With good reason, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. AI has the potential to fundamentally alter how people work in the coming years, including in sales.
Artificial intelligence still sounds futuristic, but sales teams already use it every day—and adoption is set to increase hugely in the next few years. It’s time to reconsider your strategy if your business hasn’t already embraced AI.
Learn more about artificial intelligence in sales by reading on.
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What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Whether you realize it or not, AI is already present all around us. Most likely, you’re already utilizing AI. (Netflix, Uber, LinkedIn, and Alexa and Siri, of course, are just a few of your favorite apps that make use of AI.)
In essence, the term “artificial intelligence” serves as a catch-all for a number of technologies, including machine learning and natural language processing. Historically, the software could advance only if humans advanced it. But AI technology is capable of improving by itself.
Prospecting, follow-ups, and proposals can now be automated by machines without human involvement. However, AI analyzes massive datasets and derives insights for forecasting, so it’s not just about automation.
In the next three years, 70% of customer experiences, according to Gartner, will incorporate some form of machine learning. Furthermore, sales reps can also be empowered by AI.
Related Reading: Father Of Artificial Intelligence
What Is Artificial Intelligence In Sales?
The application of cutting-edge algorithms and analytical tools to automate and enhance sales operations is known as artificial intelligence (AI) in sales. AI can make sales teams more effective and help them close more deals by automating repetitive tasks and analyzing customer data. The forecasting of sales, the prediction of customer behavior, and the discovery of useful insights are additional uses for machine learning tools.
Important Need For Automation In Sales
Is sales automation really required to enhance business operations and, subsequently, your bottom line?
In one study, it was discovered that sales representatives only devote a third of their time to pursuing potential customers. Data entry, meetings, prospecting, setting up additional meetings, and other routine tasks that have little to do with the actual sales cycle take up the remaining time.
By freeing up two-thirds of their working time, average sales assistants can become high-performing teams with a sales automation solution in hand. The likelihood of selling increases with the passing of time.
How Does AI Benefit Sales?
“Sales teams already benefit from increased productivity and efficiency thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). We’ve witnessed significant advancements in the past year alone, and they not only improve the accuracy of sales forecasts but also ease the administrative burden on sales representatives and revenue operations by automatically logging sales activities (such as calls, meetings, emails, texts), tracking and analyzing contact relationships, providing sentiment analysis, and providing “virtual” sales coaching through opportunity scoring and suggesting next best actions.”
“Early AI adopter companies will experience exponentially increasing impact on their sales results because sales leaders and those sales resources who are closest to the buyer will finally have real-time access to the sales intelligence they deserve,” says SiriusDecisions’ Dana Therrien
tools like With the help of People.ai, sales teams can obtain precise activity data on each interaction with clients and prospects. This indicates that their sales organization can more easily spot trends in the actions that result in won or closed deals or pinpoint instances where sales representatives are consistently selling to the same customers rather than moving up in the accounts. Additionally, they can correctly attribute pipeline, which is a major victory for marketing, which has struggled for years to do so.
There are a variety of additional ways that businesses are utilizing People.ai’s capabilities to boost overall ROI. Businesses have benefited in six main ways from efficient sales teams, as follows:
- Increased CRM adoption People.ai eliminates the need for manual CRM data entry and records every contact and activity, mapping them to the appropriate opportunity accounts. The adoption of the AI-powered CRM rises as sales teams begin to regard it as a trustworthy “single source of truth.”
- Boost the efficiency of the seller. Sales teams free up 27% of their time by spending less time manually logging data, freeing up time to engage with prospects and close deals, among other more fruitful activities.
- Data-driven sales coaching Sales coaches can set objectives and monitor each rep’s sales activity levels with the help of People.ai. Coaches can pinpoint areas for focused coaching using benchmarking data, enabling each rep to perform at their highest level.
- Enhance pipeline analysis and sales forecasting: Sales teams now have access to more data than ever thanks to People.ai, which also provides real-time pipeline analysis and the ability to monitor deal trends. With this information at hand, businesses can gain important insights into the precise elements that aid salespeople in closing deals.
- Self-healing contact database: Inaccurate, out-of-date, or missing data are common in CRMs. So that you always have the most recent data available, People.ai updates your CRM continuously in real time.
- provide unprecedented visibility for buying groups The key to successful deals is using buying groups, but determining who should participate, when, and where can be difficult. The sales teams are given access to this data by People.ai, which enables them to make sure they are interacting with the right members of the buying group at the appropriate time.
AI Tools For Sales
Knowing what AI is capable of, you may be interested in finding out what existing solutions actually accomplish.
There are many top-notch vendors in the area who cater to sales organizations of all sizes.
With chat, email, video, and automation products, Drift enables businesses to use conversations to streamline their purchasing procedures.
Another significant player in the field is Conversica, which has $87 million in funding. The business offers an automated AI sales assistant that converses with your leads. Before leads speak to a rep, the AI assistant conducts conversations with them to further qualify them.
There are several advantages to this kind of intelligent automation. Instead of wasting time on unqualified prospects, human sales representatives are freed up to actually sell to people who are interested in a good or service. Since the AI assistant scales well, every lead receives a follow-up.
It’s a perfect example of how machines and humans can collaborate in sales to unlock even more value.Exceed.ai
Exceed.ai uses AI to engage with every sales lead that enters your pipeline, using human-like, two-way conversations by email and chat.
