Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been one of the latest crazes sweeping the business community, and for good reason. AI can make tasks like analyzing big data sets or communicating with leads easier, helping executives streamline a wide variety of business processes. These tools help with practically everything from social media posts to acting as chatbots – and can even help you train your sales team.
For instance, MasterCard is one of the pioneers of turning artificial intelligence into a coach for sales professionals, using AI tools to teach sales associates on the job about the next steps they should take in a deal. Luckily, there are even more ways to use AI to help teach efficiency to your sales team. Here are a few:
Show them who to reach out to.
For one, artificial intelligence technology can be used to coach sales teams on the best leads to contact to boost sales efficiency. For any business to grow, you need to generate high-quality leads quickly. AI can help your team with that, which is why 61% of respondents to a recent survey cite lead generation as the main reason why their businesses are investing in AI.
Most sales professionals spend a significant amount of time and effort contacting and nurturing leads, many of which don’t become conversions. This inefficiency can cost businesses more resources than it needs to; luckily, artificial intelligence can help minimize the slowdown.
AI can reach out to hundreds, thousands, and even millions of leads tirelessly, saving sales team’s time at the outset. Even better, however, is the fact that artificial intelligence tools effectively filter down the leads based on data patterns that suggest which ones are most likely to make a purchase. This way, sales teams are presented with a list of top-notch leads, allowing human workers to use their time nurturing the leads that will generate the most revenue.
Where the teaching comes in is through setting an example to imitate. Not only does AI allow sales teams to increase their efficiency by only targeting the best potential customers, it also provides information on what makes a high-quality lead and what doesn’t. This way, human sales professionals can learn the factors that will help them become more efficient in targeting the people most likely to provide revenue.
Give them customer service tools.
Poor customer service can prove to be a damaging inefficiency for a sales team. In fact, 47% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service from a company. To avoid this, businesses can use artificial intelligence to help keep their sales teams’ customer service skills strong.
Since excellent customer service needs to be a top priority to maximize the efficiency and ROI of a sales team, many businesses are beginning to use AI tools to perform data analytics to better personalize customer service experiences. By providing a sales associate with personalized information about a customer, that sales associate can quickly learn the best ways to help the customer.
This strategy can also help sales teams get better at the customer service aspect of their work on a larger scale. Artificial intelligence technology can compile lists of solutions for customer problems and tailor them to individual leads, quickly teaching sales associates in the moment about the best ways to deal with particular issues. This way, if a new sales professional is working with a lead with a set of needs unfamiliar to that professional, they can overcome any misgivings and efficiently provide a stellar customer service experience.
AI tools can also contribute to the continued development of sales professionals, taking work off the plate of supervisors and other executives. By analyzing big data, AI can keep track of how well each sales associate is doing over the span of weeks, months, and even years.
In essence, this technology can give sales professionals regular feedback on how they rate among customers, as well as areas for improvement. Even better, it can get down to the specifics like response time, success with different customer types, and more to boost efficiency. This long-term use is contributing to AI’s potential growth; by 2020, the artificial intelligence market is predicted to grow to $70 billion.
Although there is no replacement for human sales professionals in a business, artificial intelligence has displayed its relevance and utility multiple times over. Now that it can be used to develop those human sales professionals, man and machine can work in partnership to improve efficiency in a wide array of industries.
What are some other ways that humans and AI can work together for the benefit of the company?