How AI and Interactive Technology Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Sales Team

How AI and Interactive Technology Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Sales Team

avocor logoDo you want your sales team to improve their close rate?

Of course you do! Dumb question.

But are you struggling to hit your targets?

Did you know that Artificial Intelligence can improve sales by up to 59%?

That caught your interest, didn’t it?

There was a time – not that long ago – where Artificial Intelligence was a dangerous, fantastical monster born of science fiction and dystopian nightmares. Robots returning from the future to change the past to reverse a fate that only arose because the robot returned from the past in the previous movie.

Yep – steer clear, I’d say.

However, the reality isn’t quite as terrifying. Or fantastical. Those “future trends” are alive and living and operating in the workplace right now.

And if you snooze, you lose.

Lead generation is a key part of most modern marketing strategies. And AI is ready to assist with data mining, lead nurturing, data gathering, and data quality checking.

It’s time to hand over those tedious tasks to a machine.

In this article, we’re going to explore how AI and interactive technologies can improve the efficiency of your sales team; helping you turn a lead into a sale.

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The Lead Chaser

The internet is (or isn’t, depending on your philosophical stand-point) an infinite well of information.

There are very few consumers out there who don’t have a digital footprint. Anyone who has ever used Google or Bing or Amazon or Netflix or any type of social media has left a trail of digital cookies behind them.

And you know what they do with cookies?

They lead you home. Or to the witch’s lair.

Either way – it’s a trail of data that reveals valuable behaviors for sales teams to analyze and exploit.

Big Data

The problem, though, with Big Data is that it’s continually growing. And it’s overwhelming. It’s way too much for any human being to handle – no matter how intelligent or patient.

And this is where AI comes in. Because AI eats data for breakfast. AI consumes our data trail and refers it to its exponentially expanding construct of who we all are. The more we interact with the internet, the more machine-learning develops its fourth-dimensional portrait of our behaviors.

Kind of scary if we really think about it.

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Data Mining

Data mining is the ideal approach to discovering fresh leads, and to identify new target audiences. It’s what AI does best.

It can even identify data “lookalikes” – consumers who have similar behavioral profiles to your existing lead list.

AI can recognize behavioral patterns; optimizing the prime time to target prospects by finding logical connections between the person and your product.

Siftrock, for example, integrates with marketing automation software to mine out-of-office replies, job change emails, and email signatures; seeking out new contact details for sales teams. As a manual task, this is extremely time-consuming. It’s also easy to miss the small details that make all the difference.

AI is built for this type of work.

Lead Nurturing

Keeping an engagement fresh between your business and a sales lead can be a tricky balance.

Send out too many marketing emails, and they unsubscribe. Send out too few, and they forget about you and spend their money elsewhere.

AI automates the nurturing of leads by personalizing and scheduling communications for you.

AI can:

  • Monitor site behaviors, sending follow-up sequences based on interactions with your website.
  • Determine the most accessible channel to contact a lead. Some customers might prefer a chatbot, while others might prefer an email.

Interactive displays in the salesroom help to bridge the gap between the facelessness of AI and the humans who act on their instincts to close the deals. By hooking an AI algorithm into a visual portal, you can maximize opportunity and productivity by keeping sales floors buzzing with positive leads ready to convert into customers.

The Mighty Chatbot

Some people like to speak to people. Some people don’t like the inevitable pressure that comes with face-to-face sales interactions.

Chatbots, therefore, are finding their place in the sales journey for many consumers – a kind of an automated FAQ.

The public are becoming more comfortable using them, finding the bot a quick way to get an answer for a query. And if they get the answer they’re looking for, that query can turn into a sale.

According to DemandBase, chatbots perform better than humans by up to 60% when it comes to customer conversion.

Although a chatbot can’t yet answer complex, case-specific queries, they seem to have won the public round as far as general inquiries are concerned.

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CRM AI

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has become an interactive technology that many SMEs can’t do without.

Accurate customer data is valuable ammunition for closing a lead.

If you’re speaking over the phone with a prospect and you have the wrong details, it can either invalidate the transaction or negatively affect the perception of the business in the customer’s eyes.

Sean Knighton, of InsideSales.com, explained that AI helps his company identify who to contact and what actions the customer took to suggest that they’re ready to buy. He iterated that if a customer downloads a data sheet or visits their website, their CRM AI will know about it; putting that lead to the front of the queue for a sales call.

Optimizing Price

Harvard Business Review has been researching the efficacy of  AI algorithms and the derivation of the optimal price for converting queries into purchases.

There’s an art to knowing what discount, if any, to offer to close a sale. It’s an instinct that not every salesperson has.

AI algorithms plugged into your CRM have mastered the art of price optimization by looking at deals that have been won and lost in the past. It can recognize the size of a deal in monetary terms, as well as product specifications most likely to close without affecting profitability.

AI can even acknowledge affordability based on client income and revenues associated with their online profile.

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Upselling

Of course, all great salespeople are great upsellers – but have you ever pushed it so far that you’ve broken the entire deal?

Again, an AI algorithm plugged into your CRM can identify the clients who are likely to respond positively to an upsell, as well as understanding those likely to be responsive to the offer of an additional product (a cross-sell).

This leads to an increase in potential revenues and a reduction in marketing costs because you can reduce your speculative spend by precisely targeting the customers identified as strong, certain leads.

The world of AI and interactive technologies is here;  gathering the data to help your sales teams fathom the buyers from the wheel-kickers.

These are exciting times. Can you really afford to ignore them?

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