How Artificial Intelligence in Sales is Changing the Selling Process

How Artificial Intelligence in Sales is Changing the Selling Process
Updated date:
Apr 22, 2022

Table of Contents

Artificial Intelligence in sales has revolutionized the selling process. Sales is a crucial area where Artificial Intelligence can be pretty beneficial. Today, an AI program may advise you on the appropriate discount rate for a proposal to increase your chances of winning the transaction.

AI algorithms get used to generate sales leads and identify which of your current customers are more likely to want a better version of what they already have or a completely new product offering.

Thanks to AI, sales managers can now use dashboards to see which salespeople are likely to meet their quotas and which outstanding deals have a good chance of being closed.

Adoption Status of AI for Marketing or Sales

Artificial Intelligence in Sales is Here

Highly streamlined sales processes powered by AI and machine learning aren’t just a pipe dream; they’re already a reality.

Intelligent, integrated AI-enabled sales solutions may improve decision-making, raise sales rep productivity, and improve the effectiveness of sales processes to create a superior customer experience by utilizing powerful algorithms and comprehensive analytics.

As businesses attempt to connect their sales procedures with how customers want to buy, a new chance to stand out has arisen: your sales process.

Companies that can discover, share, and implement best-selling practices will be able to use them as a long-term competitive advantage. The sellers' performance becomes the most critical determinant in determining win rates, to put it another way.

Artificial intelligence might be a significant issue for sales teams on its own. When combined with a planned strategy, artificial intelligence promises enhanced efficiency, effectiveness, and sales success.

Consider the following figures:

  • According to 81 percent of executives, artificial intelligence enhances productivity.
  • According to 80 percent of executives, artificial intelligence improves worker performance and creates jobs.
Artificial intelligence in sales is here

11 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Changing Sales

Artificial intelligence is, at its core, depends on rich, reliable data. Although AI technology has the potential to change the way we market, it cannot work without human engagement. Artificial intelligence requires a planned procedure to function at its best.

11 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Changing Sales

1. Lead Scoring

A salesperson with a large pipeline of qualified potential clients must make daily, if not hourly, decisions about how to spend their time closing deals to meet their monthly or quarterly quota. This decision-making process is frequently dependent on gut instinct and insufficient data.

The algorithm can use AI to assemble historical information on a client, such as social media postings and the salesperson’s customer interaction history, and evaluate the opportunities or leads in the pipeline based on their possibilities of closing.

2. Price Optimization

Deciding how much, if any, to give a customer is always a challenge. You want to close the transaction, but you also don’t want to leave money on the table.

By analyzing unique elements of each previous contract that was won or lost, an AI program may now advise you what the appropriate discount rate for a proposal should be.

It’s never easy for businesses to select how much a discount to give a customer. You lose money if you leave money on the table, as vital as winning the deal is. Artificial intelligence in sales departments can help you predict the ideal discount rate by looking at the same elements of a previous deal closed.

These characteristics also include 

  • The deal’s financial value
  • Product specification compliance
  • The number of competitors
  • Company size
  • Territory/region
  • Client’s industry
  • Client’s annual revenues
  • Whether the company is public or private
  • The number of decision-makers (influencers) engaged

3. Managing for Performance

Sales managers must examine each of their salespeople’s income pipelines every month to nurture opportunities that may stagnate or fall through. Thanks to AI, sales managers can now utilize dashboards to assess which salespeople will probably meet their quotas and which remaining deals will be closed.  

4. Upselling and Cross-selling

Upselling and Cross-selling

Selling more is the quickest and most cost-effective strategy to increase your top-line revenue. The million-dollar question is who is more inclined to buy more. You can waste money marketing to people who won't buy.

You can use an AI system to determine which of your present customers are more likely to want a better version of what they already have and a completely new product offering. 

5. Forecasting

Forecasting

Sales managers face the difficult task of predicting where their team’s overall sales will fall each quarter. According to Forbes, 74 percent of sizeable B2B companies use sales forecasting at least once a week.

In addition, they predict that 69 percent of businesses, regardless of size, believe their sales forecasting strategies are inadequate.

Currently, employing AI to reduce each revenue cycle is difficult for sales managers. AI in sales can help you estimate and predict revenue more accurately, eliminating operational issues and allowing you to manage your inventories and resources better.

6. Customer Improvement

Determining client lifetime value has always been difficult for sales leaders and salespeople. Who will be the one to renew? Who will be the first to leave? What’s more, why are you doing it?

AI can assist salespeople in determining healthy connections and directing them to those that require care and those in good shape. Some firms employ AI to do this periodically, so it’s never too late to increase the lifetime value.

7. Practice Improvement

AI assists sales firms in delving deeper into their best salespeople’s skills, approaches, and time management strategies (and the lesser performing salespeople if you wanted it for comparison).

The sales leaders can then share their findings and best practices with the rest of the team. This knowledge also aids managers in selecting new team members who have similar talents to quota-achievers.

8. Easier Prioritization

While salespeople can usually figure out which leads to pursue, knowing which leads to seeking first isn’t always straightforward.

With algorithms that aggregate previous transaction information, interaction details, and social media posts to assess leads and the likelihood of closing, AI can take the gut out of those decisions.

9. Increased Sales

Most salespeople will be able to spend more time selling due to AI.

Most AI-SDR bots never make a mistake, never forget to update the CRM, and never forget to follow up.

10. Decreased Costs and Time

According to the McKinsey study, sales teams currently employing AI reduce call durations by as much as 60% to 70%. Some companies have slashed expenditures in half by using AI technology to automate lower-level sales duties. Time is spent by salespeople increasing earnings.

