Authors Carl Frey and Michael Osborne estimated the probability of computerization of over 700 different occupations. The study found that among the roles least threatened by automation was the one of a Sales Manager. Researchers explain sales’ slim 1.3% chance of automation thanks to the job heavily relying on workers’ high degree of social intelligence. But, while sales undoubtedly depend on effective and honest communication, one cannot diminish the importance of Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning in sales automation.
As an experienced Sales Manager reading this, you may wonder how Artificial Intelligence can assist you with all the communication, proposal writing, process monitoring, and customer management tasks you’re currently laboring. Intelligent Automation technologies can help salespeople work more efficiently, make smarter and data-based decisions, and deliver a personalized customer experience.
Read on to discover just how beneficial AI can be in automating your sales processes.
What is Sales Automation?
An average salesperson’s day consists of mostly manual tasks, such as back-to-back communication with prospects and clients, order and inventory management, task assignments, post-conversion client support, and much more.
Sales automation tools aim to, well, automate these tasks – partially or entirely. Therefore, sales automation represents the application of software, algorithms, and other digital devices in conducting and streamlining sales tasks.
Automation in sales aims to make all processes, from planning to closing the deal, more efficient, straightforward, and personalized. From generating engagement and nurturing leads to establishing proposal details and writing follow-ups, sales automation tools help businesses increase efficiency and reduce cost.
How Sales Processes Benefit from Artificial Intelligence- presented by facts
According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 30% of early AI adopters experienced an increase in revenue. In addition, Salesforce’s data suggest that over 80% of sales leaders who use automation tools report witnessing benefits in customer retention and nurturing and increasing sales reps’ productivity.
Yet, adoption of the right automation tools means that sales professionals will yield more profit but will do so more efficiently while at the same time ensuring a seamless experience for clients. Luckily, AI-based sales automation tools aren’t reserved for the best IT companies out there alone – nowadays, sales automation is a necessary feature of small and medium businesses alike.
Here’s how AI-based automation tools help your sales teams:
1. AI-powered Sales Automation Personalizes the Customer Experience
Personalization lays the foundation of client trust, conversion, and retention. Customers seek human interaction when interacting with brands – not AI bots – but such a scenario is barely possible for most businesses.
Sales and personalization intertwine throughout the customer journey. For example, intelligent automation tools can assist in setting up the first contact with a lead through website chatbots or self-service customer support systems.
Conversely, AI tools can allow sales departments to perform in-depth behavioral or firmographic segmentation of business prospects based on an individual’s or company traits. Your client research process will yield high-value, conversion-ready customers by leveraging these specific, actionable data.
Besides the meet-and-greet phase, AI helps personalize ongoing project communication and post-conversion retention.
Sales automation software with AI capabilities can help you do the little things to make customers feel special – remind you to send a follow-up email, prevent you from communicating inaccurate information or allow you to stay in the loop with all project details.
Last but not least, intelligent automation tools can store abundant data on leads, project details, conversations, and notes. So, in case of a necessity to swap between salespersons, the replacement sales agent can review all information and pick up the client effortlessly and seamlessly.
2. AI Endows Data-Based Decision-Making
Sales automation software relies on accurate, actionable – and foremost – historical data. For example, AI-based sales automation tools can be invaluable in lead scoring, i.e., the process of determining the worthiness of leads. Lead scoring via AI entails measuring prospects’ likelihood of converting into a customer based on different cues. For example, these sales automation tools can use signals from social media or search queries related to yours to assess how likely is the lead to convert.
In addition, sales tools can collect and store data from every interaction with a prospect, whether by email, text, chatbot, or phone call. These AI-powered tools can be used to map large datasets and extract detailed insights from all the collected data using advanced computer science techniques. They really make sales reps’ jobs easier when it comes to analyzing huge amounts of information. This knowledge doesn’t only help the sales representatives prioritize the most promising accounts, but they also help them make predictions and forecast future results. Sales automation tools continuously reanalyze these customer data and build them into comprehensive user personas that continually evolve.
With AI automation tools, sales departments can now leverage the granularity of ideal customers’ practical, actionable traits. Besides fine-tuning the lead sampling process, AI sales automation software assists in analyzing the hurdles in your customer journey. By importing the prospect communication details into your sales tool, you can assess the most significant hindrances of your sales funnel.
3. AI Tools Provide Insight into Lead Generation Pitfalls
Once you understand why your prospects don’t turn into customers – whether it be a high price, prolonged deadline, or differed project requests – you can craft a business deal that strikes the perfect balance between your and your client’s needs.
Every interaction between a sales team and potential customers harbors invaluable data on how you can improve your lead gen processes.
Every stage in your sales funnel is managed and driven with the help of data. AI can help you create measurable outcomes and also improve effectiveness at each stage. Integrate the data into AI automation tools and identify the most common issues your leads face, which responses they value the most, and how you can improve your churn rate with these findings.
AI Cuts Back on Repetitive & Time-Consuming Tasks
As a salesperson, you are well aware of how time-consuming many sales tasks like sales data input, response to emails, and proposal/contract-writing process can be. So why not automate these tedious tasks?
From project pitches and initial project proposals to follow-up emails and final contracts, much of the day-to-day sales reps’ communication can be automated – giving them the time to focus on tasks that actually matter. Certain sales software can utilize library or analytics data to help managers further personalize and tweak their proposals and emails. In addition, these tools allow salespeople to automate client communication by scheduling emails or meetings.
Overall, AI can help sales representatives:
- automate end-to-end daily tasks and streamline sales processes
- make faster and smarter decisions thanks to predictive forecasting and next action suggestions
- provide sales reps with data-driven insights and customer patterns to help them prioritize effectively and focus on the right prospects
- save salespeople time and money, and at the same time increase productivity and efficiency
To Sum Up
The foundation of sales lies in expansive personalization and effective communication. The profound importance of the human touch may appear counterintuitive to the increased demand for automation and integration of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into the industry.
However, sales automation tools – especially those backed by AI – offer massive opportunities to managers to make more informed decisions and target valuable and inclined prospects. In addition, automation takes on repetitive, manual tasks, allowing sales reps to focus on establishing personal relationships with leads.
Sales automation software will not make sales reps obsolete in any foreseeable future; rather, AI and salespeople should work hand in hand to boost sales performance and profits.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SEO Turnover.