I recently visited a database vendor’s website. I could tell that a well-disguised chatbot was prequalifying me to determine if I required (even deserved) human attention. The bot did a great job of responding to my questions and masquerading as a human, for the most part. By the end of the interaction, the bot deemed me a likely-to-buy visitor and set me up on a call with a human. Though I fully understood that I was interacting with an artificial assistant, the process was seamless and sensible.
When considering tech stacks for marketing and sales, smart tools, such as chatbots, can and should be used to optimize the entire sales process, close more sales, and keep more customers. Here are a few ways to do that:
Use Tools to Develop Smarter, More Tailored Campaigns
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are heavily dependent on having access to large datasets. When these tools are backed with the right information, they get more intelligent through their interactions with prospects and can help you launch smarter and more tailored campaigns.
For example, an intelligent tool may be able to help you determine that one prospect is a financial executive. A smart tool will take this finding and give you suggestions, such as how to position your product to this particular person. The recommendation would be completely different for a prospect in, say, the tech sector. Automated tools can now figure out in seconds what marketers have been trying to figure out for decades: which messages resonate better with particular audiences.
Let AI Decide Which Leads Are Qualified, Then Bring in a Human
PwC predicts that by the 2030s, around 38 percent of all US jobs will be replaced by AI and automation. Although that may be true, I don’t think marketers or salespeople have anything to fear.
The chatbot in my previous anecdote understood that I was a qualified lead, then handed me off to a salesperson because conversations with truly interested and invested prospects tend to be much more dynamic than a computer can handle. A salesperson can factor in conversational context and emotion (or the lack thereof) and are simply better at such interactions than a computer will ever be.
Lean on automated tools to optimize your sales and marketing processes as much as possible. Smart tools are great at eliminating wait times by providing immediate feedback, sending automated emails, and even suggesting the text to send in said emails. There are plenty of instances where Machine Learning and AI can be used in top-of-the-funnel activities, but once the conversation becomes more dynamic, it’s important to make sure that prospects are speaking to your sales reps.
Keep Customers by Being Proactive
One of the greatest benefits of automated tools is the ability to know what your customers need before they even ask. According to Salesforce research, by 2020, 57 percent of business buyers will expect companies to know what they need before they ask for anything.
One way AI and Machine Learning reveal this type of information is by showing marketers how a customer is using a particular product or service. And because this same data is gathered on a multitude of customers, you can look at it collectively to determine what types of behaviors signal a customer on the brink of cancellation. CRMs can use this information to their advantage and step in proactively and offer solutions.
Advanced technology tools not only make life easier for marketers and sales professionals, but they also can simplify the process for soon-to-be and existing customers. When employed correctly and used to supplement human assets, these tools can have a great impact on your customer base and their satisfaction with your company.