The topic of the use of AI and machine learning has been one of the most debated issues since 1872 novel Erewhon by Samuel Butler was published about intelligent machines. May it be utopian or dystopian future of humankind, artificial intelligence is always of something of intrigue and fear.
The possibilities and threats from the application of human ingenuity are endless, so is the use of artificial intelligence. The last two decades have seen a surge in efforts for investment, development, and application of data and AI. However, what we see today in terms of investment and implementation is just the tip of the iceberg. According to 2018 PwC research, AI can see investments up to $15.7 trillion by 2030.
With such investments in AI technology, its applications have touched new dimensions. In a not so distant future, artificial intelligence will be an integral part of everyday life. The ones who will be experiencing it first-hand will be businesses. The first step will be analyzing and automating the recursive processes and expanding the learning to understand customers.
The insights can optimize the processes and shoot up efficiency and profits. Businesses have already started reaping benefits. Netflix has saved more than $1 billion and increased its user base after usage of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to suggest relevant TV shows and movies to subscribers.
Sales and marketing have recently seen a surge in its usage due to its inherent benefits. Companies using AI for sales were able to increase their leads by more than 50 percent, reduce call time by 60–70 percent, and realize cost reductions of 40–60 percent. (Harvard Business Review). The biggest challenges that sales always faced had the right sales intelligence.
The sales Intelligence is the actionable information on the business prospect. It is not difficult to find contact information of business and key decision makers. Understanding the organizational structure, budgets, tech stacks, personnel movement in real-time is challenging. The salesperson needs to have:
- Understand the customers: Persona (firmographic, environmental, and behavioral attributes of accounts) related information.
- Right language: Speak in the style the customer understands.
- Right place: Which channel can be utilized to influence customer purchase behavior?
- Right time: Does he need the product now? At what time of the day customer is the most receptive to the product pitch?
Above information can only be obtained when sales and marketing work together towards a single objective. Aligning sales and marketing goals have been a challenge for the organizations for a while now due to their basic idea of the way to proceed with customer acquisition.
However, with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning the issue was alleviated. Nevertheless, lead generation technology has made much progress. Most people are delighted as they are smothered with the level of personalization and attention they receive while browsing the web and the emails that reach the inbox. An amalgam of AI and marketing technology made this personalization possible.
Personalization at different stages of marketing not only builds an emotional connection with customers but also cuts down on effort and time required for customization.
As AI technology keeps evolving, pushing the boundaries of sales and marketing. Personalization has become the second nature. Here are some ways that artificial intelligence technology is revolutionizing the sales and marketing globally:
Business has their contact databases created through different sources. It is difficult for any salesperson to look at contact and say with 100 percent assurance that specific lead will convert to sales. However, with AI can score the connections that are more likely to convert. Sales can focus efforts only on those contacts while marketing can create very targeted campaigns
The most significant thing that brings humans together is the emotional connection, which is quite impossible between machine and human. With AI, one can understand the behavior of their prospects while sitting remotely in another corner of the world.
AI allows for a business to tweak and personalize message while connecting with leads. Personalization at different stages of marketing not only builds an emotional connection with customers but also cuts down on effort and time required for customization.
Predictive analytics enable marketers to consistently exceed shared organizational goals by 1.8 times, as they leverage AI’s capability to predict customer behaviors. AI helps in choosing the right target audiences and formulate effective strategies quickly and accurately. Data no more becomes a liability. More and better customer data can assist in creating better customer profiles, which can provide insight into the behavioral pattern of the customer.
Millions of customers are at hands reach with AI-controlled bots that can not only find the right ones to contact with personalized emails but also automate the entire sales sequence. Smart solutions significantly minimize marketing expenses enabling small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can now compete with the big players with enormous budgets.
Right CRM integration and smart deduplication functions allow mid-tier companies to reduce workload by up to 90 percent and efficiently use resources and employees’ time.
Align Sales and Marketing Goals
Sales and marketing have been working in individual silos of CRM and Marketing Automation, which lead to a conflict of interest. It was mammoth of a task to make sales and marketing see through the same lens. As soon as AI came into the picture, it became easy to neutralize the issue and share information in real-time across teams. With enough data, AI can build models and help the organization identify models that work in the best interest of achieving goals.
More and better customer data can assist in creating better customer profiles, which can provide insight into the behavioral pattern of the customer.