AI for Lead Generation: Its History and Future

AI for Lead Generation: Its History and Future
Updated date:
Mar 09, 2022

Table of Contents

As many have realized by now, A.I. for lead generation is very positive and transformative. There is no denying its impact on careers and businesses. If you are a non-believer, then maybe that is the reason why you are not among those who have experienced the progress artificial intelligence has to offer!

It's about time you should!

The Importance of Artificial Intelligence in Business

A strong artificial intelligence solution has the potential to assist you in identifying and targeting the most valuable accounts for a potential sale. 

Taking advantage of this potential has direct financial implications that will enable you to stick to your budget while expanding your efforts. Consider this:

AI for Lead Generation: Its History and Future

How can AI help small businesses?

Understandably, some businessmen are wary of A.I. Concerns like losing their job to A.I., online security, and effectiveness hover on few people's minds. 

No need for that as McKinsey forecasts that $2.6 trillion in business value will be opened in sales and marketing in the coming years. This provides sales and marketing teams with opportunities to investigate A.I. to advance their careers and businesses by establishing a competitive advantage thru A.I. providing them with market intelligence– particularly in lead generation and conversion.

The data below shows how artificial intelligence save businesses by helping companies improve their process and productivity.

How can AI help small businesses?

AI for Lead Generation Strategy: What is it? 


AI for Lead Generation Strategy: What is it? 

Artificial intelligence is transforming lead generation in all aspects- from analyzing the internet for relevant information to incorporating chatbots - all are impacted.

AI for lead generation is responsible for digging up more leads than any other marketing strategies. Chatbots, webinars, customized landing pages, and intricate methods combine all online and offline tools.

The history of AI lead generation shows that frameworks, technologies, and methodologies constantly change. Businesses need to stay on top of trends and developments to improve their costs, time, and effectiveness.

Believe it, digitalization and automation are now the names of the game. If you want business success, there is nowhere else to go but AI lead generation!

And you may ask, how did it come to be?

A company lives or dies by its ability to sell. Indeed, sales are the lifeline of any business. Before selling, though, a business must have 'leads.' So how were leads generated throughout history?

A Brief History of Lead Generation

The Silk Road

The Silk Road

Everyone would like to think that Marco Polo, as a merchant, began lead generation: someone who took it upon himself to find out what merchants would be in a town on a specific day, matching buyers and sellers of different goods, and for a fee, of course!

Cavemen: The Beginning 

Cavemen: The Beginning

However, I would like to believe that the history of lead gen started during the Paleolithic Age, in the caveman era. During the caveman days of hunting mammoths and saber-tooth tigers, it was all about person to person. Hmmm… so personalization was there from the beginning?!‍

The Roman Empire and Its Markets

The Roman Empire and Its Markets

A lot of time passed, and Romans shopped in markets to buy or exchange goods. 'Leads' were obtained thru word-of-mouth marketing.

The marketing medium grew, trains replaced the caravans, and steamships took over the sailboats during the Industrial Revolution. It led to an explosion in the lead generation industry. The revolution just made the lead gen even more essential in business, finance, and sales.

Rise of Print

Rise of Print

After Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, sellers could advertise their goods in the emerging newspapers, and lead generation tools took on new forms. 

Print media such as newspapers, posters, direct mail, advertisements, and billboards gave

businesses more tools to generate leads.

‍Mass Media

Mass Media

Advertising exploded in the 1900s. Early in the 19th century, radio could broadcast a company's message to millions of potential clients. Magazines made it easy for businesses to generate leads in specific markets.  

Televisions allowed businesses to show and demonstrate a product to millions of people. Telephones give rise to cold calling, and direct mail poured into homes, making strategies more efficient.

The Rise of the Internet

Created in 1983 and growing into a more recognizable form in the 1990s, the internet was a dream for marketers and advertisers.

 Potential customers could be reached instantaneously across the globe for a fraction of traditional advertising.

And the lead generation changed all over again. It meant adapting to local markets, understanding other cultures, improving and innovating to make their methods effective. Pay-per-Click was born, websites were created, SEO, email marketing, video, and audio allowed businesses to build relationships with potential customers and structure the best customer journey.

The software gave even more ability to set these lead generation tools on autopilot, like automation and such platforms.

Mobile and Social Media

Mobile and Social Media

Though there were early social media platforms (remember MySpace? ), the beginning of Facebook in 2004 and mobile phones changed the lead generation strategy once more.

These two revolutionary ideas changed the consumer-business relationship to something more personalized. 

Mobile devices allow businesses to reach people at any time and anywhere! Using social media to establish relationships with potential customers and leads has also helped companies generate more leads and customers.

Artificial Intelligence

If you think artificial intelligence is a sci-fi concept, you're mistaken. AI powered technology is now ever present in our daily lives, and now is an excellent time to use the numerous AI tools in your business.

However, unlike other tech fads that fade over time, it's safe to say that artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning are not fads. 

Technology has permeated almost every aspect of modern business, including marketing and sales. In this sense, it's not surprising that advancements in AI powered tools could revolutionise the lead generation process.

When it comes to extracting valuable insights about more leads from your marketing and sales data, artificial intelligence reigns supreme. Learning from lead conversion data and assisting you in developing smarter lead scoring that is based on maths rather than gut instinct from your team.

