There is a great deal of buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can transform businesses. The sales industry is no exception.
In light of all the success stories, one might conclude that most sales forces are well on their way to achieving value from AI.
AI is currently only being used successfully by a small number of sales forces. Some sales forces have been working on building systems for years without success. Most have not taken even the first step.
AI has tremendous potential to transform sales. Yet few of the success stories you read suggest that companies need to overcome many challenges before they can reap the benefits.
What is AI in Sales?
Several technologies are included under the umbrella term artificial intelligence, such as machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning, etc.
In essence, all of these techniques enable machines to perform specific cognitive tasks on par with or better than humans.
Artificial intelligence-powered computer vision systems in self-driving cars, for instance, recognize obstacles the same way humans do, enabling the machines to drive.
Using artificial intelligence, your favorite voice assistant, such as Alexa or Siri, understands your words just like another person, then responds accordingly.
How AI can Increase Sales Team Productivity
1. Putting together a cross-functional team
New roles with specific skills are needed to bring AI models to life. For the sales team, products, and customer needs to be heard, members from sales are crucial.
Data scientists, machine learning engineers, and big data experts are needed for the project. A boundary spanner-someone who understands both technology and sales-is also needed to link all of this together.
2. Integration of multiple sources of data
Massive amounts of data are processed by AI systems. In some cases, the data is structured and in others it is unstructured. It is hard enough to assemble the data for one-time use. Continuously updating the data can be time-consuming, expensive, and daunting.
As long as the data are free of systematic bias, artificial intelligence can work with incomplete or imperfect data. AI can improve the quality of data by predicting missing values or identifying errors, for example.
( Also Read: 6 Ways AI Will Drive Innovation for Business in 2022 )
3. Increasing CRM adoption
AI captures all contact and activity data and maps it to the appropriate opportunity accounts, eliminating manual CRM data entry. As a result, sales teams view the CRM as a reliable “single source of truth” and adoption increases.
4. Coaching sales based on data
Coaches can identify areas for targeted coaching based on benchmarking data, helping each rep reach his or her full potential. Artificial intelligence lets them set goals and track each rep’s sales activity.
Analyze pipelines, forecast deals, and improve forecasting. Companies can connect more dots by exposing data previously unseen by sales teams. Using AI, you can analyze real-time pipelines and track deal trends with insights into what makes a deal likely to succeed.
5. Increase price optimization
The decision of whether to give a discount to a customer is always a tricky one. Leaving money on the table is as important as winning the deal. By analyzing specific features of a previously closed deal, artificial intelligence helps sales departments estimate an appropriate discount rate for a proposal.
Many organizations have embraced AI and the changes it has brought, however, others fear the idea of AI and the fact that it is quickly becoming part of daily life.
The beauty of AI, however, is that it doesn’t simply replace humans; instead, it helps businesses amplify their presence and improve their sales by presenting effective solutions.
Artificial Intelligence is no longer limited to self-driving cars such as Tesla or Apple’s iPhone companion Siri.
We live with it every day, and it has the potential to significantly increase our productivity and success. If you want to stay competitive, it is time to leverage artificial intelligence.