got these incredible results using basic AI and marketing automation, such as A/B testing landing pages and email nurture campaigns. Think about the kind of results you could achieve using advanced sales automation.
By advanced automation, I’m referring to better versions of existing products to take your sales to the next level. What if you CRM had a mind of its own, informing your reps of the optimal time to contaact a lead and resulting in a sale? That would be amazing, right?
Incredibly, this kind of AI already exists. This sort of AI cuts down on client prospecting by consistently delivering better quality leads to reps and showing leads personalized content. Every ad or message leads see is displayed because they have demonstrated a positive behavior towards the product or brand.
These hot leads are automatically identified and passed along to sales reps in order to close the sale. Ultimately, this results in less time looking for leads and more time available to actually close sales.
AI prospection creates a win-win solution. Clients have expressed interest in one way or another towards a specific product - reps are simply helping them make up their mind. (Source)
Results So Good, It Might Feel Like Cheating
Sales managers are always looking for an edge over the competition, and methods to motivate and improve the closing rate of their reps. Though AI can be extremely efficient on its own, it’s best used when paired with an experienced rep.
Think of AI as an Iron Man suit. It can function on its own, but for it to really shine, Tony Stark needs to be controlling it from the inside.
AI and sales create a mutually beneficial relationship with AI handling the work that sales reps don’t excel at or don’t have time to do.
Here are a few examples of how AI can supercharge sales:
Learns quickly: Advanced AI has the ability to analyze both numbers and text to find patterns, This is a huge leap forward, using a technology called Natural Language Processing (NLP). In the past, computers had very limited ability to understand slang, sarcasm, tone, context, and overall trends in human written communication.
Now, with NLP, AI can scan your LinkedIn feed and let you know which one of your leads is celebrating a birthday, or a promotion, or a new job. (Source)
While reps can of course spend time on LinkedIn and news sites for information, the speed and accuracy of AI is unparalleled. AI never gets tired as well - it’s like a sales assistant mixed with an Energizer bunny.
Imagine how powerful it would be to reach out to a lead right after their company has opened up a new office. Or to get notified in real time when a company decides to start using a different software vendor from a source in The Financial Times.
When AI is combined with NLP tech, this is all possible through Cognism.
Bulk data analysis: Every time a rep makes a note in their CRM about a customer, they are adding another data point and telling you something about the customer. Often, reps need the message to be clear as day to get the picture. However, AI has the ability to find hidden messages and accelerate the sales process . [source]
Even small, seemingly inconsequential items like the number of times an email is opened, and language used in reply chains can affect sales. Why not have an AI on your side to look out for these signs and tell you about them?
Admin tasks: For every sale that is made, there are also several admin tasks that go along with it. From keeping your CRM up to date, to sending the appropriate contract or documentation (or anything else), these tasks are important but slow a sales rep down from what they do best.
Let AI do these routine tasks for you. After all, the more time you spend selling, the more money you make for both yourself and your company.
Also, you probably enjoy selling more than you enjoy admin tasks…. So follow your passion (and your wallet) and use AI as your personal sales assistant.
Emails automation: Email is ubiquitous with business and, at some point, your reps will need to send emails to leads. What if your reps didn’t need to stop and think about what to write or even think about which template to use?
AI now has the ability to create and send situation specific email directly to the lead or customer. Though this technology is still in its infancy and best paired with a skilled rep to edit and personalize the emails, it is still a time saver.
Digital personal assistant:
Forbes reports there’s a race to create the best digital personal assistant. (Source) Tools such as OK Google and Siri are fine right now, but they have their problems.
However, in just a few short years, personal digital assistants are likely to much more powerful. (Source)
What AI Means For Your Bottom Lin
New AI technology is certainly advanced and has been proven to shorten sales cycles and increase closing rates. Though these benefits are automated, thy can’t be achieved without a skilled, real-life sales rep. Reps using AI technology can spend less time working on unqualified leads and more time closing deals.
The result: Reps will no longer need to switch gears from prospecting back to sales and can focus strictly on closing. Going even further, AI can help monitor the types of leads certain reps excel at, making their job even easier. And, managers can find larger trends for new verticals or help their reps deal with problems.
The last benefit that AI provides is ensuring the right message meets the consumer at the right time. By analyzing their behavior of site visits, email opens and clicks and even phone calls, AI systems can send a message as soon as it recognizes a need, giving the lead exactly what it needs to grow. These aren’t generic messages, but personalized and situation-specific ones that will connect and make an impact.
Though it appears as if we’re years away from an AI revolution, with walking robots and cars that drive themselves, the reality is ... it’s already here. The benefits for sales reps are wide-reaching.
When paired with a skilled rep, AI will be able to enhance their sales abilities, spending less time on administrative tasks and more time doing what they do best - closing the deal.
Like all technology, AI will only improve with time, and those reps that become accustomed to it now will only continue to excel in the future.
How do YOU feel about AI? Are you already using it? Are you interested in trying it?
Are you scared of Terminator and Skynet taking over the world?
Let us know in the comments below.