AI-powered tools use big data analytics to tell you more about your prospects and customers such as their order history and recurring behaviour. AI solutions also use more data to find new leads or to recommend which existing leads to pursue next.

McKinsey predicts that $2.6 trillion in value will be explored in marketing and sales in the coming years. 

That implies that marketers who use A.I. have the ability to accelerate businesses and careers by gaining an advantage with this innovation, particularly in terms of increased lead generation and conversion.

And now to the nitty-gritty.

How’s AI helpful for a Sales Agent?

Tremendously!

Building a significant sales motion is almost sure to drive improved conversion. 

However, investing in sales automation can empower current teams to do the proverbial "more with less." A.I. will let the sales team:

  • Identify the most qualified leads and prioritise them.
  • Ensure high quality leads don't fall through the cracks by automating outreach, making it more efficient.
  • Increase the speed and ease of the lead nurturing process.
  • A.I. will ultimately allow a sales agent to achieve a more significant ROI for businesses as it provides actionable insights.

If you are thinking of investing in A.I., then you'd be happy to know that a Nucleus research study revealed that automation software increases sales and productivity by at least 15%!

How Can AI Revolutionalize the Lead Generation Process? 

A marketer and a sales agent who use AI lead generation software can gain an advantage in:

1. Validation of Leads

Lead validation is an integral part of the lead generation process. Lead validation, like lead scoring, qualifies leads that come in thru form fills and phone calls and separates them into sales leads and non-sales leads. Lead validation will produce for you the best fit leads.

Prospective customers are bound to become clients and typically submit real data or requests via forms or phone calls. Non-prospective customers, on the other hand, will generally send spam, sales, and other irrelevant material.

A few advertisers use A.I. powered technology as part of their lead validation team to reduce the time spent sorting such data. 

AI tools can quickly analyze submitted data, such as names and phone numbers from any particular industry and compare it to publicly available sources or internal datasets. New leads are then organized based on the discoveries.

2. Chatbots that Converse

Many organizations use chatbots for lead prospecting. A chatbot can determine whether or not a prospect is interested in your product by asking a series of pre-programmed questions before forwarding them to the sales teams. 

Chatbots can initiate pro active conversations with customers to guide them around your site or suggest items for upselling based on their browsing behavior.

Conversational chatbots, like humans, learn from each new interaction and use that knowledge to improve their performance over time. Chatbots can respond to multiple client inquiries simultaneously without becoming exhausted. 

Chatbots can stop users from leaving your website by asking for feedback and  sharing discount coupons when certain triggers are set off, like abandoning a sales cart and leaving your site.

Smart chatbots use NLP to answer questions logically by directing prospects to FAQs or directing them to human agents as needed thus streamline query resolution.

3. Automated Email Campaigns

AI algorithms can create automated email campaigns based on behavioral data of customers.. 

Order history, user interest, browsing history and shopping history are used to create and send automated emails in the event of pre-determined trigger events, such as a customer signing up for a membership, a client unsubscribing from your newsletter, or a potential buyer abandoning a cart.

Because of title and content optimization and accurate mailing schedules when clients are bound to check their mail, automated email campaigns are also known to have a higher open rate.

4. Improve the quality of the sales pipeline.

Improve the quality of the sales pipeline.

AI powered technology can also help you improve the overall quality of your pipeline. Because of its predictive power, It can reveal to you the browsing patterns of prospects.

And can inform your advertising and sales professionals about which actions are most effective and shed light on the best strategies for selling more. This results in a more efficient and effective sales funnel and marketing pipeline, which means more revenue and lower expenses for your company. 

AI technology analyzes sales conversations and reveals exactly what moves your pipeline forward.

5. Personalized Experiences

Personalized Experiences‍

According to studies, sites and companies that provide personalized and delightful customer experience have more loyal clients. Keeping customers loyal and not switching brands is inextricably linked to their experience interacting with you. Make their buying process seamless and fun.

For example, chatbots and machine learning algorithms provide clients with a completely personalized user interface. 

These prediction algorithms, also known as recommendation algorithms, make recommendations to generate leads based on browsing behaviors. An with this, you can give a more personalized sales pitch with optimized subject lines. Any more doubts?

The Final Note

AI powered solutions are the future of lead generation. As technological advancements continue, it will be fascinating to see the next trend that organizations and companies will adapt to generate potential leads. But throughout history, one thing never changed in lead generation: The focus is on getting in front of a target market with a reason to buy. 

Yes, AI  lead generation as a sales process has been under constant change with every passing day. But for me, lead generation is tactics, methodologies, and most of all, technology. Artificial intelligence and automated tools are the ultimate future for this process.

Make Loss Impossible
with Performance-Based

Marketing

Performance-Based Contract, Results First
Get a demo
AI-machine-image
AI Machine that Produces Highly
Personalized Campaigns with
Precisely Selected Prospects
campaign-analysis-image
Weekly Updated Calls and Campaign
Analysis From Your Dedicated
Account Manager
Growth-Hackers-Img
Multiple Sessions and Workshops
with a Team of Growth Hackers
we Develop your Tailor-Made Strategy