The AI-powered competitive intelligence tool from Crayon monitors 100+ data types from hundreds of millions of sources to inform you in real-time about what your rivals are doing online. This information is then used to automatically build and update sales battle cards that get results.
Salesforce is one of the leading companies in AI for sales, which is not surprising. The company’s artificial intelligence, dubbed “Einstein,” appears frequently throughout Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform.
For your sales representatives, Einstein automatically prioritizes leads. It assesses the likelihood of deals closing. It also gives developers the ability to incorporate AI into their Salesforce apps.
The prevalence of established businesses in the AI for sales space is best illustrated by Salesforce Einstein. Big existing players, at least the savvy ones, are incorporating AI into existing platforms by hiring AI talent or buying AI companies.
How To Start With AI Tools For Sales?
What steps should you take to actually begin using AI and machine learning for sales now that you are aware of what is possible?
You must first take a number of proactive measures before using AI for sales.
1. Understand The Basics
To benefit from AI tools, you don’t need to be a programmer or a technical expert. However, you do require a fundamental understanding of the key concepts and technologies in AI. You can get going with the help of this post.
2. Learn Critical Skills
Today’s salespeople are able to return to their core competencies by outsourcing their administrative tasks to AI-powered tools. Regaining importance is interpersonal skills like relationship development, attentive listening, and comforting others. The skills you should emphasize in your career moving forward are broken down in this post.
3. Experiment With The Technology
There are numerous AI tools available for testing. Since tools and their capabilities vary, practical experience is essential. Many businesses provide free trials or demos of their technology. Investigate sales vendors who use AI. You can visit any of the vendors we mentioned above by clicking on their names, or you can read our in-depth profiles of the top AI sales vendors down below.
4. Start Right Now
If you’re a salesperson, sales manager, or marketing professional who works on sales enablement, AI can assist you in lowering expenses and raising revenue.
As a result, no matter your level of expertise or comfort now is the time to begin using AI.
By doing this, you could create a competitive advantage that is unbeatable. Delaying increases your chance of falling behind.
There are artificial intelligence systems that can forecast or predict outcomes using past data to guide present actions. Typical forecasts that sales AI systems can provide are as follows:
prospects or deals that are most likely to close.
Deals or prospects to target next.
Potentially interested new customers.
The system being used and the caliber of the data both affect how accurate those predictions will be. However, the truth is that AI is capable of identifying the customers who are most likely to make a purchase in the future with the right inputs from the past and present.
Inside sales teams, predictive forecasting can be beneficial.
AI can assist sales managers by assisting them in forecasting their team’s performance for the quarter well in advance so that they can take proactive measures based on the data.
Can AI Eventually Replace Salespeople?
It’s a reasonable worry, given that these technologies are becoming more potent by the day.
Many sales representatives are among the audience members at Marketing AI Institute. We regularly speak with and interview these experts. And we keep track of thousands of AI tools used in marketing and sales.
Overall, we don’t have many concerns about artificial intelligence replacing sales.
There is no question that AI will change the way sales teams operate. In contrast, these tools frequently support human salespeople rather than trying to replace them. In fact, AI tools are increasingly taking over tasks that human salespeople cannot complete because they lack the necessary skills or time.
For instance, one of the tools we list below actually follows up with leads without human intervention, even going so far as to have two-way conversations with them. Every lead is contacted, nurtured, and qualified rather than falling through the cracks as they frequently do. A human rep receives the lead when it is warm or requires human attention.
Most AI sales tools actually give you superpowers rather than automating you out of existence.
How To Create A Strong Sales AI Strategy?
Set Realistic Expectations
You should make sure that your sales objectives are distinct, doable, and measurable, just like you would with any other business goal. Everyone needs to be aware of expectations and their justifications.
Expect results to take time, and while reps are adjusting to AI technology, be realistic about your goals. Make certain they are aware that it is acceptable to seek clarification or additional assistance.
Customize Ai To Your Business Context
If AI solutions aren’t appropriate for your company’s needs, there’s no point in grabbing them. And with so many AI tools available, it’s important to carefully consider your options before selecting the best ones.
Align your AI strategy and tools with your overarching objectives, whether they be business expansion, increased brand recognition, or more specialized goals like lowering wait times.
Target Quick Wins, Especially In The Beginning
Spend your time on a project that will yield results in six to twelve months if you want to see the impact AI has on your company. It will inspire your team in addition to demonstrating the value of AI to the suits up top.
Use the team’s calls or interactions with the reps who excel at utilizing AI for customer success and customer service as a learning resource.
Partner With The Right Experts
You must select the best tools from the best providers if you want AI to work for you. Look for a sales platform that includes a communications suite, extensive CRM integration, and sentiment analysis (Hint: Dialpad would be that.
Additionally, you must understand how to put these tools to use for yourself and assess the advantages AI offers your company. To get the initiative off the ground, it might make sense to enlist the aid of an AI specialist who can assist with its launch and analysis.
The Bottom Line
AI can help with sales in a variety of ways, including eliminating manual data entry and increasing the adoption of Customer Relationships Management systems and automating time-consuming tasks, buying sales reps’ time back, and, in turn, boosting their productivity by at least 27%.
Artificial intelligence (AI) in sales has become a necessary tool for all business persons. Any more questions? Please leave your comment.