11. Increased Human Touch

Salespeople will need to focus more on managing expectations, clarifying the unclear, making judgment decisions, and eventually picking the tactics, AI advises as AI becomes more widely utilized.

Using AI Technology to Empower Your Sales Team

To establish the best requirement, engage with your sales managers and explore the potential use cases before investing in a test project. For B2B sales businesses, three forms of AI technologies promise outcomes.

1. Sales Forecasting 

Managers and salespeople need insights, and these solutions provide them automatically. They can, for example, evaluate the possibility of a prospect becoming a client and assist in sales forecasting.

Sales Forecasting

2. Prescriptive 

This type of analytics aids in guided selling. AI offers activities based on the company’s entire sales methodology. This is a step toward moving a deal to the next sales stage or developing a pricing model based on the general preferences of a prospect.

3. Natural Language Processing and AI for Text and Sentiment Analysis

Interprets and analyzes the context of consumers’ questions and behavior. 

What should you do first if you decide to use AI to help your sales team?

First, identify the many sorts of data sets within a company that you can integrate to create a more comprehensive picture of the client base. The sales department, for example, has historical purchase data, while the marketing department has website analytics and promotional campaign data.

An AI program can generate better predictions about who is more likely to respond to an offer by combining these data sets.

After that, these data sets get integrated with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for customer transactions and interactions.

In AI, data comes first

Adopting (or improving) AI necessitates complete buy-in and dedicated resources. One doesn’t have to rebuild or discard all you know entirely and rely on it now.

  • Concentrate on the data you already have that offers you the complete picture of your current consumer base. To everything, call on sales’ purchase and interaction data and marketing's website analytics, campaign statistics, and response rates.
Revenue from the artificial intelligence software market worldwide
  • Go above and beyond the obvious. Gather and combine data from shipping, fulfillment, customer support, and technology to see what and when consumers question, return and replace products and services.
  • Use your Customer Relationship Management platform’s marketing intelligence features to combine the data. (Most CRM platforms now have them built-in or offer add-on apps.) Silos restrict leaders from merging and overlaying data in many firms. With aggregated data, AI can help you make essential predictions on response rates, prices, and client lifetime value.

Five characteristics of a successful AI project

What makes a sales AI program successful?

1. Tailored to the current business environment

Build your AI program around whatever; the company’s current emphasis is - whether it’s expanding an existing business, raising brand awareness, launching a new line, or generating income.

2. There will be rapid success

Early AI programs must have a reasonable possibility of success within six to twelve months. Concentrate on one that requires the data you already have to reduce data collection. Then there’s additional analyzing, action ideas, real action, and results analysis.

3. Produce findings that are both meaningful and appropriate in size

AI projects must provide relevant data and outcomes — at least a little more than your current analytics. Aim for projects that focus on a single, important aim and demonstrate a 5% improvement.

4. Collaborate with specialists

Bring in an AI expert to assist with the launch and analysis of the effort and develop a complete AI program.

5. Add value to the world

Every AI endeavor must decrease expenses, increase income, or open up new business options.

The Problems With AI Implementation and How To Solve Them

While AI-enabled solutions are becoming more widely accepted, there are several hurdles that enterprises must overcome when using them. Roadblocks can appear in any of the areas listed below:

1. Data: AI and machine learning techniques run on data

Organizations should ensure they have the data sources to have a 360-degree perspective of their consumers. However, achieving that elusive state of complete data availability might be difficult.

Working with specialized data subsets for modest process goals can be a beneficial stepping stone when combined with efforts to enhance data collection and quality.

2. Procedures

Creating a holistic perspective of the client necessitates the dismantling of silos between customer-facing divisions and developing data-driven sales processes. AI-enabled platform suppliers can supply the infrastructure and advisory experience to help organizations align and modify their behavior.

While researching potential solutions, organizations should prioritize simplicity of integration and uptake. They should also invest in training sales teams to adapt to more data-driven, AI-enabled procedures.

3. Management

A lack of leadership buy-in and an insufficient budget can be critical roadblocks to successful AI/ML adoption. As a result, it’s crucial to develop concrete use cases that can persuade skeptics within the organization.

Starting with a well-thought-out plot that exhibits measurable advantages can go a long way toward gaining acceptance in buy-in and budget.

4. People

Any discussion of AI is bound to elicit anxieties of job loss and redundancy. Even if such concerns are minor, sales teams may be hesitant to alter their processes radically.

Decision-making must be transparent to overcome these challenges. Participatory and sales agents must have the resources to learn and adjust to their new duties.

Key takeaway

Your sales departments are critical to the success of your company. The fact that sales personnel cannot effectively read consumer information is a significant consequence of living in the digital era. To impose focused attention on sales, sellers require the right tools.

Key takeaway

Artificial intelligence in sales may help you expedite your sales process by automating processes such as sales execution, tracking sales performance, and engaging with prospects, all of which can help you improve your conversion and win rates.

For example, AI automation in sales has assisted in automating purchases through bots, resulting in a reduction of 15 to 20% of spending sourced through e-platforms.

The Final Note

Sales professionals who use the right skills at the right time advance their sales processes. They become more adaptable in their dealings with numerous stakeholders who represent diverse viewpoints and interests.

Sales managers will demand that their employees have the knowledge and resources necessary to assist clients in making a case for change by knowing how factors such as desired outcomes and solution possibilities influence decisions.

Companies can benefit from monitoring real-time rep-to-customer conversion metrics and identifying new approaches to increase close transaction rates.

Organizations must set the infrastructure to enable artificial intelligence to reap the most significant benefit. 

Here at AI bees, we will ensure that your sales processes are more efficient, collaborative, and streamlined; as a result, making your salespeople your most competitive edge.

Reach us today for effective sales solutions.

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