Understanding AI and Machine Learning in Sales Automation

Understanding AI and Machine Learning in Sales Automation

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are revolutionizing sales. According to a Gartner CIO Survey, the number of companies using AI increased 270 percent between 2015-2018.

What’s the big deal? While AI does not replace salespeople, it does greatly enhance the sales process. We’ll cover what artificial intelligence in sales is, how it can impact your sales process, and some key benefits.

  • Sales Using AI and Machine Learning
  • Linking it to Sales
  • How Can AI Affect Your Sales?

Sales Using AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence isn’t just a sci-fi buzzword. It refers to a group of technologies that enable machines to think like humans (or better). Every time you ask Siri or Alexa to do something, you’re putting AI to work. As soon as your device recognizes the sound of your voice, it begins the requested action.

Machine learning and AI go together. It is more specific. It is a type of AI where a machine is programmed to identify patterns in large data sets and adapt its actions accordingly. Machines “learn” by doing.

For example, a streaming service like Netflix may provide movie recommendations on your home screen. Netflix’s algorithm considers your viewing history. It compares it to similar users’ viewing habits to generate a list of movies it “thinks” you’ll like.

Linking it to Sales

“OK, that’s great, but how does this relate to sales?” you may be wondering.

In the sales industry, AI and machine learning are frequently combined with marketing automation to speed up the sales process. A lot of sales-related AI applications look for patterns and trends in customer data. They then use those insights to target marketing campaigns.

Consider compiling a list of prospects within a community for a future campaign. To compile the list manually would take a long time and effort. Plus, how would you prioritize prospects?

Here’s where AI and machine learning come in. You could program an AI-powered marketing automation tool to generate a list of prospects for you. You could also train your machine to prioritize prospects based on their characteristics. This includes age, gender, income, hobbies, and shopping habits. It’s easy to see how an AI-powered platform could improve marketing ROI.

How Can AI Affect Your Sales?

Here are some other ways AI can help your sales process:

1. Increases Productivity

AI can relieve your sales reps of some mundane tasks. It frees up time and energy for mission-critical tasks. Set reminders for upcoming appointments, fill in calendar slots as directed by management, and even suggest recurring events or to-do tasks based on established patterns.

2. Engagement Insights

A “content recommendation expert” can be an AI system. This will help your sales reps interact with prospects. For example, machine learning can identify common demographic and behavioral traits among prospects. When a machine recognizes two leads as being similar, it can recommend content from the first lead to the second.

3. Lead Scoring

Lead scoring AI can assess prospects’ potential value based on buying signals. For example, past and current customer data may show that email newsletter subscribers are 40% more likely to become paying customers than non-subscribers. Alternatively, visitors who spend a long time on one of your product pages may be more likely to buy than those who visit your home page and then leave.

That is, an AI machine can identify which leads your reps should contact first. So they can focus on the people most likely to buy your brand. And with machine learning, your lead scoring model will continually improve.

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