A Brief Insight Into How Artificial Intelligence Has Changed the Business Landscape
Everybody knows ‘The Power of Now’, and that’s exactly why you should know and adopt AI. Artificial Intelligence is no more a theory of the future as it continues to have an unprecedented impact on businesses globally. In less than 10 years, B2B enterprises have begun to implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate their growth and revenues. All the fears of humans losing their jobs to AI and machines may not be true after all, especially when you consider marketing and sales in under-billion dollar companies.
New research data shows 80% of B2B executives believe that AI will revolutionize the field by 2020.
Five ways AI is Influencing B2B Sales
Here are five areas in B2B sales heavily influenced by AI —
Arming Sales Teams with Relevant Insights
Marketing Automation has its limits since typically only a sales representative can finally have a 1:1 conversation and close a deal. AI helps marketing teams by allowing them to provide their colleagues with valuable insights about prospects, all throughout the sales cycle. The sales colleagues can be provided with information about organizational and industry dynamics, identification of key decision makers and key prospects, and they can also share information about the levels of engagement. This valuable interaction between marketing teams and sales reps is a positive outlook since sales reps can tackle this information and come up with actionable insights.
Quality and Quantity Leads
A Harvard Business Review Study found that companies which use AI for sales were able to increase their leads by 50%. AI helps sales teams increase the lead quantity as well as lead quality. This is possible because AI has the keen potential of recognizing the best targets for inbound and outbound marketing initiatives. The friction between marketing and sales teams has been longstanding, but with the help of AI- a large chunk of it can be eliminated.
Too much time of a salesperson’s daily activities is spent doing monotonous tasks such as cold-calling, responding to emails etc. Enter AI and the tasks magically reduce. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 40% of the time spent on menial tasks such as these can be automated by adopting all the current technologies that AI has to offer. Embedding AI into Salesforce automation software, CRM databases, other B2B applications and a lot of these crippling tasks can be eliminated for good. AI can liberate salespeople from such monotonous tasks, and the positive effects of this method are far-reaching thus uplifting the enterprise to new heights.
Data over Intuition
Each salesperson generally has a vague idea of what a client or a prospect may be interested in, and this is what they base their USP’s on. Unfortunately, this a lot more experimental than actually based on cold, hard facts. That’s where Artificial Intelligence comes in. AI allows sales professionals to base their opinions and decisions more accurately on data. And data never lies! Focusing on data, the choices will be more precise than ever.
With artificial intelligence, targeting the right customer based on an analysis and profile has never been this simplified. There is no guesswork here, only pure facts, thus leading to profitable conversions and positive outcomes.
The Focus is strong on Analytical Skills
Forrester caused a stir in 2015 when it released a report estimating 1million B2B sales job being eliminated by 2020. AI is never going to be a replacement for AI professionals, instead, it is the technology of the present and future which is only going to propel sales professionals to ‘level-up’ their game. AI is going to be an enhancement for sales teams since it is aiding professionals to commit to their jobs better especially with the use of analytics and data science.
Improving lead generation has been the focal point of the buzz around AI, but that marks only a scratch on the surface for B2B companies. AI-driven solutions can be a blessing throughout the entire marketing-sales lifestyle, turning huge amounts of data into actionable insights.
The power of Artificial Intelligence to automatically analyze aspects of a customer’s behavior helps B2B marketers make informed decisions and improve efficiencies like never before. Sales software do everything from writing emails to scheduling meetings to identifying sales behavior which closes more leads.
Top AI Tools Transforming the B2B Sales World
Nudge is a modern sales platform which uses AI so as to provide sales teams with actionable insights on each target customer. The AI and ML tools here are leveraged to source social and news updates on the individual and the account by filtering through huge amounts of data all across the web. Nudge doesn’t necessarily use AI to automate tasks but it helps sales professionals build lasting, authentic relationships with potential buyers.
PeopleAI aims to help teams close onto more business by providing a greater visibility into efficiency and effort. It collects sales activity information and then uses the same information to identify slack deals, and then creates an activity-based success roadmap which potentially narrows down all opportunities. PeopleAI accesses this information so as to make a plan of action, and then execute it accordingly. PeopleAI has established a complete behavioral analytics solution which determines which sales rep’s behavior is most likely going to close a deal.
Crystal Knows gives sales reps personality profiles for all the customers/prospects they may have come in touch with. This outlines all the profile information from multiple sites such as LinkedIn, Salesforce and more. Crystal gives them access to personality-driven email templates of the recipient’s personality. Crystal’s AI offers personality insights at any point in need, thus helping sales professionals interact and improve their communicational roles with prospects/customers.
X.ai is an AI personal assistant who schedules meetings for its users. X.ai eliminates the back-and-forth discussion between a sales rep and an individual. The calendar will be connected X.ai, and the AI assistant will handle all the meetings scheduled for sales professionals by simply copying the AI’s email address into the email exchange. X.ai helps sales professionals save a lot of time by conveniently addressing and taking on these tasks.
Many B2B professionals have refused to adapt to AI methods citing various issues that are triggered due to existing technologies, training employees and understanding how the results have been derived. Contrary to belief, AI is totally worth investing in since many professionals who have embraced the technology are constantly reaping its benefits.
Improved efficiency and deliverance of unparalleled personalization throughout a customer’s journey is what AI brings and it is something which every business pursues to achieve.
Recommended Read: How to Find the Right AI Platform for B2B Marketing and Sales Success