How To Leverage Artificial Intelligence For Sales & Prospecting

How To Leverage Artificial Intelligence For Sales & Prospecting

Heading a successful sales team requires more than stellar employees and offering outstanding leadership. You need to provide the right tools for your team to close the big deals. Luckily, there are advances in artificial intelligence for sales (AI sales software) that can assist you and your team in selling more, faster and with less stress than ever before. Read on to discover how you can start implementing artificial intelligence for sales into your processes and catch the latest ai sales tools to do so in this guide!

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What Is Artificial Intelligence in Sales?

Artificial intelligence in sales is an umbrella term for modern technology that effectively helps machines execute complex cognitive duties. There are numerous smart technologies in artificial intelligence for sales that directly impact the success of your business; for instance, AI includes technologies like deep learning, machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing. When applied well, ai for sales can be an invaluable tool to help your sales company keep track of performance, optimise sales cycles and even help predict the leads that are most likely to buy from you.

What are the benefits of AI for Sales?

While AI has become compulsory for businesses that want to grow and fit in the ever-growing competitive landscape, we understand you might still be on the fence about it. Here are several key reasons why your sales will benefit from adopting artificial intelligence:

  1. Improves business strategy development: Offloading monotonous tasks to ai for sales enables you to save time reserved for creating strategies for generating more leads.
  2. Improves sales forecasting: AI for sales increases your overall forecast accuracy by providing a real-time view into the health of all the deals in the pipeline. This helps sales managers know when to act on advancing or stall a deal.  
  3. Optimises pricing: AI for sales helps salespeople process all the sales data about customers, including location, size, and past successful deals, to develop a suggested price. Meaning they’ll never have to guess what price will help them win a sale ever again. 
  4. Easier up-selling and cross-selling: With ai for sales, sales reps can better identify prospects who are likely to buy from them. They can also use an algorithm to determine which prospects are likely to sign up for follow-up solutions. 
  5. Facilitates the rise of leads: AI helps you reach specific and targeted prospects by connecting significant amounts of information, which would usually be time-consuming and, thus, speeds up the process to facilitate more leads. 
  6. Saves time & reduces labour costs: Research has shown that sales reps spend only about a quarter of their time selling to customers. By automating repetitive tasks, you’ll ensure salespeople are focused on selling. 

How is AI used in sales today?

Are you curious about implementing ai for sales into your organisation to improve efficiency, speed, and communication? Discover several different uses below:

Prospecting

Prospecting is a challenge for most salespeople. It’s time-consuming, requires buckets of enthusiasm and is often full of rejection. However, it’s also one of the most critical sales activities because having a healthy sales pipeline is the lifeforce of any organisation. Luckily, that’s where ai tools for sales simplify the process and increase revenue in the process.

AI for sales takes the pressure of sales reps when aligning several data points such as customer profiles, buyer personas, and existing customer data profiles – thereby assisting sales reps discover potential high-value prospects. AI tools for sales also help sales reps automate lead qualification and lead nurturing, often up until the prospect is ready for interaction with a salesperson. Ultimately freeing up sales teams time to focus on highly qualified and likely to convert leads.

Predictive Forecasting

While sales managers already usually do a great job at forecasting their sales teams numbers, ai tools for sales can enhance these projections with a higher degree of accuracy. In turn, organisations can be even more cost-effective when planning for production, inventory and resources.

Lead scoring

AI sales tools can analyse vast amounts of datasets from multiple sources to tell you exactly which leads to prioritise based on the factors you’ve chosen and the scores the ai has given them. AI sales tools for lead scoring are so effective because, as sales professional Victor Antonio states in the Harvard Business Review, salespeople often approach lead scoring and lead prioritisation irrationally.

“Often, this decision-making process is based on gut instinct and incomplete information.

With AI, the algorithm can compile historical information about a client, along with social media postings and the salesperson’s customer interaction history (e.g., emails sent, voicemails left, text messages sent, etc.) and rank the opportunities or leads in the pipeline according to their chances of closing successfully.”

Therefore maybe AI for sales provides a higher standard of logic that humans cannot match.

Enhanced Team Performance & Productivity

Studies show that sales professionals only spend about 34% of their time actually selling. By automating repetitive laborious administrative tasks at an everyday level, salespeople now have more time to do what they should be doing; building relationships and selling solutions to prospects problems. Not only is ai for sales taking the weight off, but it’s also taking it to the next level with automated lead follow-ups, routine touches and engagement.

Lead Generation

According to McKinsey research, sales teams who have adopted AI tools for sales have increased their leads and appointment bookings by about 50% – probably because AI for sales successfully takes on the time-consuming tasks of connecting with leads, qualifying, following up and sustaining the relationship. 

Sales Training & Coaching

Most organisations have vast amounts of employee, customer, product and customer services data available to them, which sales teams can use to create a customised ai sales training program, often personalised to suit the individual needs of each learner by focusing on their skill and knowledge gaps.

