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Artificial intelligence is coming of age in the modern business world, informing everything from market research and monitoring operations to accounting and customer service. As the hype around artificial intelligence grows (for good reason!) less often discussed are its applications for sales. Alan Lepofsky, an analyst at Constellation Research, posits that AI intervention is not only helpful in making sense of website lead data—it’s necessary.

AI Makes Passive Data Actionable

Traditional customer relationship management (CRM) systems are passive records of sales and circumstances. With the help of AI processing sales data, actionable insights are surfaced to inform and improve the entire funnel. “Customer interactions become fine-tuned and ultimately smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data,” explains Vanessa Thompson, SVP of Customer Experience Insights at Bluewolf. “For a salesperson to predict where to spend their time or take next best action—they need the right data at the right time. They have to take data from every source and they have to have a cognitive platform in place to evaluate that data to make decisions.”

Identify ROI with AI

Let’s be real, chasing leads takes up a lot of time and money. Many companies are simply too small to pursue each lead, and the ones who aren’t can’t afford the margins on unprofitable results. Sometimes it seems that the only ones making out on data mining are, well, the data-mining companies. Artificial intelligence is different—it flips lead generation on its head by identifying intent, or analyzing past customer behavior to predict the future. The result? A far more informed, targeted and relevant acquisition strategy.

No More Cold Leads

We know that AI-powered chatbots can execute tasks like answering customer support questions, and are constantly being refined via machine learning. What you may not know is that custom chatbots can qualify customers visiting your website by initiating contact and confirming intent to buy right away. Under traditional systems, it can take (on average) eight hours for a salesperson to follow up with a lead—and according to Two By Fore, over 50% of sales leads are never followed up with. Chatbots help automate follow up and cut through the fluff to only surface warm leads, a win-win for your sales org.

The proof is in the data—software company Ebsta recently spoke to Entrepreneur about the significant ROI they’ve experienced using chatbots for lead gen, including 30% greater conversion rates and reduced time to meeting by 25%.

Learn more about how AI and chatbots can support your sales funnel and book a free demo today!

Posted by on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.


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