A good sales rep is differentiated by his ability to identify the right customers and “know” them better. This ability helps the rep tailor perfect solutions, thereby improving the likelihood of sales success.
It’s really that straightforward. Or is it?
According to The TAS Group, only 46% of reps feel their sales pipeline is accurate, and 40% of all salespeople can’t understand the problems of their customers. Clearly, realizing “sales success” is no walk in the park. So, how does one identify the right customers? And how does one figure them out? These aren’t easy questions; however, we now have their answers.
In the foreseeable future, sales reps will have intelligent AI sales assistants to drive better context around every step of the sales process, starting from the top of the funnel to the very bottom. The AI-powered sales assistant will learn from the best of salespeople, updating itself as it unravels the operational intricacies that exist in a salesperson’s world. While today’s sales assistants are just mobiles and CRMs, the AI sales assistants will be, dare I say, similar to Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S.! For the benefit of people who aren’t into comic books, J.A.R.V.I.S. or ‘Just A Rather Very Intelligent System’ is an artificially intelligent computer with a natural-language user interface.
Getting back to sales, AI sales assistants will be able to solve problems in exciting new ways, empowering sales teams to be more effective in everything they do. Now, does that mean these AI assistants will replace salespeople? The answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’.
In the near future, neither the sales assistants will function independently nor will the sales reps sell in the usual manner; rather, the advent of AI in sales will pave the way for a homogenous environment, wherein both entities will work together to create innovative sales processes, which will be more exciting and efficient.
AI sales assistants will likely contribute to the day-to-day activities of a sales rep, especially in two areas: sales opportunity management and sales effectiveness. Below are a few examples.
|Area||Sales assistants of today will tell us…||Whereas AI sales assistants will tell us…|
|Sales opportunity management||Your time to generate a new prospect is 8 days.||There is an intent to purchase the product ‘ABC’ in the Bay Area among technology companies such as Company X, Company Y, etc.|
Try to set up time with the following list of people…
|Your pipeline velocity is 15 days in stage 1, 20 days in stage 2, 10 days in stage 3…||Meet ABC from Company X today to advance the stage.|
|You will miss your plan by $56,670.||You will miss your plan by $56,670 because of poor performance with the product XYZ.|
|You have generated 67 leads and 4 opportunities in the last 15 days.||Attend the conference AAA, which is happening later today, to meet the right prospects for the product ‘ABC’.|
|Your win rates are at a record low of 25%.||The decision maker is the IT manager, and the factors driving the decisions include “Integration capabilities to the Salesforce CRM”.|
|Sales effectiveness||You have qualified 95 leads from marketing in the last 1 week.||Here is the list of qualified leads arranged based on the probability of closure.|
|Your average order/deal size is $350k.||Focus on Opportunity ABCD because it has a higher probability of an increase in the expected value.|
|List of contacts in Company XYZ…||ABC is the decision maker in Company XYZ. CDE is the influencer in the contract.|
In addition to this list, AI-powered sales assistants would gather information about a particular customer and draft a personalized email that mentions relevant details about the client’s account. Salespeople can thus avoid mundane operational tasks such as email, prospecting, and qualification; they can delegate these tasks to sales assistants and invest their time in pitching products or services to potential customers. That’s right, welcome to sales utopia!
AI in sales is gaining a lot of momentum, and many enterprises have already started moving in this direction to drive impact. We at BRIDGEi2i engage with our clients in the sales function with our advanced sales AI and analytics platform – Sales Decision Engine (SDE). The platform was featured in Gartner’s September 7th, 2016 Market Guide for SaaS-based predictive analytics applications for B2B sales and marketing.
SDE leverages proprietary machine learning algorithms to provide actionable insights for better decision-making. The platform offers complete visibility and control of the sales process and aids in improving conversion rate, deal size, and sales effort, among other things, thanks to its AI wizardry.
For instance, with SDE, a Fortune 500 technology company increased sales forecast accuracy by 15% and improved the identification of at-risk teams by 30%. Read the complete sales effectiveness case study to learn more!