Communication

While ai tools for sales are busy helping to touch in with prospects and direct them into a conversation with your sales rep, conversational ai is helping to streamline communications between all departments. Conversational ai is a technology that allows for personalised conversations between a company and its customer. Types of conversational ai include; chatbots and voice assistants. While many of these technologies enhance the customer service experience, they’re also being used to move prospects through the sales funnel by providing their unique data and key insights to the sales team.

What are the challenges of adopting ai for sales?

Like all new technology-based implementations, there will be some potential obstacles organisations need to address before getting started. Barriers can appear in any of the following areas:

  • Management: It may be necessary to build demonstrable use cases to persuade executive buy-in from key stakeholders if your budget is on the lighter side. 
  • Data: Organisations will need to ensure they possess robust data to secure a 360-degree view of their customers. 
  • People: Sales teams stuck in their ways might find adopting new processes difficult or even fear becoming redundant in their role as ai for sales technology continues to develop. 

The Best AI Tools for Sales

To help you get started on your journey with artificial intelligence in sales, we’ve outlined some of the best ai tools for sales you can get started with straight away:

1. Saleswhale: Qualify leads using AI

Saleswhale has created an AI sales assistant that engages and qualifies marketing-generated leads at scale. They do this through two-way intelligent email conversations that can gather the lead’s contact information, role at their company and more. Once their AI sales software considers the lead qualified, it schedules a call with the rep and hands over the qualified lead to them. Some of their customers are using their software to re-engage stale leads, cross-sell to customers and do next-level lead scoring.

2. Chorus: Transcribe & Analyse Sales Calls

Chorus can record and transcribe on the fly any conversation. Now you can have a permanent phone sales script every time your team goes out on a call. Chorus takes it a step further than regular transcription software by helping you and your team identify key moments. Chorus shows you what works and what doesn’t in the real world. It is the perfect way to provide feedback to new hires and to reinforce best practices for those on your team with more experience.

3. Conversica: AI Sales Software Email Assistant

Conversica eliminates the hassle and expense of contacting leads and guiding them through the buyer’s journey without requiring any hands-on monitoring. Conversica is an intelligent AI email assistant which can initiate contact, provide information, and contact a member of your sales team when the lead is ready to buy. Conversica has a proven track record to improve engagement and  across all industries

4. Nudge (Affinity): Smart Reminders & Notices

Nudge (now owned by Affinity) helps your sales team avoid missing the ideal chance to engage a potential customer. The AI sales software constantly scans news and social media channels to identify prime sales opportunities such as new product releases, executive changes, and the opening of a new location. Nudge also allows you to set reminders so you will never forget about following up on a sales call again. The software integrates with your favourite sales tools like Salesforce and Slack.

5. InsideSales: Enhanced Productivity with AI Sales Software

InsideSales offers a complete suite of technologically advanced AI to assist your team to exceed its quota. PlayBooks is a browser-based sales tool that helps your sales team predict which prospects are the most likely to buy now. PowerDialer saves time with predictive sorting of contacts and single-click calling and email access. Pipeline predicts your future sales using historical data and analysis to help you spot opportunities and possible roadblocks.

6. Cogito: Sales Call Coach

Cogito brings the advantage of behavioural science to every sales call. The AI sales software behind Cogito monitors speech patterns to detect the energy level, interruptions, empathy, the amount of participation, tone, and the speaking pace for all participants. The software then analyzes these different aspects to offer instant feedback on how the sales of can change the way he speaks to improve the experience for the prospect.  Besides offering advice to members of your sales team, Cogito also predicts how receptive the prospect is to allow the sales member to alter their approach immediately.

7. Growbots: AI Sales Prospecting Tool

Growbots ends your manual customer search and replaces it with automated customer prospecting which really works. You can create custom criteria to locate the perfect prospect for your company. Growbots constantly updates its database of over 200 million decision-makers and has a less than 10 per cent bounce rate. You can effortlessly build a relationship with prospects through automated follow-ups and email marketing campaigns.

8. Expandi.io: LinkedIn Automation Software

Touted as a great software for growth hacking on LinkedIn, Expandi.io is an alternative LinkedIn Automation Software that helps you gather more business by growing an expanded network of prospects. 

Final word: Will AI and machine learning replace sales teams?

Whether you choose one of the above solutions or all of them, AI technology is here to stay. It’s allowing sales professionals and sales teams to sell smarter with less effort.

While AI isn’t replacing your whole sales team, instead it’s enhancing it to help them be more productive and to produce better results. There are so many sales software options integrating AI elements on the market ranging from easy improvements to complicated sales process overhauls, choosing the right one is a challenge for even the most experienced sales team leader. Hopefully, this short guide to some of the available AI sales software packages will give you a taste of advancements in sales software.

1 thought on “How To Leverage Artificial Intelligence For Sales & Prospecting”

  1. Some really cool apps and products here that I had no idea about before reading this. Some potential game changers for sales people no doubt if they are embraced. Thanks Tom.

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