Leading with Certainty in an Uncertain World: Key Business Takeaways Moving into 2022

By Katrina Klier, Chief Marketing Officer at PROS

As businesses continue to grapple with the long-lasting ripple effects from the pandemic and ongoing supply chain disruptions, they are looking to offer customers certainty in an uncertain world. The limited online contact many companies have with their customers puts marketing teams in a more difficult position to drive sales and maximize outreach. And customers are looking for businesses that can provide a reasonable and consistent self-serve buying experience across all channels. By using technology and artificial intelligence (AI), companies can more accurately and efficiently serve their customers in a fluid economy. Improving the buying experience for customers will drive loyalty and repeat purchases and can be a key differentiator in a competitive market.

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Why organizations should use AI-driven technology to better serve their customers as well as their employees

Although their work is crucial, sales teams cannot make accurate decisions fast enough on their own. Technology arms sales teams with smarter insights on what’s driving customer purchasing behaviors, so they can make better sales offers to encourage repeat purchases. It’s common for sales teams to rely on their personal experience to make offers to customers, and miss leveraging successes from others in the sales team. A sales team’s understanding of the “invisible customer” now relies on data from a series of digital touch points across many channels because there is a lack of in-person interactions. 

AI is now emerging as a core competitive differentiator in the B2B selling landscape. AI has the ability to automate and sift through thousands of historical and current data points to predict how customers will behave and make smarter and faster sales recommendations. It also creates an optimal price, based on market information, competitor pricing, past customer data, and margin. All of which leads to an increase in revenue whilst pricing at an affordable level for customers. Companies can pull data out of transactional systems and begin to use it for insights in real-time, leading to nuggets of truth that organizations may not see otherwise. This allows companies to differentiate, in real time, all the time, relative to competitors who may not use such advanced technology. 

When you consider the fact that many companies have annual sales meetings in order for salespeople to share their knowledge on the business’ success, a good AI algorithm is similar to connecting every salesperson in an organization all the time. This technology enhances and extends the connectivity that begins at an annual sales kickoff. 

Why it’s essential to maximize the outcome of every sales transaction with the right tools

It’s time to focus on maximizing the outcome of every sales transaction by giving tools to salespeople to help them manage transactions directly. If done correctly, understanding data and takeaways from both customer interactions and sales transactions can make the sales teams’ jobs easier and allow them to work better and faster in the future. For example, currently the only outcome of a purchasing experience is seeing if the customer did or did not purchase a product. But to drive success, companies are in need of real-time views into the why – what triggered the purchase action. 

AI supplies sales teams with data to help them better understand their customers’ buying decisions. It can help quickly analyze data showing how long people spent on the website, number of interactions with salespeople, what the customer has purchased in the past, at what prices customers are likely to purchase certain goods, and current market information including shifting customer preferences. AI has the ability to detect patterns through data and help sales teams make more informed decisions in real-time moving forward. As more companies continue to sell digitally in an uncertain world, AI can improve buying experiences for customers by providing the right offers, in the right channels, at the right prices, at the right time. 

Every touch point in the buying experience between a buyer and a seller is an opportunity to win or lose a customer. So understanding and optimizing each touch point leads to a better self-service buying experience for the customer which results in more wins. As companies shift to digital selling, they are increasingly relying more on data to accurately understand what their customers are looking for. Enabling and empowering sales teams with pristine, insightful data allows them to share compelling and accurate offers to customers across any channel at any time.

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How technology is the solution to help salespeople add value to customers beyond their buying experiences

Technology increases speed and efficiency in the shopping experience for customers, but it does more than just that. It mitigates friction in the purchasing experience, increasing the likelihood of customer loyalty. Additionally, given that prices and offers are specific and accurate to each individual, the customer saves time when making a purchase. This technology-driven process elevates the sales team’s role beyond the transaction and provides a more personalized future buying experience for their customers. Everyone benefits. 

Marketing and sales continue to evolve and undergo digital transformation. Companies that enable frictionless interactions across all channels, including online, will set their sales teams up to drive increased revenues and maximize customer relationships. It is important to reimagine the sales process to focus on providing B2B customers with the ability to digitally self-serve. AI-driven technology is a way to ensure a company’s adaptability and agility in an unpredictable market while keeping them comfortably ahead of competitors.

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