How Artificial Intelligence Helps Sales Reps Close More Deals
Using Artificial Intelligence software can help sales reps close more deals and provide a more efficient workflow for sales teams. Learn more how AI fits into a sales strategy and why it’s essential to have a good tech stack in this post.
In this article:
- How Expert Systems Make Life Easier for Salespeople
- Being Relevant to Your Customer
- Increased Contactability and Close Rates
- Pre-Call Research
- Automation and Efficiency
- How CRM Is Changing
Increasing Sales Revenues with Artificial Intelligence
How Expert Systems Make Life Easier for Salespeople
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been all the buzz lately, with some scientists warning we should fear it, and others saying we should embrace it. Popular services like Netflix, Pandora, Amazon, and Waze are using machine learning algorithms to make our lives easier.
In the sales world, AI is being used as a sales acceleration technology to help salespeople contact more customers and close more deals. This technology does not undermine human intelligence but instead assists it to save more time. In turn, more sales can be closed.
Smart sales technologies can increase revenue for sales organizations by as much as 30%, by helping salespeople prioritize the actions with the most likelihood of success. We asked sales reps and leaders about how they use AI in their day-to-day activities and the results it produces.
Machine Learning Algorithms Definition: A technology that uses patterns and inferences gathered that allow accurate task performance without needing specific, isolated instructions. This technology “learns” and adjusts its strategies based on these patterns and inferences it acquires from data given to it.
Being Relevant to Your Customer
Custom Relationship Management (CRM) is an essential tool for mid and large-sized companies. However, CRM systems don’t give you an idea of which of your contacts are ready to make a purchase. AI systems can alert sales reps on activities that signal purchase intent.
AI algorithms analyze this data from human beings who showed interest in certain goods, then filters them for salespeople.
“Artificial Intelligence helps us sort who we want to contact by their score in the course of an account-based campaign. We know what actions they took at all times. If they previously downloaded a data sheet from our website, or if they even visited a website, that’s a hot lead that needs to be contacted right away,” said Sean Knighton, sales development representative with XANT.
Prioritizing leads who are actively engaged can also help with the immediacy of response. A lead called within five minutes of requesting information is over 10x more likely to answer, and is 4x more likely to qualify, according to research.
“It’s incredibly useful to have all this information. It helps you start a conversation in a context, and be relevant to your lead and their needs,” added Sean.
Increased Contactability and Close Rates
Artificial Intelligence in sales can significantly affect the number of prospects contacted by sales teams. Analyzing past customer behavior and billions of internal and external data points, AI can answer tough questions such as:
- Do customers prefer to be reached via phone calls or emails?
- Which customers are more likely to answer the phone, and with which number?
- Which day of the week, or time of the day, is a customer more likely to answer the phone?
Deep learning previous customers’ behaviors can help AI systems come up with more accurate projections for the sales team.
Salespeople are no longer walking blind into a customer interaction, and they have a higher chance of success. They get in-depth information on the accounts and contacts they are engaging. This way, they can quickly personalize their pitch and increase their close rates.
Research shows that sales reps spend about 16 minutes just researching their target before the call. When AI has deep integrations, it can access external data that sales reps can use for pre-call research instantly. It can flag customer social actions or relevant company information.
Researching and prepping before calls does not generate revenue for the company. Instead, they can become burdens when a rejection occurs.
Artificial Intelligence can offer features that reduce this time spent before the call, with features like:
- Email guesser — Reduces the time spent for contact information
- Social integration — Uses relevant information from the lead’s social media profiles
- Research features for account-based selling
Automation and Efficiency
Everyone recognizes the value of sales dialers, however, few know what they have come a long way from being just a tool that helps with dial quantity. AI-powered sales dialers can increase the focus, engagement, and productivity of reps, enabling them to have better conversations and generate more sales.
Less time is spent on note-taking or organizing prospect lists. Instead, sales reps have clearer minds when interacting with potential customers, allowing them to be more engaged and prepared for possible problem-solving.
Reps can get AI-recommendations on the next best prospect and best contact method, advanced list prioritization, single-click dialing, prerecorded voice messaging, email, inbound call routing, and more. The dialer can also capture sales activity to the CRM automatically so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on manual note-taking.
“Technology helps you work smarter. I do believe you do have to have a good sales technology stack in place so you can be more efficient. You don’t have to waste as much time doing things manually. An automated process can help you get to your goals faster,” said Jon Dyer, Business Development Manager.
How CRM Is Changing
Productivity and efficiency is a major problem of global sales teams. Recent research from XANT, shows that revenue- generating activities only make up 36.6% percent of reps’ activities. Over half (63.4%) of their time is spent on non-revenue generating activities.
The research highlights that sales reps spend only 18% of their time using their customer relationship management software (CRM), which they consider the least effective sales system.
Artificial Intelligence is bridging this gap, offering salespeople the edge they need to succeed in sales. Prospecting technologies that provide sales cadence capabilities are one of the most effective technologies for sales (80.0% effective).
Incorporating Artificial Intelligence in sales teams’ daily activities can help improve sales revenues tremendously. That’s because this intelligent technology shortens the time spent on prepping and allows salespeople to build a more informed relationship with their prospects. In turn, this gives them a higher chance to close deals, improve their performance, and increase revenue.
Is your sales team using Artificial Intelligence software? How has it helped your sales revenues and team performance? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 16, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.