The Power of AI in Sales and 8 Ways You Can Use It
Artificial intelligence (AI) today is a key part of sales workflows. You are leaving both time and money on the table if you aren’t leveraging AI in your everyday sales processes. High-performing sales reps are 2.8x more likely to use AI, reports Salesforce.
Understanding AI in the Context of Sales
Back in 2018, a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article proposed that most of AI's business use cases would fall into two areas: supply chain management and GTM use cases. In 2023, generative AI sales budgets are expected to triple by 2025, and 75% of CEOs believe competitive advantage will depend on who has the most advanced generative AI. Perhaps complementarily, organizations worldwide report cost decreases from adopting AI. In this article, we give you some ways in which leveraging AI can help companies stay ahead in the game.
8 Ways You Can Use AI in your daily sales workflows
1. Enhanced Lead Generation
Artificial intelligence can assist with lead generation in different ways. An AI chatbot on your website can interact with visitors, assess their intent, and segregate leads for the sales team. There are AI tools that automatically qualify leads based on how far along and what stage they are in the sales funnel. Salespersons can use ChatGPT to analyze customer conversations and patterns to use in their lead-generation process.
- Example: Drift
Drift chatbots customize the engagement experience for each potential lead based on who they are, where they come from, the content they are engaging with, and the stage of the buying journey they are in. It identifies 24/7, at scale, who is ready and qualified to meet with sales.
The tool's users engage their target audience on a personal level, accelerate their outreach process, and gain comprehensive insights into customer interactions.
The premium plan for small businesses starts at $2,500 per month.
2. Dynamic Lead Scoring
Assessing all qualifying factors for every lead is a mammoth task for busy sales and marketing teams. Consequently, 57% of sales reps inaccurately forecast their sales pipeline. AI can improve decision-making in this regard by prioritizing leads based on their likelihood of conversion. Tools leveraging AI algorithms can accurately score leads based on buying potential.
- Example: Toplyne’s Predictive AI
Businesses today sit on a goldmine of first-party data - across product usage, billing, and CRM - that sales and marketing teams have limited access to. Product analytics tools are built for product teams, enrichment tools are built for Ops teams, and billing tools are built for finance teams. Sales and marketing teams are left with no way to use this data to drive metrics they care about.
Toplyne is a predictive AI tool for sales and marketing teams to predict any business outcomes - new customers, expansion sales, cross-sells, customers at risk - and more. Toplyne combines first-party data sources (product usage, billing, CRM) with third-party sources (demographics & firmographics) and then learns from this data to surface users and accounts with the propensity to perform specific next actions - in downstream go-to-market applications.
Toplyne’s pricing can be found here.
3. Personalized Customer Interactions
AI can analyze data and countless variables to deliver personalized content on a level humans cannot match. For example, AI tools can customize email marketing by analyzing email, on-site, and social media behavior. AI can improve the customer experience, boost sales, or produce additional revenue by identifying which products are most likely to generate interest for a specific user.
- Example: ActiveCampaign
The tool automates emails and interactions, delivering personalized communications to your audience at the right time. You can automate your segments and deliver personalized follow-ups with dynamic email content.
The tool's users are better targeting and more efficiently engaging with their subscribers, which has led to a sharp increase in revenue.
The entry-level plan for solopreneurs (1 user) starts at $29/month. Their most popular plan for teams is priced at $149/month for five users.
4. Sales Forecasting Accuracy
AI can integrate data from various sources, such as CRM, ERP, social media, external market data, and web analytics, analyze large and complex data sets to identify patterns and trends, and generate accurate and reliable sales predictions. It can automate and streamline the sales forecasting process. In addition, it can update forecasts in real-time based on the latest data to reflect changing customer behavior and market conditions.
5. Streamlining CRM Activities
Sales reps have a lot on their plate. An AI-driven CRM system automates repetitive tasks, including data entry and analysis, and streamlines workflows, freeing up valuable time for sales teams.
- Example: Pipedrive
Pipedrive automatically updates cold calling and contact data for each prospect, lead, and customer. It provides insights and cross-sell and upsell recommendations directly within the CRM platform, allowing sales professionals to focus on existing customers.
Pipedrive's automation capabilities have enhanced users' efficiency and allowed them to focus on building customer relationships.
The entry-level plan for a simple sales process is priced at $9.90/user/month.
6. Optimizing Pricing Strategies
AI technologies enable time-based, demand-based, and competitor-based dynamic pricing strategies. The resulting pricing optimization allows businesses to offer competitive prices and determine the optimal price for improved customer satisfaction. Dynamic pricing is game-changing for eCommerce businesses, helping boost sales, enabling better market segmentation, and increasing inventory management efficiency.
- Example: Dynamic Yield
The AI-powered personalization platform enables businesses to create personalized pricing strategies based on customer data. It adjusts prices according to demand based on competitor and customer data. Pricing optimization happens in real-time.
The tool's users love how easy it is to use Dynamic Yield and how powerful it is in helping with personalization and conversations.
There is no mention of pricing on their website. Talk to sales to get this information.
7. Automated Customer Service and Support
AI chatbots and virtual assistants work 24/7 to deliver responsive customer support. When the chatbots are integrated with business systems like your CRM, marketing automation software, or customer service tool, they use relevant information to deliver personalized experiences.
AI-powered chatbots can adapt messages to the corresponding phase of the customer journey, provide information on new products/services, and recommend relevant products or services based on customers' demographics, behaviors, or preferences. Engaging in a personal, human-like way helps boost customer satisfaction and retention.
- Example: UltimateGPT
UltimateGPT automates customer conversations, providing round-the-clock support via chat, email, and social. You can set up an AI chatbot unique to your historical data, which speaks in your brand tone and voice. Built for an omnichannel CRM, it deploys in-platform, ensuring a unified customer experience.
Users of the tool have scaled up chat and freed up time for customer support to focus on more complex topics.
Pricing information is not mentioned on their website and must be requested from their sales team.
8. Training and Coaching Sales Teams
Most sales managers are time-strapped to coach their teams. Consequently, sales reps fall short of gaining the best results. AI can come to the rescue, helping create and personalize training programs. For example, generative AI tools can create training material and replicate real-world selling scenarios for reps to practice their pitch. AI-based apps can analyze sales reps' interactions, from calls to emails, and identify areas for coaching. They can track the information sales reps were able to uncover and provide to customers and how successfully they handled objections.
- Example: Gong
Powered by natural language processing, Gong records and transcribes sales calls and then uses AI algorithms to analyze the information and present actionable suggestions. It offers real-time conversational analytics with instant feedback. A neat feature is the tool's ability to pick up on emotions in a conversation and steer reps away from potentially sticky situations.
Users love the tool for several reasons, including reviewing calls before big reviews and creating quick action plans, rewatching calls and things brought up in a conversation, voice-to-text transcription, and reminders about outstanding action items to follow up based on a conversation.
Empower Your Sales Team with AI-powered tools
Artificial intelligence can have a transformative effect on the way your company conducts sales. You can leverage AI to automate time-consuming sales and customer service tasks, but that would be the tip of the iceberg. AI sales assistants can help your teams get more done, save time for complex tasks, and improve the quality of customer interactions. AI analytics tools can improve the effectiveness of sales strategies and drive more accurate sales forecasting. Dynamic AI pricing tools can empower eCommerce companies to remain flexible to market demands and grow their sales.
There is no better time than now to explore AI use cases. We would argue it is imperative to boost your sales efficiency, effectiveness, and your business competitiveness.