How AI and Big Data Are Changing the Sales Game
Artificial intelligence and big data have been disrupting several industries by introducing different innovations, streamlining business operations, and automating time-consuming, tedious tasks.
However, one of the biggest benefits of AI is its capacity to collect, analyze, process, and interpret massive amounts of data, both structured and unstructured, thus allowing companies to obtain valuable internal business and external customer insights.
If you’ve ever watched movies on Netflix or purchased something from Amazon, then you’re familiar with superb recommendation AI-powered algorithms these two companies use to suggest relevant content or products to their users.
It’s only logical that salespeople should leverage these technologies to understand their customers better and sell more effectively.
Here are some of the ways AI and big data are revolutionizing the way we do business and sell.
Streamlining Lead Generation
Having a steady stream of fresh leads is crucial for the success of every business. However, sourcing new leads is a challenging task as it requires your sales reps to obtain your potential customers’ information. Not to mention how long it would take them to browse through LinkedIn and other sources in search of suitable prospects.
Apart from the fact that your sales reps will waste a lot of time on this tedious, mundane, and low-value task, there’s another problem – data quality. Namely, 40% of all B2B sales leads contain bad data, which translates to low conversion and high churn rates.
AI paired with big data can automate this process, ensure the accuracy of data, and help you find relevant, high-quality leads based on the needs and preferences of your business.
Namely, big data analytics allows sales reps to filter out the right results and build a lead database.
Automating Different Sales Processes
Sales professionals spend only 34% of their time selling, and that’s why it’s so difficult for them to establish more profound relationships with their prospects and hit their quota.
For example, email outreach is one of the most commonly used tactics for getting in touch with new leads thanks to its cost-effectiveness. Still, it’s virtually impossible to send hundreds or thousands of emails and keep track of the analytics manually.
Automating this task allows sales reps to segment their list, schedule campaigns in advance, follow up with their recipients on time, and monitor results. With the right automation tools, it’s possible to set up triggered emails that will be automatically sent to prospects based on their behaviour.
This way, sales teams can reach out to their prospects, nurture them, and keep the conversation going without having to spend too much time on repetitive, mundane tasks.
As creating effective high-converting email copy plays an important role in the success of your outreach campaigns, some platforms also offer premade email templates that can be customized and added to your follow-up sequence.
However, converting a new lead isn’t a straightforward process as you can’t expect that this will happen after only one or two attempts. According to this Really Simple Systems survey, 29% of sales reps give up after three follow-up attempts, while 22% keep on trying for more than six times.
Improving Customer Experience
Imagine a situation in which your prospect is thinking about making a purchase, but they only need some additional information about your product or service. But they’re in a different time zone, meaning that it’s midnight and your support agents aren’t available.
Something like this could cost you a lot of missed business opportunities and hurt your revenue because customers want timely answers to their questions, and you can’t afford to let them wait.
Conversational chatbots are an excellent solution for your customer support. They’re available 24/7/365, they’re never tired or nervous, and what’s even better, they can handle multiple customer queries simultaneously.
These AI-powered algorithms can make a difference and raise the bar when it comes to customer experience. Not only will they provide timely answers to your prospects, but they’re also capable of collecting valuable customer information. You can later use it to create better marketing campaigns and tailor the content based on your customers’ preferences, needs, and pain points.
Leveraging Sales Forecasting
Creating predictable revenue is the holy grail of every sales team. Big data can be used to gain insights about the behaviour of your prospects and forecast sales.
All the data you collect about your new and existing customers can help you classify and score your leads with the help of this advanced technology. In order to identify behavioural patterns, establish trends, and build accurate models, this data is fed into powerful, machine-learning trained algorithms.
So, it’s crucial to have a significant amount of historical data, as a small set could result in inaccurate predictions.
This process will tell you which leads are hot, which are warm, and which are cold and not very likely to convert. Accurate lead scoring will point you in the right direction so that you can focus on the hot leads and try to nurture the warm ones additionally to interest them enough to take the final step and convert.
Reducing Overhead Costs and Boosting Efficiency
All the use cases of AI and big data mentioned above, show that you won’t have to hire additional employees who would handle repetitive, tedious, and time-consuming tasks or provide customer support all around the clock.
However, you should not rely solely on AI-powered chatbots and machines because when it comes to tasks that require critical thinking, human intervention is always needed.
Artificial intelligence and big data are here to assist you, and your team streamline your sales processes, better understand your customers’ needs, and speed up completing different tasks.
As a result, your team will be more productive and efficient because they will be able to focus on high-value tasks such as building more profound relationships with your customers.
Although AI and big data have become somewhat of buzzwords in the world of sales and marketing, they hold tremendous potential to increase your sales, boost the productivity of your entire sales team, and help your business gain a competitive edge.
Daniel Bishop, editor at ReallySimpleSystems has collaborated with our blog in this post.